LEASH-TUGGINGHave you ever attached a leash to your dog’s collar and they immediately start tugging? This can be an extremely frustrating, if not dangerous behaviour, especially when all you want to do is walk your dog/puppy.

However please note that this behaviour is purposely encouraged by the competitive agility handlers as a reward at the end of an agility run. ‘Tug drive’ is very important in this field.

How can we help manage this annoying behaviour?



Here are some management techniques and ideas:

  1. If your dog has a high ‘tug drive’ and finds this more rewarding than high value rewards then by having two leads attached to the collar, if he grabs the one you are holding simply drop it whilst taking hold of the other leash. He might drop this and take hold of the other one. If so, just keep switching. Hopefully, the dog/puppy will release that the inappropriate behaviour will not be inadvertently rewarded.
  2. From the moment you attach your lead, have high value treats and immediately start rewarding loose lead walking. If necessary transfer them onto an available tug toy and encourage your dog/puppy to play tug with this instead of the lead.
  3. Exercise before the lead is attached; this could be in the form of focusing exercises (rewarding calm), doing a forage for some hidden treats, ‘hide n seek’, ball throwing and throwing a treat where the dog goes and gets it comes back sits. This then generates another treat being tossed in a different direction. When your dog is calm then attach your lead.
  4. The chain solution: have a lead that has a length of chain attached, available for purchase from the supermarket and most pet shops. The majority of dogs don’t like the feel of metal in their mouth so this can be used until the lead pulling behaviour dissipates. This is a great way to put an old check chain to use.
  5. Last but not least get a length of PVC piping and drop the clip through the pipe before attaching it to your dog’s collar. A length of hose pipe can also be used and is not so hard on the mouth. The dog won’t be able to get a grip on it to tug.

ALL these are temporary measures, so it is important to work on long term solutions to prevent this irritating habit from becoming a well-entrenched habitual behaviour. Teaching your dog/puppy to walk on a loose lead is vitally important. This is thoroughly covered in our small group classes, please contact us at Paw Power for more information.

Anna Tasker, Paw Power Dog Training 0431 511215 / www.pawpower.com.au


Leave a Reply Text

Your email address will not be published.