I have a 30kg pitbull that is a big headed bag of muscle that has been pulling the leash like a maniac for 2 years now. His pulling never really bothered me because I got used to it in time.
What changed my mind about the situation is the fact that I got a Rottweiler puppy and I realized I am not going to be able to walk them if he keeps pulling like that. So I started browsing the internet for a solution, as vast and studded with ideas the internet is I only found a few that really worked with my dog.
I want you to understand that my dog was nowhere near to a regular puller because he was pulling so hard that he was really jumping in two paws all around the place. So the solutions I found are really effective. I have them from Cesar 911 and Training Positive. These are the only channels on YouTube where I found methods that really work, unlike other YouTubers that really use methods softer and maybe not fit for every dog.
But before we get into it I would like you to know that this won't be easy and it will take effort from you, the dog is really doing nothing wrong because that's what he knows and I assume he has been doing it for a while now. So here is the first step:
1. Chose the right collar.
When it comes to choosing a collar, there are millions of options but if you want your dog to stop pulling you have to chose the right one. Although there are some things that you shouldn't take in consideration, like using a harness. The reason a harness is bad is that they actually encourage the dog to pull as if they are pulling a slay or something like that. The second collar that you shouldn't be using is a metal spiky collar. Those only hurt the dog and might not be as efficient as you might think. It might even hurt your dog if he bursts after a cat or another dog and that's not helping.
What you need to get is a correction collar. In the moment you will put that collar on, it will be like a miracle just happened. I am not messing with you but he will stop pulling instantly. The collar does not hurt the dog it just tightens around his muzzle and leaves him out of breath for a couple of moments showing him that if he does that something bad is happening. However, this does not hurt the dog because if he walks without tension in the lead the little rope relaxes around his muzzle.
This behavior will not last forever because he will get used to it and start pulling again. That's why you have to enforce the good behaviour with correction. So that takes me to the next step.
2. Go to walks and correct.
Your dog has no idea what's happening, he is confused, doesn't know what's on his face and why and he may get a little tense.
That's why this takes patience and long walks. When you are walking with him, you have to show him what he is allowed to do and what he is not. Now he has the collar on so he is for sure more up to listening to you. Every time he gets a little tense about something, like a cat, dog, or anything, correct! Don't let him stare fixed at something because you are practically allowing him to develop the behavior you don't want him to have. The moment you see him get tense, correct. You have to do this every time so you can have progress.
These are some ways to correct:
- Tap on the side of the body
- A rapid push towards you and a noise that gets his attention
- Stop and tell him to sit and while he gets tense make the same noise
These movements will tell him that he is doing something you don't like.
Another thing, you should be the one getting out of the house first, not him so you can show him who is in control, don't let him go in front of you and don't pull him backwards, better keep him by your side and pull by the side because this way you don't instigate him.
Another thing you can do is to turn to a 90 degree angle so you can change abruptly the direction and show him that you are in charge of where you are going, not him.
These are personal experiences that I had with my dog that really worked and now I can say I am not walking a rabbit anymore. I would really recommend to watch those two YouTubers that I mentioned earlier and see in more depth what everything is about if you are still unsure about the methods.
Here is the link of the collar I use.