Blog Pi-Bo

Why a Dog Shouldn’t Pull on a Leash?

Many dog parents often come to our training course to solve the problem of pulling on a leash. The main reason why they want to do it - for sake of their own comfort. Not everyone enjoys imagining themselves to be a water skier when on a walk. As well as having their shoulder joint dropping closer to the knees. The bigger the dog is the more evident the discomfort. 

That being sad, it doesn’t necessarily feel like a problem to everyone. So, if tugging on a leash doesn’t bother the owner, why slack it? Say, if a tiny doggo, like your neighbor’s unshaven middle-aged spitz Brian, is pulling on a leash, the owner might not even notice that, scrolling calmly through their instagram feed, so insignificant is this force. Then again, there are some adrenaline-junkie owners, for whom playing tug-of-war with their Irish wolfhound is the equivalent of relaxing Sunday brunch, a kid’s game, in other words. 

So, does that mean that pulling is not a problem?  

We often say that it is human problems that we solve. If the owner does not mind their pup pulling, scavenging or snacking on pizza delivery guys - then who are we to oblige them to fix it. However, we always inform dog parents about the possible negative consequences which may not always be so obvious. Pulling on a leash entails several of those.

1. The doggo is nervous

If your fluffy Edmund is always pulling on a leash, it may lead to ‘Leash Pulling Syndrome’. That means each and every of your doggie’s emotions gets blown out of proportions and becomes over-the-top: insignificant fear turns into a phobia, apprehension towards people - into the desire to destroy the entire population and impose the doggo dictatorship on the planet; slight interest in cat-produced protein bars - into a maniac obsession to put in their mouth everything that is not nailed to the surface. Basically, Edmund is on the verge of a nervous breakdown here.

2. Other dogs get nervous

In the eyes of her canine bros Susan tugging on a leash looks like a thug ready to mug you. Because of the tension, her body position changes and the doggo’s pose looks combative, bullish, even if it is far from what Susan had intended to do. In the world of four-legged creatures (as well as two-legged ones) that is not polite.

Just imagine yourself coming to the office and to your boss’ ‘hi’ replying: ‘yo, man, you got a problem? I’LL GIVE YOU A PROBLEM!’ That might create a little bit of a misunderstanding. So, if Susan keeps getting in her ‘warrior-princess’ mode time after time when seeing her bros, there’s likely to be some fighting.

3. It’s bad for doggo’s health

Even if you’re using a harness with your Edmund, the harm it does to his back will become obvious with time. Only special sled dog harnesses may be considered safe in case of excessive pulling, although there’s also some reservation. So, in short, back pain is not something we wish for our furry booties (no disrespect to bald booties, we find them equally adorable).  

4. It’s bad for our health

Susan’s pulling into the great beyond can damage both our physical and mental health. 

One massive jerk will be enough to make you a proud owner of fresh and new hernia. Among other bonuses are: problems with joints, palm calluses in the style of a 19th century mine worker and regular unpredictable falls to spice things up (be it on a slippery road, on the stairs or even in front of your hot crush, who was just taking his unshaven middle-aged spitz Brian for a walk).

If something causes us physical discomfort on a regular basis, we start to get annoyed, and rightly so. Going for a walk, which normally can be an enjoyable thing to do, when accompanied by leash pulling, turns into a nightmare for many. Surely, there’s little fun in walking when it’s just forced. A furious owner with his furry Susan puffing and wheezing in front of him (also about to lose it) doesn't make a great company. In such conditions it’s quite hard to release stress, breathe some fresh air and strengthen your immune system. 

So, these are the negative consequences of leash pulling, whether this is a problem you want to deal with - that’s up to you to decide.