He’s become a staple part of your life. Life without him would feel strange. Over the years, your dog has joined you on numerous family days out and you’re used to seeing his grinning face when you get up in the morning. However, he isn’t entirely perfect. He might be getting older, but that hasn’t meant he’s any easier to walk. Instead of relaxing and strolling down the sidewalk, he pulls you in every which direction as soon as he sees another dog or person of interest. It wouldn’t be so bad, except despite his age, he’s still pretty strong.
Training him to walk beside you will help make the dog walks the peaceful pastime you first envisaged. It could also prevent him injuring you if he pulls you to the ground, or worse, injuring himself if he leaps into the road.
The good news is, training him to walk calmly beside you is definitely achievable. In some ways, you will have your work cut out because he is older and bad habits are harder to break. However, because he’s older, he will also be slightly less energetic and playful, so he will be more inclined to walk calmly. Training will consist of obedience commands to let him know what you expect of him. You will also need to set some boundaries by taking a number of steps to prevent him pulling.
If he’s still fairly receptive, despite his age, then you may see results in just a couple of weeks. If the habit has been many years in the making and he’s stubborn, then you may need a couple of months. Succeed and it will be the shower that wakes you up in the morning, not your dog dragging you across the road.
Before you can begin training, you will need to collect a few things. A short training leash will be required. You may also want to consider using a body harness. This will reduce strain on his neck, while affording you greater control.
You will also need a generous supply of treats. Alternatively, break his favorite food into small pieces. You don’t need to set aside time for training, you can practice as you go for your daily walk.
Once you have all that, just bring patience and a proactive attitude, then work can start!