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5 Steps to Stop Leash Pullers in Their Tracks

Dog pulling his owner during walk

Dog pulling hard on his leash

It’s a classic story: dog goes on walk, dog hauls owner all over the sidewalk.  By the time you get back home, your shoulder is sore and you are contemplating getting a gerbil instead.  Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be like this.  

Whether you are just starting your journey of reforming a chronic puller or you have a long relationship with a dog who hauls you around the neighborhood, there are several steps you can take to convince them to cut it out.  Here are five steps you can take to help your dog improve their leash manners and stop running you ragged on walks:

Change Their Collar to a Harness

Unfortunately, the traditional buckle collar for pups is one that is most comfortable to pull against.  Switch your tug-happy dog to a chest harness, like this one, to discourage pulling.  Harnesses apply pressure to the front of the chest when the dog pulls, and, if you attach the leash to the front clip of the harness, pulls the dog to one side.  Your dog will dislike the feeling when they pull and will self-correct with time.  

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Well-Behaved Dogs: Observing Good Dog Etiquette

Every neighborhood has that one house with a dog that won’t stop barking. The one whose owners are apparently deaf to the sound and certainly deaf to the complaints and shouts of neighbors who are tired of having their sleep disrupted. The erosion of dog etiquette is surely an indication that common courtesy is not what it once was. Excessive barking, leaving a dog’s feces on a neighbor’s lawn, and failing to prevent a dog from inappropriately sniffing a visitor are some of the common etiquette transgressions that dog owners either ignore or assume that others won’t mind. One of the most distressing things about breaches of dog etiquette is that so much of it comes down to common courtesy. No one expects a dog to be perfectly behaved, but it’s certainly reasonable to expect that dog owners would intervene and correct their pet’s behavior when their furry friend gets too ornery.

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Separation Anxiety in Pets

In a perfect world, we’d all be independently wealthy enough to stay home with our pets or have the kind of job that allows us to work from home so we don’t have to leave our beloved cat, dog, or bird.  But, we don’t live in a perfect world. Most of us have to leave for work or travel. And while we understand that the departure is temporary, our animals don’t.

If you’ve ever seen the relief in a dog’s face, been punished by a cat’s aloofness, or endured the ear-splitting cry of a cockatoo upon returning home, you’ll understand. To our animal companions, all they know is that they’re alone. “Alone” can feel scary, and that fright can manifest in behavioral or health issues.

Dogs can develop destructive behaviors like chewing, obsessive licking, or chronic barking. Anxious cats may begin avoiding the litter box. Birds may pluck or scream. In severe cases, animals can even develop ulcers.

This isn’t upsetting for your pet alone, but also for you. Here are some tips for helping your pet handle alone time: [Read more…]