loose-lead-hand-010When dogs pull away from us either forward or sideways they are challenging our status relationship i.e. why should I do what you want?

This challenge is not wilful, naughty or belligerent. Dogs cannot even spell these words let alone be any of them and dog challenges are exactly that, an establishing of who is the TOP DOG.

Trying to control dogs by force only ends in the dog countering with equal and opposite force.

As simple as it sounds, if you don’t pull (loose lead) and the dog tries to still pull it will fall over and in all my time with pure breed dogs I have never seen a dog fall over, run faster yes but not fall over. Now all that is left to do is signal the dog to run at your speed or run in the direction you desire.

This is really simple for humans to comprehend, it’s the Physicist Isaac Newtons “An object to remain the same when a force is applied an equal and opposite force must be applied” – but not so simple for humans to enact.


When our dogs pull on the lead (in any direction) it is our natural human instinct to apply force and pull in the opposite direction. How dumb when we should know the result

Our aim when exhibiting is to have our dogs move without being inhibited so they demonstrate their natural action.

Now the trick is to achieve this when the dog is resisting. The answer is to establish your TOP DOG status and direct with signals followed by a loose lead.

Establishing TOP DOG status between you and your dog is a state of mind not force!

Golden rules are, don’t beg with food, don’t lower your status, don’t acknowledge (ignore) when your dog demands your attention and don’t give up until your dog responds to your signal.

Signals for dogs are very black and white. Do you want action or calming?

Action signal is short sharp clipped sound first followed by sight action, then the lead in a vibration action not a tugging action then LOOSE.

Calming signal is long drawn out soft sound, followed by sight response then the lead in a soft retarding action (then as you feel the dog) LOOSE.

Should your dog not respond as you desire repeat the chosen signal without any variation to the previous given signal. Don’t give up be persistent and consistent always ending with the lead loose.

When gaiting in a straight line and your dog is pulling to the left away from you the required signal will be the action signal, not forgetting the loose lead at the end – You do not want to pull the dog back to you, but for the dog to come back of it’s own accord.

When gaiting and your dog is pulling forward, the required signal will be the calming signal. As you feel the dog release to a loose lead.

Should you be challenged and your dog is not responding to your signals try this simple exercise. Without warning turn sharply180 degrees away from the dog giving multiple action signals as you are turning, should the dog pull away or be in front again repeat the action. The principle here is you are demonstrating to the dog it must watch you or it will never know which direction you are going – as you are the TOP DOG keep in mind every time you turn away from your dog you are back as the leader.

Finally with your right hand index finger tap the back of your left hand as fast as you can. But at the same time as softly as you can. This should be as much contact you require when applying the touch (lead) component of the either signal.

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