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Published: Jan 12, 2012

The world is full of things to see, smell and investigate, which is a big part of the reason that many dogs tend to strain on their leashes when they are taken out for walks. Your instinct may be to pull back on the leash to restrain the canine, but this can be counterproductive. VCA Animal Hospitals states that pulling back on the leash will likely only cause the dog to pull forward with more force. This behavior, often referred to as opposition reflex, can be frustrating, but it is important to approach correcting the behavior with positive reinforcement.

Collars that pinch, choke or poke dogs' necks should be avoided when training dogs to walk on their leashes. In some cases, the negative reinforcement may be effective, but there are plenty of dogs who continue to charge ahead of their owners, in spite of any pain their restraints may be causing. There are less obtrusive options available, called head halters that allow owners to have more control over their pets without causing them harm, according to VCA.

If you are having trouble getting your dog to behave on the leash, you can discuss training options with your veterinarian. This can also be a good opportunity to make sure that your pet's dog vaccinations are up-to-date.