- Chronic Pain – Any human out there with a back injury knows exactly what I am talking about. All it takes on one good *snap* correction on the leash to leave your dogs neck & spine out of alignment, creating chronic pain.
- Collapsed Trachea – That’s your windpipe. Did you know that pulling on your leash can actually crush your trachea, making it difficult to breathe and putting a ton of stress on your lungs and heart? This is a big problem, especially common in small dogs.
- Thyroid Issues – The collar puts pressure directly on the delicate thyroid gland. Over time, repeated pressure and damage to this gland could affect how well your thyroid works. Since the thyroid regulates heart speed, blood pressure, and body temperature, amongst other things, this could be a really big deal.
- Paw Licking & Chewing – Pressure on the sensitive nerves around the neck can give you a “pins & needles” feeling in your paws and forearms, leaving you gnawing away at your own arm like you’re Coyote Ugly. This can also be the reason some leash pullers develop a limp in their front legs.
- Loop the leash around your waist and clip it to the dog’s harness
- Go about your daily life – laundry, cleaning, yard work – whatever you gotta do. As you move about, your dog will need to watch your cues and body language to determine when to walk and when to wait.
- When you stop moving (ie. to wash dishes, load the washer, ect). Allow your dog to relax using a SIT or DOWN command. When you are ready to move again, tell them LET’S GO
- If your dog pulls, plant your feet and refuse to give way or speedily move in the exact opposite direction. **this is really important. NEVER give in to a pulling dog.**
Well, most of the time. I still get over excited sometimes, but for the most part, I am part of the no-pull posse. My paw chewing reduced dramatically, going from chewing the literally all the time to only chewing when I am having an allergic reaction. And while I miss my extensive and gorgeous collar collection, I don’t miss being a pain in the neck. Literally. As an added bonus, this was a great bonding experience for the Mama and me.
Our little buddy down the street has a brand new harness and he went to the canine chiropractor this week for a neck adjustment. We are happy to report that his paw chewing has practically disappeared. Him and his Mama have started a new training protocol and hopefully, soon he can declare himself a rehabilitated leash puller just like me.
For more info on the potential risks associated with collar pulling, check out one of our very favourite holistic vets, Dr. Peter Dobias and his post on the subject.
Does your dog pull on the leash? Got any great training tips?
the Mama and I are in no way professional dog trainers, but we see this issue fairly often when we are asked about our experience with allergies. We strongly recommend anyone with a pup who is an “allergic paw chewer” try out a new harness, see a canine chiropractor and see if this helps your dog. It sure helped mine.