What Your Dog Wants

Dogs are “really good at reading our emotions,” says one expert. But we’re not so good at reading theirs.

What Your Dog Wants


Thanks for sharing this article.

Since they bring it up, I wish they had included advice for what to do about a dog who’s “ pulling his leash like a sled dog on walks” I just had one of those! Smart, sweet girl, but not able to walk easy on a leash at this time. Man! I would love to know how to communicate with her in a way that would let her know lots more walks and outings are in store if you just walk easy!

Hi @erinnr I recently looked after a dog that did this. We had 3 dogs in total that we walked at the same time, my husband had the 2 girls who were easier to control & I had the male who wanted to drag me along. The dog leads were about 1.5 metres long so I just shortened his lead around my hand so the dog had to walk very close by my side “to heel” and he was better controlled. I would let the lead out at length and if he wanted to pull me along I would stop the walk, firmly say “no Wally”, and rein him back in again on a short lead. After a few times of this he quickly learned not to pull on the lead (he was a border collie so a quick learner) and we had very pleasant walks for the rest of the stay. At the end of each walk I gave him lots of praise and pats. Like children, dogs need boundaries or they will just do whatever they want!

Hi @Crookie thank you very much for sharing. I might try a shorter lead next time. I am almost always accompanied by my own very well behaved Border collie who I can actually leave off leash almost anywhere but the young puppy girl we had was super strong and pulled like a freight train. I tried stopping and standing firm
Whenever pulling was happening and said ‘no pulling, easy.’ And then whenever she did walk well I praised her with ‘good girl, walk easy!’ But it was the one really frustrating and actually even dangerous aspect of the sit. It’s the one thing I’ve encouraged her owners to prioritize is training for loose leash walks. But I do appreciate your tip and I’ll give it a try next time. Thanks

Most dogs are eager to please, they just need to know your expectations. I take a 16’ (3 meter) adjustable lead with me on a sit. I let the dog use the 16’ when safe but bring it back beside me as needed. As we walk, I will “click” the lead (tap the lock mechanism) when the dog is doing something I don’t want and bring it back to me. Soon the dog responds the the “click” and stays in control.