Huskies do it —why other dogs shouldn’t

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I recently looked at a few ‘dog training’ websites and happened upon an American site with an extensive article, written by a horse/dog trainer (an interesting combination. The article was a detailed account of how to train a dog to ‘mush’.

‘Mushing’ means attaching your dog to your bike and getting it to pull you along, similar to the principle of a Husky team (bred for that very purpose). The trainer in this case actually states that “if your dog tries to pull your arm off when on the lead, they are perfect for mushing”.

There seems to be a proliferation of people forcing their dogs to drag them along on their bikes.  I suppose, these indiviuals think that their dog is being properly exercised by this, ill-informed, practise. But, in this case there is a very important point to make about the impact this type of ignorance can have on a dog’s behaviour.

Just consider the comment the trainer makes above. He is basically saying a dog with a pulling on the lead problem should be encouraged to pull even more. If you follow this advice, you a going to make the lead pulling much worse.

What you should do in this situation is to train your dog NOT to pull on the lead. Failing to do this gives the dog no chance to develop the right behaviour while on the lead. After all, how can he be expected to know the difference between pulling his owner along on a bike and, walking on the lead.

Let me also be clear, a dog is a major responsibility.  It is encumbent on the owner to care for the dog and to make sure it gets all it needs to live a well-balanced, enjoyable life.  Dragging it along attached to a bike or and owner, while running does NOT meet the dogs’ needs for proper exercise and socialisation.  So, if you wnt to ride or run, do so.  However, when exercising your dog – make that your priority and, do it seperately from ypur other exercise. That is the right thing to do for your dogs’ wellbeing and quality of life.

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