Dogs react much better to our body language than to sound signals. We talk too much!
It all depends on your body language, not what you say. If you look at your dog all the time while you’re walking, you are assuming full responsibility for who follows whom. The dog will pull the lead, then—and rightly so, because it is your duty to follow, not your dogs. Yes, it is a lead, not a leash. You use it to lead the dog, not to leash it. Allowing the lead getting tight sometimes, does not equal to being a cruel dog owner. It amounts to allowing your dog to solve a problem for which it has more than enough intelligence to do.
One thing is your dog pulling the lead and feeling uncomfortable by doing it. A completely different matter is you pulling the lead. The former teaches the dog to keep an eye on you to avoid discomfort. The latter only teaches the dog that you are an unpredictable person one cannot trust.
Your body language is crucial. In the movie, did you notice how the simple and clear body signals and facial expressions, and moving rhythmically, appear to perform miracles?
To improve your communication and relationship with your dog, please see our course Ethology and Behaviorism.
Quiz (for students wishing to earn study credits)
"Mission Interspecies Contact—Creating a Relationship" Video Quiz
You have five minutes to complete this quiz.