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Ok for context I'm a twelve almost thirteen year old and I have two dogs, but I'm focusing on one called Benji. He's a larger dog and is always pulling on walks, so my mum would smack him on the head ( not hard she was trying to scold him for it ). She would encourage me to do the same, as she felt she noticed him not pulling as much for her ( just want to say she is not evil she just thought she was doing the best thing for Benji ). I then used to smack him a lot ( again not hard but it was still terrible ), I feel terrible about it and I haven't done it in months neither has my mum.

I admit I have issues with my anger so instead of smacking Benji i've been pulling ( or yanking him ) on the lead when he pulls, but I've recently realised I have in fact been pulling him pretty hard and suddenly ( he does have a harness I'm not pulling at his neck ) and after an incident yesterday where I pulled him into the garage because he was wet and he actually got stuck and almost tripped I realised how terrible I am. I realised I'm hurting my dog whiether on purpose or not and I really want to regain his trust and show him I have no ill intent. Long story short does anyone have any ideas for my situation ( Im currently sitting down with him, hes sleeping next to me ).

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  • I don't think you are supposed to smack a dog either. I know little about dogs and their behaviour but don't worry, animals rarely hold grudges and he sleeping by you shows that while he is hurt and upset, he still trusts you.
    – ck1987pd
    Dec 27, 2021 at 11:53
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    You do understand that your actions aren't right, but in fact your mum wasn't right to smack him on the head either. Dogs that get smacked on the head or the snout shy away from your hand, even if you just want to pet them. There are other methods to stop a dog from pulling the leash. You could search on Youtube for "stop leash pulling" and watch some free instructions by professional dog trainers. Maybe watch them together with your mum so you both learn better ways to train your dog without physical violence.
    – Elmy
    Dec 28, 2021 at 9:18

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The answer to your question actually helps with both of your concerns-- Leash Training.
Training will help your dog not to pull on the leash as well as build trust between the both of you.

When you are walking with Benji hold some of his food, or some of his favorite treats in your hand. Allow him to smell the food and become interested, and then start to walk. He will naturally want to stay close to your side instead of pulling because of the possibility of a treat. Whenever he is not pulling and his focus is on you, tell him good boy and give him a treat. Continue this throughout the walk.

This does two things:

  1. It rebuilds the trust between you two as your hand is no longer a implement of punishment but where delicious treats come from.
  2. It corrects the behavior that resulted in your original frustration.

I hope this helps.

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