Dogs require handlers and owners that have mental strength, probably more so than physical strength. Most of my clients are women and they are not particularly strong in the upper body, just like me, yet I am able to get them to walk their dogs on loose leads without the use of harnesses and face halties. Instead I apply the power of strength through calm, consistent leadership.
Remaining calm and consistent is vital in owning a dog. If we lose our temper, run out of patience or give up too soon then the dog sees right through this as weakness. Weakness will not bring about balance in a dog, it will bring up all sorts of unwanted behaviours. By taking the time to follow through commands and repeat exercises as necessary, knowing when to stop and start training and keeping a cool head when a dog, particularly a puppy, is presenting challenging behaviour, this will prove the owner as being powerful. This isn’t about physical strength, it is mental strength. Even the worlds’ strongest man will not be able to stop a dog from pulling if he doesn’t have good leadership qualities.
Some of the dogs I have handled weigh quite close to my own body weight, but I am able to calm them, gain focus and control the walk. This is all done purely through calm, assertive composure and consistent follow through.
It does help to be physically strong especially with powerful breed dogs, but it’s much more important to have a cool head and calm energy and plenty of patience.