5 Tips to Stop a Dog From Pulling on a Leash

5 Tips to Stop a Dog From Pulling on a Leash

Author WDF Staff


One of the most common issues dog owners face while raising their puppies is leash pulling. If you ever encountered other dogs and owners walking in perfect sync, and the dog doesn’t seem fazed by distractions, and you thought, “Wow, how lucky.” You should know that luck plays little to no part in that. In fact, leash training is a process that requires patience and time. If your dog pulls on their leash, there are ways you can stop them. We have prepared this list of dog trainer advice on how to stop a dog from leash pulling. Here’s what you should know.

Why do dogs pull on their leash?

There are different types of dog behavior that can be puzzling to us. However, if you take a second to think about them, they actually start making sense. Dogs interact with their environment differently than we do. Walking slowly next to their owner is unnatural to them. They want to go in all sorts of directions, smell various scents, and want to do all of that as quickly as possible. The easiest way to describe why dogs pull is - to get where they’re going.

Is it possible to stop them from pulling on a leash?

The good news is that it is possible to teach your dog not to pull on their leash. However, it will require the owner’s engagement, time, and patience. If you decide to invest in your dog’s training, you will end up with a dog that knows how to behave on walks. The dog will walk patiently next to you until you decide to unleash them and allow them to run and play. If you follow these tips to stop a dog from pulling on their leash, you will have a well-trained dog in no time.

dog walking on leash

Here are 5 tips to stop a dog from pulling on a leash;

1. Picking a method

The key to successful dog training is consistency. It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to teach your dog; consistency is a part of each training. That rule applies to training your dog not to pull on their leash. The first thing you should do is choose a walking method and stick to it.

Choose where your dog should walk. Some owners prefer their left side, others prefer the right, and some like their dogs walking a few steps behind them. You can try them all out and see which one suits you and your dog. Keep in mind that not all dogs prefer all methods, so take your time to pick the right one.

One of the easiest tricks you can teach your dog is to sit. Here’s how to do that quickly - How to teach a dog to sit.

2. Start without distractions

Another thing you should do for your dog is set them up for success. If you take your dog immediately out among other dogs and different distractions, they will have a hard time learning. It would be best to start training them inside, where there are fewer distractions. That way, your dog can stay focused on you and learning instead of processing things that happen around them.

Pick a part of the day when they are their calmest. Start your training after they had their playing session and managed to spend their excess energy. They will be calmer and more docile. This is a great tip for starting to teach your dog to stop pulling on a leash.

labrador puppy

3. Make training positive

This is another thing dog trainers and most dog owners already know, but it should be repeated - Make training positive. Your dog has to start associating not pulling with a great experience. You have to reward them when they behave nicely and make them want to not pull on a leash. You can do that by using delicious training treats.

However, we can give dog treats to our dogs for different types of training, and your dog might lose some of their motivation. You can use something that will really motivate them. Try with tiny pieces of ham or cheese. That is not something your dog should usually eat, but you can use it as a powerful motivator. Your dog will do anything you ask of them if they want to get the tasty reward.

4. Stop when they pull

Some dogs will start pulling on their leash from the moment you put it on them. Naturally, this is not the type of behavior you want to encourage. Whenever your dog starts pulling, you stop moving. Make your best statue impression. If you do that consistently, your dog will begin associating pulling with stopping. With time, they will learn that a loose leash gets them to move forward.

This tip for stopping a dog from pulling on a leash can be frustrating. The dog can sense all sorts of things around them, and different sensations can send them into overdrive. Again, you can start by trying out this tip in an environment without any distractions. Make sure you have tasty rewards with you and reward your dog every time they walk nicely.

two dogs on leashes

5. Use different training equipment

One of the things that can heavily influence your dog’s leash manners is a front-clipping harness. You wouldn’t believe how quickly their behavior can change. They will not be used to this type of equipment, which is a method many police and military dogs use. As soon as they put on the harness, the dog knows exactly what to do. Plus, these harnesses work so that when a dog pulls, the harness forces them to turn towards you.

Another thing dog trainers use is training collars. These collars are designed to cause pain to dogs when they pull. The general idea is that the dog will feel pain and stop pulling. However, some dogs don’t know when to stop. They will persevere even through the pain. One of the downsides of the training collars is that some can tighten so much they can strangle the dog. That can happen if your dog gets tangled. We wouldn’t advise using training collars unless you know what you’re doing.

World Dog Finder team

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