7 Tips to Stop Your Dog Pulling on the Leash

March 25, 2019
Is your dog pulling on the leash? Have a look at these tips to help stop this behavior.

Your dog’s daily walk, as well as being your responsibility, can be a really relaxing and pleasant activity, as well as something that strengthens the bond between the two of you. But, if your dog is constantly pulling on the leash, it can be an absolute nightmare. In this article, we’ll give you some advice to help you stop your dog pulling on the leash.

Dogs aren’t born on a leash, they need to learn

It’s surprising how many owners seem to just accept their dog pulling on the leash as inevitable. They’d rather put up with the stress (for both the owner and dog) than try to solve it.

However, it’s really important to remember that dogs aren’t born knowing the right way to behave. They won’t instinctively know how to walk correctly on a leash. Therefore, it’s really important for this to form part of their basic training.

And as with all training, you’ll only get results with patience, consistency, and a big dose of love and affection. Sooner or later, you’ll manage to get your dog to stop pulling on the leash.

If you can get your dog to stop pulling on the leash it’ll make your walks so much more enjoyable for both of you.

Get your dog used to being on the leash

A dog pulling on the leash.

The first thing you need to do is to get your dog to link the leash with something positive. But how can you do this? Ideally, you’ll need to get him used to it from a young age. But don’t worry if you adopt an adult dog, as you can still teach him new tricks.

So, start by having your dog on a leash in the home, whilst you play with him and reward him for his good behavior.

Even if your dog is already used to the leash, it may be a good idea to have a little play before you go out into the street. This way your dog will have already expended a bit of energy before you go out. This is sure to reduce the amount of pulling on the leash.

If you don’t want your dog pulling on the leash, make sure you don’t either

It’s really important that you don’t pull on the leash either. If you’re both just constantly pulling and releasing the leash, you’ll never get anywhere. Furthermore, your dog could get stressed or injure himself.

You need to approach your walks calmly. Show your dog that the one at the reins, in this case, the leash, is you.

If your dog pulls on the leash, the best thing to do is to stop walking until he’s calmed down or to go in a different direction. If you manage to calm him down and resume walking normally make sure you reward his good behavior.

Remember, positive reinforcement always provides great results when training your dog. Scolding your dog or treating him badly, on the other hand, will just make things more complicated.

More useful tips to stop your dog pulling on the leash

A dog walking in the street.

Here are a few other things you should bear in mind to stop your dog pulling on the leash:

  • Walk at the right pace. Dogs tend to walk faster than people. If you walk too slowly you might make your dog anxious and he’ll start pulling on the leash.
  • Allow your dog to do normal dog things. Let him sniff things, urinate on trees, and interact with other dogs.
  • Choose the right leash or harnessThis depends on how big or strong your dog is, as well as his personality. In this case, ask a professional to help you choose the right accessory.
  • Never take your dog for a walk if you notice that he’s anxious or behaving oddly. It’s far better to wait until he’s calmed down. One good trick is to try not to let him know that you’re going for a walk soon. This will keep him calmer.
  • Be firm but affectionate. This way he’ll feel safe by your side and will be less concerned by his anxieties and fears.