How to Stop Your Dog from Pulling on His Leash
5 March, 2014

As most dog owners know, leash training looks relatively easy but in reality, it takes some work.  Some dogs adjust readily to leash walking, while other dogs need a little more guidance.  In fact, it’s very common for a dog to pull on his or her leash as it constrains his or her natural behavior.  Some dogs are determined to run around as fast as they possibly can while on a leash, while other dogs want to stop, sniff and urinate on anything and everything in their paths!

Therefore, until you learn how to stop your dog from pulling on his leash, it will be a constant battle for you when your take your dog on his daily walks.

Below are some tips to help:

Take short walks while you train your pup

Until your dog learns to walk without pulling, consider all walk as training sessions. Keep training sessions frequent, short and fun for your dog.  As soon as your dog gets the hang of the proper way to walk on a leash, you can then go on longer walks.

Tire your pup out before you take him on a training session

Since loose-leash training sessions will be too short and slow to provide enough exercise, find other ways to exercise your dog until he’s mastered loose-leash walking. In fact, you’ll need to find a way to tire your dog out before taking him on a training walk. Dogs pull, in part, because they’re full of excess energy. So unless you can expend that energy, your dog will find it hard to control himself. Before you train, play fetch or a game to wear him or her out.

Walk briskly

Walk at a quick pace. If your dog trots or runs, he or she will have less time to catch a whiff of something enticing and will be less inclined to stop and eliminate every few steps. Additionally, you are far more interesting to your dog when you move quickly.

Take these training walks while your dog is calm

If your dog gets excited before you even start your walk, you need to focus on that first. Walk to the door and pick up the leash. If your dog races around, barks, whines, spins or jumps up, just stand completely still. Do and say absolutely nothing until your dog calms down a bit. As soon as your dog has all paws on the floor, slowly reach toward him or her to clip on the leash. If your dog gets jumpy, you should bring your hands (and the leash) back towards your body.

Wait until your dog has all four paws on the floor again. Then slowly reach toward your dog again to attach her leash. Repeat this until your dog stands in front of you, without jumping up or running around, while you clip on her leash.

Always bring treats and rewards along

Teaching a dog to walk without pulling requires plenty of rewards. Use highly desirable treats that your dog doesn’t get at other times. Soft treats are best so your dog can eat them quickly and continue training, that you can just give one at a time.  And, make sure to praise verbally as well with positive affirmations – “Good Boy” – for doing the right thing.

As always, the more you practice these exercises with your dog, the more your pup will get used to this behavior and walk without pulling.  Keep consistent, give your dog a lot of praise and in no time, your dog will be walking correctly on his or her leash.

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