How to stop dog from pulling on the leash

Indeed, Walking dogs might be the most enjoyable activity for you and the dog. Nothing more exciting than giving your dog a beautiful walk in the morning and playing together. That is when your dog is not pulling on the leash the entire time. It’s also a lovely time to play.

So here is what I think the best solution for a dog pulling on the leash.

  1. Start with taking walks in random directions. Walking the same route every time is boring for you and your dog as well.
  2. Stop immediately when your dog starts to pull the leash. Step to the left or right and bring some tension on the leash. Your dog will not like the tension on is neck and start to walk to you. Treat him and continue your route until he starts pulling the leash again.
  3. Switch sides left and right. If you stepped to the left the first time your dog started pulling the leash then next time move to the right.
  4. Encourage him when he walks well beside you. Good behavior must be rewarded.

I always recommend starting the dog training at 3-3.5 months old. Otherwise, you will struggle to teach him later because the older he is, the more excited he will be in the street, and the harder he will pull the leash. So, my best advice is to start training sessions as early as 3.5 months old to strengthen your bond.

If you’ve missed our latest article about Dog Training Tips, then go ahead and pay it a quick visit. There, you will find that one of the tips is to combine training with walking and another tip is to make walking fun, etc. If you have noticed the pattern, you will understand that dog walking might be the funniest thing in your lives. However, you can never enjoy walking when you have an 80-pound dog dragging you behind him, and you can barely stop him doing so. That’s why I am here to give you working solutions and, most importantly, pain-free.

The Leash

To have a great walk, you should have a great leash. In this article, I discussed the type of leashes, and I gave recommendations of some leash companies.

However, in this article, I want to give my personal experience of the leashes I use.

The Type Of Leashes I Used During Training

Kira was an excessive puller, so I had to use a 1-meter leather leash (the standard non-retractable leash) to train her to stick me (You can jump to the training section immediately). I don’t recommend using a retractable leash in the training process (or you can use it as a fixed-length leash).

The reason I recommend using fixed-length leashes because you have to teach the dog that he has to walk beside you (not 5 feet away) and that he has to listen to you while you’re walking. If you used a retractable leash, he could understand that he doesn’t have to stick to you. By using a fixed-length rope, you’re not taking your dog’s freedom. Instead, you’re keeping him safe, not running on the street, and you are training him to be your companion on walks.

The Leash I Use Currently

After Kira has reached the age of 1.8 years, I started to use a retractable leash and open the length for her. That’s because she is well trained now that she will come whenever I tell her and that she will never walk away from me without looking back. I started to give her more freedom and let her run free. However, I make sure that whenever I say “HERE,” she will run back to me no matter what’s happening.

So, I recommend having a fixed-length leash at first until the dog becomes comfortable with the concept of being beside you, then you can give him freedom.

Training your dog to walk on the leash

Age

I always recommend starting the dog training at 3-3.5 months old. Otherwise, you will struggle to teach him later because the older he is, the more excited he will be in the street, and the harder he will pull you. So, my best advice is to start as early as 3.5 months old.

Precautions

Make sure that your dog is vaccinated so that he won’t have possible problems when he starts walking.

If your dog is highly energetic, then I recommend playing with him before you go. If you have a backyard, it will be a great place to play with your dog as it will give him free space to run and start playing. After that, you can walk him, and you will find him less energetic, and he won’t pull you hard. Also, make sure that you have a bunch of treats in your pocket to give them to your dog when he is walking correctly.

Training:

To start training your dog, we will follow these steps:

  • Start going randomly: If you take the same path every day, it will be predictable, and your dog will start pulling you in the same way. That’s why I recommend choosing a random path so that your dog doesn’t know where he can go and will wait for you to lead.
  • Stop in your place when he pulls: I know that you have read this in every blog post, and you say it doesn’t work. I will give you a tip to make this method effective.

    What you can do is to stop (never tell him to come back) then move slightly to the right or the left. By creating this angle, you will make it easier for your dog to go back to you (because it will annoy his neck to keep pulling when you are making this angle), and he will start coming back. Once he stops pulling and looks at you, immediately give him a treat and start walking again. He will understand that pullling=The Fun stops.
  • Using a second method: At first, Kira responded to the above process, then she stopped doing so. So, I used the second method, which is moving oppositely.

    The same tip as before. When you try to pull your dog oppositely, always away from him from an angle. This will make it easier for him to come back.

    If you pulled him and he came back to you, then give him a treat and continue walking until he pulls you again, then you can change the direction again.
  • Always encourage good behaviors: If your dog moves well without pulling, then give him a treat every 30 seconds. Then, you can increase the timespan gradually until you can see that your dog is walking well with you.

Please note that you have to leave your dog to sniff everywhere because he is still new to the road. Puppies want to learn what’s beside them, so you have to give them the freedom of sniffing everywhere and understanding every object.

Sometimes, your dog might be walking well but lunges or pulls in specific situations like when he sees another dog or a cat. In these situations, the normal leash-training won’t work, and you need another type of training that we might cover in future articles.

Below is a video from Zak George that can help you significantly training your dog:

Importance of walking your dog

A lot of people think about ignoring their dog’s walks because their dog is pulling or not behaving well on a leash.

70% of the dogs that I met became very well after walking. Walking your dog can eliminate 90% of his behavioral problems, especially if you combined other activities while walking your dog like training or playing fetch games.

conclusion

Training your dog not to pull on the leash is a common problem that faces every owner. Having patience and following the guide step by step will guarantee the best possible effect. Please, stay away from any harmful methods like using a choke collar, this makes your dog afraid of pulling.

Do you know that we have a fantastic article to increase the speed of training your dog? Check it out! Also, let us know what problem you mostly face while walking your dog and we’ll add it to our next article 😉

Author: Soheir MaherHi, I am Soheir. I have always been passionate about dogs. My first dog was Leo who was a wonderful Golden Retriever after that I got Kira another Golden Retriever who is wonderful too. My passion for dogs made me read a lot about them. Training them personally made me become an expert in everything related to them, that's why my writing is always a mix of experience and science. My writing about dogs isn't for the sake of earning a living but instead, for the sake of benefiting people around the world.