How To Stop A Puppy From Pulling On The Leash

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Pulling on His Leash

Leash-pulling is one of the most common complaints among dog owners. We all fantasize about the day when our dog can walk alongside us without yanking, leash wrapping around strangers’ legs, or tug-of-war tussle on the sidewalk. As irritating as this behavior may be, keep in mind that for a dog, walks are typically the most exciting time of the day. They’re naturally curious about new smells and people, but it can be difficult to keep that curiosity in check. So check it out to learn how to get your dog to stop pulling on the leash!

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1. Use positive reinforcement techniques.

When it comes to training your dog, almost all veterinarians agree that positive reinforcement training yields the best results. Positive reinforcement means rewarding good behavior (like your dog walking calmly next to you) instead of punishing bad behavior (like pulling on the leash).

When your dog behaves well on walks, praise her and reward her with a treat right away. That way, she’ll associate calm walking with pleasant rewards.

2. Refrain from pulling back.

Responding to leash-pulling by pulling or yanking your dog back towards you is the biggest mistake you can make. This teaches your dog to pull harder because of something called the oppositional reflex.

The body’s natural reaction to being pulled in one direction is to lean or pull in the opposite direction in order to maintain balance. As a result, when the owner pulls on the leash, the dog pulls harder in the opposite direction to keep her balance. And that is definitely not what you want.

3. Do not move.

Stop and stand still when your dog starts pulling. Stand still and tighten the leash, rather than pulling back on the lead.

Your dog should eventually return your gaze. Proceed on your walk after praising and rewarding her with a treat. Rep the procedure if she starts pulling again. This walk will not take you very far, but consider it a training session rather than an exercise walk.

You can break it down even more if your dog doesn’t look back at you or stops pulling; praise when the leash slackens even a little. Make a small noise to get her attention if she’s still distracted. Your dog should eventually realize what’s going on.

4. Be inventive and have fun!

By being unpredictable, you’ll give your dog a reason to pay more attention to your movements. Stop and change directions, then reward your dog when she turns around to catch up.

You can make it fun for your dog to follow you by using a super-excited voice, lots of praise, and making it fun for her to follow you.

5. Be patient and consistent.

When it comes to getting rid of leash pulling, consistency is crucial. To truly embed the new habit, only allow your dog to walk when the leash is slack.

It may take a long time for your dog to be able to walk calmly for long distances; some people say it takes up to a week to successfully walk half a block. So be patient, and if some areas are too distracting for your dog, avoid them until she’s gained some loose-leash walking experience.

When it comes to getting rid of leash pulling, consistency is crucial. To truly embed the new habit, only allow your dog to walk when the leash is slack.

6. Allow your dog to be a dog for a short period of time.

Dogs require time and space to do all of the “dog things” they want to do on a walk, such as sniffing and eliminating. You can exert control over this by deciding on a specific time.

Give your dog a signal, tell her to “go sniff,” and let her be a dog for a few minutes. “Let’s go,” signal her once more when she needs to start paying attention and walking alongside you.

She should be a little calmer and better able to walk alongside you now that she’s gotten some doggie urges out of her system.

7. Consult with a dog trainer.

Some dogs have a harder time training good walking manners than others, so if you’re still having trouble after weeks of self-teaching, consider getting a dog trainer. Based on their years of experience with various dogs, they’ll be able to make walks more enjoyable for both you and your dog.

Are there any leash-pulling collars available?

Yes! There are several collars and harnesses designed specifically to help with leash pulling.

Head halters are collars that fit around your dog’s nose and attach to the leash underneath the chin (a popular type is the “gentle leader” halter). Your dog’s head is turned back to you when she pulls, discouraging her from pulling.

Harnesses with a chest or front attachment can also be useful. They’re harnesses that attach to the leash at the chest rather than the dog’s back, so when the dog starts pulling, it automatically turns back to face you.

Keep in mind that while these tools can aid in the prevention of leash pulling, they are not a replacement for proper training. It’s also important that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that they’re used correctly, as incorrect use can be dangerous to your dog.

We recommend using a harness if your dog yanks very hard, as leashes attached to neck collars may increase the risk of neck injury. When your dog pulls, keep an eye out for coughing or choking, as these are signs that they may injure themselves.

Finally, we strongly advise against using a choke chain, prong collar, or electronic collar. They cause your dog’s pain and distress, and they’re ineffective at teaching new behaviors.

Leash-pulling is a difficult behavior to break, but most dogs can learn to walk calmly by your side with patience and consistency.