How to train a dog to stop pulling on the leash.


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How to leash train a dog that pulls-Loose Leash Walking

Walking nicely on a leash is the dream of every dog owner.

However untrained dogs are likely to try and pull you in any direction they choose.

An untrained dog can keep pulling till his senior years.

Dogs are usually curious, excitable creatures and when dealing with large or medium size they can be very powerful.

Some breeds like golden retriever are also well known as strong leash pullers.

Hopefully there is hope.

And the solution is consistence training.

If your dog pulls like crazy then keep reading.

Why Does My Dog Pull Me When I Go For a Walk ?

Dogs are pack creatures like wolfs are. They have a hierarchy in their pack. The fact that your dog is pulling it is believed that it is an attempt to be a leader of his pack.


If your canine is well behaved and obedience at your home that means he is not the alpha dog and he will not pull as soon as you go out of the house.

So Much to Sniff, So Little Time!

Dogs get so excited when they are about to go for a walk with their owners.

The truth is that they want to explore anything out there with their noses.

And of course they will leave their own mark whenever they find a chance.

That means many pee stops.

Destructions Is A Problem

Even a well-trained dog cannot obey in a single basic command when it comes to walking.

He is caught up in smelling, exploring and peeing which makes him ‘forget’ any obedience training command.

Accidental Rewards

Your dog pulls and you have no control. He is getting where he wants to go. So he will keep pulling since there is no-one to stop him.

Even when you unleash your dog either because your hands are in pain or you might be afraid that he is hurt then this is the best reward for him.

Your dog learns that pulling pays off and he can go whenever directions he wants to go.

How to train a dog to stop pulling on the leash. image 1

Training Tips To Stop Your Dog From Pulling

Training your dog not to pull might take long time.

Definitely it won’t happen from one day to another.

The key?


First Things Fist-Putting On the Leash

Start with putting on the leash. You may have noticed that your dog associates the leash with the walk.

And that makes him excited and obedience…untill you start walking…

If this is sounds like your dog then keep reading

First thing you do is wait until he is calm. Otherwise don’t except to have a nice walk.

You stay still and do nothing. Attach the leash only when he is totally calm.

As soon as he is still either sitting or standing, attempt to attach the leash. Repeat as many times as needed until he is calm.

Your dog should learn that he is not going for a walk before he is totally calm.

Small Training Sessions

In order to keep your patience and not give up from the beginning of this training, keep training sessions short.

Keeping training sessions short is good for both of you. Your dog will not listen to you if the sessions are long because he is losing his focus.

Another tip is to choose the same route every day.

Your dog will be probably less stimulated if the surroundings are familiar.

Burn Some Energy

Many dog breeds such as Golden Retrievers and Labradors have a big amount of energy stored and un-fortunately small distances will not satisfy them.

That’s why they might pull more to burn off that extra energy.

Play with your dog in the yard before you start walking in order to make him tried.

He will be less interested on pulling the leash during the walking trips.

Keep Up his rhythm

If your dog is a large breed like a Golden Retriever or Grate Dane, then he can pull you without much effort.

And as a result he will pull more.

What you can do is walk faster trying to keep up with him.

Your canine will be more interested staying next to you.

Nice Walking- Nice Treat

Of course all dog owners know that dogs love nice and tasty treats.

When your dog walks next to you or he walks like you want him to, then praise and offer a small treat. Smaller treats can be eaten fast during the walk.

By doing this you are reinforcing a good behavior.

Learn How To Walk On a Loose Leash

You have finished the first stage of the training.

The next step is to teach your dog to walk on a loose leash.

How to train a dog to stop pulling on the leash. image 2


This training step is straight forward. Whenever your dog pulls then you stop moving.

Next step is to call him to come to you and have him sit next to you.

Give a praise and reward with a treat.

Then start to walk again and when he walks nicely continue rewarding him with more treats.

Stop when he pulls again.

Repeat until your dog understands that pulling does not getting him anywhere.

Very soon your dog will realize that he get treats when he is walking nicely next to you.

During training naturally your dog wants to sniff. As soon as he is going for a specific object stop and call him to come and give him the sit command.

This time don’t reward the dog just walk with him towards the object and let him sniff.

The object is the reward.

Magic Treats

There is an alternative was to teach your dog to walk on loose leash.

Take with you lot of treat. If you have a treat bag which can be attached on your belt then use it.

Grab some treats in your hand and keep your hand closed in front of your dog’s nose. Let him sniff the treats.

Every some seconds give a treat. Naturally he will follow your hand.


If he starts to pull, stop walking.

As aforementioned call your dog to come and ask him to sit.

When sited praise and continue to walk by holding the treats in front of him.

When you see some improvement then try the same exercise with offering less treats until your dog can walk without reward.

Normally the dog will stop pulling. Each dog can have a different progressive time.

Turn back method

This method can be related to negative reinforcement.

However, this ‘punishment’ is small and most importantly is not severe.

Attention! Don’t use this training technique if your dog is wearing head halter or slip lead.

Whenever he is reaching the end of the leash make a warning cue or say a command like ‘hey’ or ‘wait’.

If the cue or command is successful, then praise and treat.

Otherwise, turn around and walk on the opposite direction.

Use your hand and tug slightly your dog’s collar or harness.

When the dog catches up reward by praise and treat.

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The result should be that your dog understands that pulling the leash leads to another direction and at the same time he feels an unpleasant sensation.

Use this method only if the positive reinforcement training is not effective and try something else in case your dog shows any signs of fear or pain , yelping e.t.c.

Tug The Collar


This method also uses kind of negative reinforcement.

As aforementioned don’t use this method in case your dog is wearing a slip lead or head halter. And lastly use only if positive reinforcement does not work for your dog.

Like previously when the dog is getting closer to the end of the leash tug quickly toward you, but not pull. The force you are using depends mostly on the dog’s size.

The dog will feel unpleasant and hopefully should correct your dog’s behavior in a short period of time.


Tugging hard can cause injuries of your dog’s neck. Especially with smaller breed be extra careful.

Choose the Right Collar

There are many kind of collars to choose from. By making the best choice can contribute positively as you teach your dog to walk nicely.

Classic Collar

Most of the dog owners choose this kind of collar since you can left it on your dog all the time.

It’s a good choice and its also comfortable for you canine.

Harnesses choice

If you have difficult time walking your dog with a collar then harness could be a better choice for you.

Choosing a Head haltes and no pull harnesses can be very helpful during the training period..

You have more control on the dog plus the dog is discouraged from pulling.

It is better to use a non pull harness when you are not in training with your dog. Like going to the dog park.

If you want your dog to walk with a loose leash next to you then use a normal collar during training sessions.

Leash choice

Chose wisely.

Not based on color but on quality. Big breeds can snap the leash and run away.

Chose a sturdy one around 5-6 inches long so that your dog have enough length to move freely and at the same short enough so that you can reach him for treats and praises.

Some things you should Avoid

Negative reinforcement can be effective only if is used carefully and in a infrequent manner.

Using choke and prong collars can hurt your dog since it is hard to control the amount of force delivered to the neck.

So please avoid them.

Last Thoughts

Loose leash training takes time. Repetition is the key.

However you can train your dog and have fun at the same time.




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