People often think that dog pulling on leash is normal behavior, but it’s actually a very bad habit that can lead to serious physical problems down the road. To help you stop your dog from pulling on leash, we’ve created this comprehensive guide based on our many years of experience working with dogs and training their owners and trainers. Our advice may seem simple at first, but you’ll soon find out how powerful and effective it can be in shaping your dog’s behavior.

Learn About Why Dogs Pull

dog pulling on leash

Learning why your dog pulls is a great place to start in order to keep him from doing so. If he’s more interested in sniffing things than getting where he wants to go, you might try giving him a reward for walking properly, such as giving him a treat every time he stays by your side for two paces. However, if he’s pulling because he simply doesn’t want to walk any further, try encouraging him with positive reinforcement.

Change Your Walking Route

Changing your walking route can make it less likely for your dog to pull you toward other dogs, bikes, or whatever else may be along his usual path. Plus, if you change routes regularly, even if they’re all within close proximity. Your pup will never know what’s coming and won’t get excited as easily when he sees another pooch or person. We recommend always changing up walking routes so that your pup isn’t overly familiar with any single route.

Use Harness

dog pulling on leash

A harness will take some of the strain off your dog’s neck and redirect it around their body. This can help your pup learn not to pull, as they may start to realize that pulling makes it hard for them to breathe. Harnesses are especially useful for larger dogs, who may find it hard not to pull if they need a little extra control. Ideally, you should only use a harness for training purposes, and switch back to a collar when you want your dog walking more freely.

Resist the Pulling

If your dog pulls, you should resist it. Every time you allow your dog to pull, he will learn that pulling gets him where he wants to go. When your dog pulls, stop and stand still until he relaxes. Most dogs will take a few steps back if they find themselves off-balance. Take advantage of these steps by gently pulling in another direction while saying No or Come in a stern voice.

Don’t Pull Back

dog pulling on leash

When dogs pull on leash, it’s tempting to give them a little extra tug to correct their behavior and remind them who’s in charge. But that’s actually counterproductive: In addition to creating an unbalanced walk, your dog could misinterpret these tugs as reward for pulling and start doing it more. The best way to stop your dog from pulling is simple: stop pulling back.

Reward Good Behavior

dog pulling on leash

The best way to make sure your dog doesn’t pull on leash is to reward good behavior, every time. Make sure you always reinforce your dog’s calm, easy demeanor at every step of your walk with lots of treats and praise. This will teach your pup that being walked calmly leads to something good like a tasty treat or that quick belly rub he loves so much. And eventually, it won’t be rewarding for him to pull because he won’t receive his favorite treats!

FAQs

Q1. Can you hurt your dog by pulling on the leash?

Dog owners should know that pulling on their dog’s leash can hurt them. If they pull too hard while walking, it could cause injury or discomfort to their pets. It is best for dog owners to take it easy when they are out with their dogs. This will help avoid being pulled down and falling, as well as avoiding injuries caused by pulling too hard on a leash.

Q2. What will stop my dog pulling?

My first suggestion is that you shouldn’t tolerate it. Dogs are supposed to walk beside their owners, not pull ahead of them. Training your dog in how to walk properly is going to save you from a lot of frustration.

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