how to walk a dog that pulls

How To Walk A Dog That Pulls

A dog that constantly pulls on their leash and ignores simple commands can make going for a walk feel like a full-time job. Dogs that pull on their leash can be frustrating, but they can also be dangerous; if they slip away from your grip, they can put themselves, you, or those around you in danger. Fortunately, there are a few simple tricks that can help you train your dog to respect the leash.

  • Try the “follow me” method. To introduce your dog to the idea of sticking by your side while they’re on the leash, try walking backwards and beckoning your dog towards you. This inviting movement is more likely to appeal to your dog, so when they start to come towards you, reward them with positive vocal cues and treats.

  • Be consistent. Decide which side of your body you’re going to have your dog walk on, left or right. This will be the side you reward your dog on and ultimately become the side of your body your dog gravitates towards.

  • Stop moving. When your dog pulls on their leash, make it a point to stop moving. When your dog stops with you, reward them with a treat to reaffirm their behavior.

  • Establish voice commands. Instead of having your dog lead the walk and determine when they’re going to sniff or relieve themselves, take control of the situation. Use a vocal command like “go sniff!” to signify that your dog can wander away from your side. If they start to pull on the leash while they’re given some slack, bring them back with the vocal command “let’s go” to signify that it’s time to return to your side.

  • Reward frequently. As with any command, rewarding your dog after they do what you want is a good way to establish positive behavior. After a while, your dog will start walking by your side out of habit and thus, stop pulling on their leash. Consistent and frequent rewards will help your dog understand “good” leash behavior.  

  • Make time to practice. To have your dog get accustomed to their leash, it’s important to practice in your yard as often as possible. This will give your dog a chance to adjust to the commands you give them while they’re on the leash.

  • Invest in assistance. If you’re still having trouble with positive leash behavior, a front-attachment harness can help you keep control of your dog, especially if they’re a bigger breed. They’re one of the safest, most effective ways to train your dog not to pull.

Build a happy, healthy relationship with your pup with help from StayDog! We offer fun and effective behavioral training sessions and can help you leash train your dog.