How to stop your dog from pulling on the leash?

If you own a dog you know how frustrating it can be when they are constantly pulling when going out for a walk. This behavior is not just uncomfortable for you, it can also be dangerous for your dog. Dogs can become tangled in the leash or accidentally pull too hard and injure themselves.

Here are a few tips on how to stop or minimize this behavior:

  1. Always start with positive reinforcement. Use tasty treats and praise your dog when they are walking on a loose leash. Make a few steps, then give a treat and praise your dog. As you advance, expect more from the dog. Reward after five steps, after ten, after twenty, etc. Positive reinforcement training is the best way to explain and teach your dog what you want.
  2. Training instead of a meal. When teaching your dog new commands, or correcting a behavior, don’t do it immediately after your dog eats. Rewards can be used instead of a meal, and they need to be tasty. Rewarding your dog is like getting paid for work well done. If the salary is not so good (or it is late), motivation for doing work will not be so good. This does not mean that you should starve your dog! Instead of dinner, or breakfast, feed your dog during training.
  3. Avoid punishments when the dog pulls. Instead of yelling, or yanking on the leash, try to stop and don’t move until the leash gets loose. This way you will explain to your dog that pulling doesn’t solve anything, and he can’t win the game that way. When the pressure from your dog stop, keep walking again.
  4. Start in a controlled environment. Exposing your dog to new smells, a new dog park and in general, a new environment will make them pull harder. The reason is simple, they want to explore new territory. Instead, start training at home where fewer things draw their attention. If you want to learn math, you wouldn’t like to do it in a busy and noisy restaurant, right?
  5. Use appropriate gear. Instead of a harness, try with a collar. A harness can make pulling easier, and when teaching your dog not to pull, that can be counterproductive. If you are using a harness, try a harness with a front clip (front ring). It can help control your dog easier.
  6. Give your dog a break! 😊 A training should be short and interesting. Don’t push it too much, because your dog will get bored. Even 10 minutes can be too long for a dog that is just starting with training.

Remember, training your dog to walk on a leash without pulling takes time and patience. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a while. With consistent training and positive reinforcement you will have success, and both of you will enjoy the process.

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