How to Teach Your Dog to Not Pull on the Leash

Most dogs do not walk quietly by nature but must be trained to do so. You have to understand also that when a dog is excited about an exciting activity like going outside, it is normal for him to want to run, so you should not take it as a bad behavior but patiently teach him that you want something else from him.

Training a dog not to pull on the leash during a walk is essential to enjoying walks with him. Many dog owners have difficulties understanding why dogs pull on the leash. In this article, a dog trainer explains how to teach this exercise to your dog. This way, you can enjoy pleasant walks together.

Training your dog not to pull on the leash

Tips before going out in the street

Before going out, it is convenient to play actively with him inside the house for a long time, so when it is time to go out, he is a little more tired and less anxious. It is great to throw him a ball or a toy and make him run to catch it several times.

Then it's time to put him on a leash; if your dog starts jumping and barking, stay still and quiet until he has calmed down. It is important that he understands that he must be still so that when he goes out his mind will be more relaxed. Repeat this as many times as necessary before hooking the leash and opening the door.

Once we go out in the street...

Once in the street, there are different methods to control the dog, depending on its size and behavior. The ideal is to teach him with treats. Take some treats with you to give him every 3 or 4 steps while he walks by your side. They have to be small, soft, and easy to swallow. This way, you will get the dog to pay attention only to you instead of looking around.

Don't forget to congratulate him and give him a cuddle. After repeating the lesson successfully for several days, you start to space out the treats and replace them with words and petting until he gets used to walking along with you.

Another form of training for dogs that have already learned basic commands is to start walking and every time the dog walks ahead and starts pulling on the leash, you stop abruptly and make him sit. Once he is calm, you start walking again and repeat if he goes forward again.

If the walk goes more or less well, instead of sitting him when he pulls, you can give him a sharp but brief tug (something that doesn't hurt him) on the leash and tell him NO. When he comes back to your side, you congratulate him and continue. With this, the dog learns that every time he pulls, you force him to stop in some way, and it takes longer to get where he wants to go. Remember that it is much more effective to give short tugs than to pull constantly, because the dog gets used to walking this way and pulls harder.

It is important that you walk at a good pace because if you go too slowly in this learning stage, it will be very difficult for the dog to slow down to follow you.

What I need to teach my dog not to pull on the leash

First of all, the leash must be resistant, according to your dog's strength, and no longer than 2 meters. When he has learned, you can use a longer or extendable one, but you will not be able to have good control of your pet during training if you use one of these models.

You should also carry a supply of treats; a practical but not essential accessory is a bag to keep them that hangs around your waist.

The collar can be a simple nylon collar with a buckle. To have a better handle on the animal, the collar should be high, just behind the nape of the neck, but it does not need to be too tight, so your dog will walk comfortably. For "untamed" dogs or impatient people, there is the Easy Walk front fastening handling harness, which is designed to prevent dogs from pulling. This system works very well, but you will still want to educate your dog to make sure you can control him with a regular collar as well.

There are 5 other steps to keep your dog off leash for the entire walk:

  • Make changes in direction without warning the dog.
  • Work in a straight line and with changes of pace.
  • Make sure the dog doesn't pull on the leash on the way home.
  • Ask the dog not to pull throughout the walk.
  • Working with distractions
  • Eliminate treats

Take this information as a basis and adapt it to your dog's tastes and personality. The goal is for both of you to enjoy the walk without you making a big effort and without him coming back scared because you have scolded him so much. Avoid getting angry during the lessons because it will be very difficult for you to teach him anything in that state.

Start the training! Send us your comments if you need to tell us how it went.

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