Five Quick Tips to Stop Your Dog From Pulling on Leash

leash pulling
Five Quick Tips to Stop Your Dog From Pulling on Leash
Expert advice on leash pulling


Ask Inger Martens

Q:My Rottie, Hayley, pulls and pulls and pulls on walks. How can I put an end to this supremely irritating behaviour? Please help make walk-time fun again! —Long-arm Lass from Laredo

A:This is a really common problem and VERY annoying habit for many dog owners. Often owners feel like they’re water skiing on the end of the leash! Well, making your daily walks fun again is easier than you think, and it starts with you. Whether you own a Rottie like Hayley or a wild Weimaraner, you can begin to solve this problem by recognizing your use of trigger words or phrases, like “Do you wanna go on a walk?” This dog owner habit usually begins during puppyhood and tends to create chaos and craziness before walks.

The trick is to put your dog’s leash on silently, using NO trigger words. Then, instead of going on a walk, guide your dog around the house on leash for a few minutes. Pay some bills or read a magazine and as you do these daily activities, redirect your dog to sit, while on leash. This exercise will break up the pre-walk pattern of excitement that is associated with a leash. Another tip is to teach your dog to go potty on command. This will alleviate the frantic need to pull and sniff on walks. For real ball-o-holics, you can use a game of turbo fetch to your advantage prior to a walk. This will help get your dog’s ya-ya’s out in order to make walks more pleasant.

Lastly, walk your dog like you drive your car. As the driver, you are the one in control! Since dogs are pack animals, they love playing follow the leader. Therefore, if your dog pulls, you should keep the leash loose, pivot in the opposite direction and with a happy voice say, “let’s go” or “heel.” Stop occasionally and gently lift up on the leash as you say, “sit;” this breaks up the pattern of being pulled. Doing so also creates eye contact and makes it fun. Enjoy!

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Comments (19)

When a dog pulls and tugs at their leash on walks, it's miserable. We use head harnesses on our dogs and that helps, but some of our dogs refuse to wear them and paw at their nose. That's why my son and I invented LeashPals, the first dog toy tether that helps anxious, excitable or just silly dogs walk nicely. It's simple. A dog can't bite and tug on the leash with a toy in its mouth. So when you're walking, teach your to walk holding a plush toy in its mouth. The dog looks adorable, it keeps their mouth busy and absorbs stress. Our LeashPals tether attaches to the toy and to the dog's leash, keeping the toy available for the dog when needed and off the dirty ground when he drops the toy. We haven't started full scale production yet, but we have a limited supply of prototypes available if you're interested. You can check out our video at Good luck!
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Wed, 02/20/2019 - 02:02
I too had this prob to the point of tears!! Guilt because I couldn't walk her etc...used all pet store items also no avail..only when we moved downtown and I had noooo choice did I learn on the fly how to do it and in turn got to know my dog on a whole other level..the first two suggestions I do...the last one no!... She's a bulldog..first thing that worked for me and her force was keeping her close to me..not much lead! This enabled Mr control without dislocation of my shoulder Lol...when this was down pat without change she trusted it..then I could give lee- way at certain times when peeing,sniffing fav spot etc..but mostly she and I are on a non changeable routine and walk at least 3 times a day!! Now for the outdoor concerts training!! :) stay tuned!! Cheers
Mon, 07/21/2014 - 20:24
NEVER let a pulling dog have too much lead, and do NOT let it go where it wants, why this author states anything so stupid is beyond me! The dog should be given very little lead and be kept at your side as YOU are the pack leader, agreed kelly!
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