Teach Your Dog to Stop Pulling the Leash

Why it’s hard to teach dogs to walk nicely on leash – and how to make it easier.

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA
5-minute read
Episode #15
Teach Your Dog to Stop Pulling the Leash

And a small or frail person walking a large, powerful dog may need some physical leverage. My first choice in such cases is one of the new front-clip harnesses -- two brands are Sense-ation, available online, and EasyWalk. Rarely, I’ll suggest a head collar such as the Halti or Gentle Leader. Many dogs find head collars strongly unpleasant; if you need one, talk to a trainer about how to accustom your pet to wearing it. Otherwise, the best choice is a plain buckle collar. A dog with a thick neck and relatively narrow head can wear a Greyhound collar, also called a martingale.

A tired dog will find it easier to walk at your pace and learn from you. So if you can get your dog some aerobic exercise before each lesson, do it. That bitter laughter you hear comes from all us city people who can’t!

One last suggestion: I’m saddened by how many people pay little or no attention to their dogs while walking them. Walks are a highlight of most dogs’ lives. Walk with your dog. You’ll both enjoy having more to connect you than just the leash.

Stay tuned; in future episodes I'll be covering what to do with dogs who act aggressively on a leash, how to stop your dog from barking and lunging on a leash, as well as some Quick and Dirty Tips on getting your dog to behave off of the leash.

Visit me on Facebook – search on The Dog Trainer – email me at dogtrainer@quickanddirtytips.com, or call 206-600-5661. Your questions and comments may appear in future episodes. That’s all for now – thanks for listening!

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

Jolanta holds professional certifications in both training and behavior counseling and belongs to the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She also volunteered with Pet Help Partners, a program of the Humane Society of the United States that works to prevent pet relinquishment. Her approach is generally behaviorist (Pavlovian, Skinnerian and post-Skinnerian learning theory) with a big helping of ethology (animal behavior as observed in non-experimental settings).

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