Dog being walked, crossing the street in the city

Stop your dog from pulling on the leash

By Team Walmart Pets

April 21, 2021

3

min read

When you’re trying to go on a nice stroll, the last thing you need is your dog pulling on the leash, especially when it’s slippery outside! 

Bad leash behavior is one of the most common reasons people seek out professional training for their dogs. And while teaching your best friend good habits is never easy, these five tips might be just what you need to get your dog to stop pulling on their leash.

Try a training collar

Training collars, harnesses and other dog accessories can help keep your dog walking by your side instead of charging ahead. Some of the best dog harnesses clip on the front of the dog’s chest like the Easy Walk Harness or SENSE-ation Harness. And for the strongest of pullers, try other pet accessories such as a Halti or a Gentle Leader headcollar.

Front clip harnesses and headcollars work by turning the dog’s body toward you when they begin to pull, stopping their forward motion. If your dog is constantly charging ahead of you on walks, these can help turn your dog back towards you.

Play the red light/green light game

This one takes a ton of patience, but it works. If your dog steps ahead of you on a walk, simply stop walking (red light). When your dog stops pulling and focuses on you, start walking again (green light). 

It’ll probably take a few times around the block for your dog to get the hint that they need to stay by your side. But if you keep it up, they’ll begin to work with you instead of against you.

Reward good behavior

Reward them with delicious dog treats or praise when your dog makes eye contact during your walks. Encourage them to make eye contact by teaching them the “watch” cue.

With your dog in a sit, hold a treat in front of his nose and then bring it to your eyes. When your dog makes eye contact with you, mark the action with the word “yes” and reward with the treat.

Redirect their attention

Having a dog that barks at other dogs, cars, people or small animals can make walks a real challenge. If your dog is too upset to focus on you, pull them aside and give them some space.

If you happen to see one of your dog’s behavioral triggers developing, go to an open area off your path, and let their distraction safely pass while quietly keeping your dog’s focus.

Find a trainer

If all of this sounds like too much work, a competent certified dog trainer (CPDT) can help identify exactly why your dog is behaving like they are, and provide solutions as well as next steps. You can find one at www.ccpdt.org.

Dogs

Dog Health

Leash

Dog Walking

Photo by Yunming Wang on Unsplash