3 Simple Tips For Teaching Your Dog NOT To Pull On The Leash

  • Pin It

  • Pin It

 leash etiquette, leash reactivity, Leash Training

So many dogs these days do not have any leash manners. They pull while on the leash, choking themselves, making the walk miserable!

But, there are a few simple tips you can use to teach your dog to NOT pull on the leash so you both will be able to enjoy the walks.

Here Are My Top 3 Tips to Teach Your Dog to NOT Pull on the Leash:

1. Teach Your Dog How Long His Leash Is!

First off, this means DON’T USE RETRACTABLE LEASHES!! Retractable leashes are unfair because the dog doesn’t know if the leash is 3 ft, 10 ft, or 25 ft.

A dog needs to know how long his leash is to learn not to pull.

So, find a leash that is about 6 ft and stick with it for training.

I often “let my dogs be dogs” by allowing them to have the length of the leash to wander while we are walking. However, my #1 rule is that you don’t pull me, EVER!!!!

And, to achieve this, I must teach my dogs how far they can go on their leash before they pull (about 5 feet).

So, I put them on a leash, and if they are not paying attention to me, I change my direction.

Yes, the dog hits the end of the leash.

But, in my opinion, the dog is “correcting” himself, and I am teaching him how much room he has on his leash before this happens.

This also teaches the dog to pay attention to me.

Yes, you can sniff and wander and have a good time and still have an idea of where I am and what I am doing.

Whenever my dog appears not to be paying attention, I change my direction and make a 180-degree turn.

This helps the dog learn how long his leash is, and teaches him to pay attention to me.

2. Reward Attention

Very few people ever recognize when their dog looks at them.

Even fewer people reward it!

 leash etiquette, leash reactivity, Leash TrainingThis is one of the biggest mistakes people make!

Your dog should be praised for looking at you, and paying attention to you.

Paying attention to me is NEVER wrong!

I want my dog staring up at me or looking back at me; always checking in with me.

If your dog is paying attention to you, he probably isn’t pulling on the leash.

When I teach puppy classes, 100% of those puppies will look up at their owner, on their own (even when they haven’t been taught eye contact).

It is a given.

It is something I wait for during class, so I can point it out and have them reward it.

However, if you don’t recognize it and reward it, the behavior will disappear and turn into pulling and paying attention to everything else.

3. Stimulate His Mind

Dogs often pull because they are bored!

He doesn’t have really anything else to do, or anything else to think about, so he pulls you from one thing to another.

Give him something else to do! Stimulate his mind!!

I rarely walk with a total purpose of getting somewhere fast.

When I am walking with my dog, I am walking AND training.

I change my direction.

I change my pace.

I have my dog sit.

I have my dog “down.”

I ask him to find heel.

I bring his tug and play with him when he does something right.

I ask for eye contact.

I ask my dog to do push-ups (sit and down in succession).

I make circles to the right and circles to the left.

I want my dog’s mind stimulated.

I want my dog to pay attention to me.

And, I recognize that just walking at a slow pace is not stimulating for my dog, and, without me providing him with stimulation, he is more likely to pull!

Follow these three tips, and your walks will significantly improve!

WC ad 1

There are 5 Comments

  1. Wendy Stevens says:

    Thank you I will certainly do this from now🐶


  2. Susan says:

    I am going to try this! I have a 10 mos American Bully pup and she loves pulling!! Needless to say I hate it. Looking forward to trying it as it warms up! Thank you!!


  3. Susan says:

    Those are really great ideas, I do a few of them already and plan to add the rest in. Thank you! One question – I have 2 GSD’s, they tend to want to flank me when we walk and I keep their leash in my left hand so my right hand is still free, but do I need to train them to both walk on the left or is flanking ok?


    Minette Reply:


    I like my dogs on one side so my other side is free


  4. Sarah says:

    I’ve got a working line 12 month old German shepherd that pulls on her flat collar. Hoping to do ipo with her.
    Might start training her on walks.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *