Top training tips on how to stop a dog from pulling
Learning how to stop a dog from pulling on the leash is a dog training issue many owners have a problem with. Many just give up and accept that ‘the dog’s a puller’. I’m sure you’ve noticed these poor souls being dragged around your neighborhood by their out-of-control dogs. Fortunately, you don’t have to be one of them, because learning how to stop a dog from pulling is actually quite simple.
Why Dogs Pull
It helps to understand why dogs pull. Here are a number of possible reasons;
- Nature: Most dogs don’t like being held back or confined so when you pull them back, their instinct is to pull in the opposite direction. This is why pulling on your dog’s leash just makes him pull even harder.
- Curiosity: The dog sees or smells something that interests him. He wants to check it out, so naturally, he’ll pull in that direction.
- Dominance: A dog who pulls constantly may see himself as the pack leader. He sets off, at pace, and expects you to follow. If he spots another dog or a cat, prepare yourself for a wild ride.
- Born to run: Your dog probably has a lot more energy than you, so while you may set off at a nice steady walking pace, he can’t understand what the hold up is.
- Reward: Do you shout at your dog when he pulls on the leash? If so, you are rewarding him for this behavior. You may think you are reprimanding him, but to him, you are getting involved in the excitement of the moment.
- Excitement: The thrill of outdoors just getting the better of him.
How to stop a dog from pulling on the leash
Now that you know why dogs pull, here’s a simple method to stop a dog from pulling.
- Put your dog in the sit position. Stand to the right of him and clip the lead to his collar.
- Start to walk forward. As soon as the dog starts pulling, stop walking.
- Your dog may continue to pull or may look back at you with a ‘what’s the problem’ expression.
- Wait until there is slack on the leash then praise the dog and give him a treat before you start walking again.
- Repeat this every time the dog starts to pull on the leash.
- Pretty soon your dog will realize that a tight lead means his walk gets interrupted, while a loose lead means he gets praise or a treat.
- You should find that the dog now starts walking for a long time without pulling. As he does this, give constant praise and the occasional reward.
- Repeat this exercise in short sessions until the behavior is ingrained.
If you persevere with this exercise for a few days, I guarantee that you will see results.
Be aware that some dogs are harder to train than others. Some dogs are more stubborn than others and some breeds, like Huskies, were bred to pull. But, if you want to know how to stop a dog from pulling, the answer, as with most dog training, is patience, persistence, and consistency.