3 ways to teach a dog not to pull on his leash

3 ways to teach a dog not to pull on his leash
3 ways to teach a dog not to pull on his leash

When you take your dog out, it's up to you to be the leader, not the other way around. If it is a minor inconvenience for the owner, an animal which constantly pulls on its leash can present a risk in terms of safety for itself and for the others. For example, the dog could free himself from his harness and it would then become almost impossible for the handler to prevent him from running towards dangerous areas, such as the road for example. Because of this, it is important for most owners to learn how to keep their companions under control when taking them out on a leash.


Method 1 of 3: Use the "tree method"

Stop a Dog from Pulling on Its Leash Step 1

Step 1. Use an appropriate collar

You need to make sure that your dog's collar is comfortable and that it fits properly. It should not be too tight, at the risk of strangling the dog. However, it should be tight enough that it does not slide down the animal's neck.

  • You should be able to fit your hand between the neck and the collar. This means that it is well placed.
  • Many people choose to use a harness instead of a collar. The harness distributes the pressure on the dog's back rather than its neck. This will allow you to train your companion to walk on a leash without having to shock him in the neck when he pulls on his leash.
Stop a Dog from Pulling on Its Leash Step 2

Step 2. Use a suitable leash

When using this method to teach your canine friend not to pull, do not use a retractor leash. This will defeat the purpose of the exercise. Use a chain or a classic fabric leash.

Stop a Dog from Pulling on Its Leash Step 3

Step 3. Stop and stay still

As soon as your pet pulls on the leash, stop and stay still (basically turn into a tree). No matter how hard he pulls on the leash, don't let him go in any direction he chooses. If he pulls on the leash and you follow him, he will remember that pulling is a very effective way to get where he wants to go.

It may be helpful to attach the leash to your belt buckle using a carabiner. This will prevent your 4-legged friend from moving forward. It will also be much easier to stay still if the dog is pulling on your hips rather than your arm

Stop a Dog from Pulling on Its Leash Step 4

Step 4. Wait for him to respond

Wait for it to move and release the tension on the leash. He can stop shooting by backing up, sitting down, or changing direction. As soon as the leash loosens, you can start walking again.

You can encourage him to release the strain on the leash by calling him towards you

Stop a Dog from Pulling on Its Leash Step 5

Step 5. Repeat for the duration of the walk

This method requires a lot of patience! You're trying to teach your dog that pulling on the leash is not going to get him anywhere. You have to be consistent and you have to stick to the timing.

A variation of this method is to walk in the opposite direction whenever your pooch pulls on the leash

Method 2 of 3: The clicker method

Stop a Dog from Pulling on Its Leash Step 6

Step 1. Try the classic clicker training method

For this method to be effective, you need the dog to respond to the clicker. Whenever he obeys an order, press the clicker and give him a treat.

Be consistent in your use of the clicker so that it associates sound with the distribution of treats

Stop a Dog from Pulling on Its Leash Step 7

Step 2. Guide it

When walking, make sure you are always in front of your dog. This way you will be sure that he will learn to follow you and not the other way around.

Stop a Dog from Pulling on Its Leash Step 8

Step 3. Press the clicker and give it a treat

As the dog approaches you, press the clicker and drop a treat on the floor before he passes you. If the clicker does not immediately respond to the clicker, tell it to stop. If he obeys, press the clicker and drop a treat.

If he doesn't stop when you tell him to, don't give him a treat at all. This way, you will make sure that your companion does not associate negative behavior with treats or the sound of the clicker

Stop a Dog from Pulling on Its Leash Step 9

Step 4. Repeat the operation

Continue to repeat this operation for the duration of the walk. This exercise trains your dog to pay attention to you. In addition, he will learn to stay next to you or behind you when you walk him on a leash.

Method 3 of 3: Use alternative methods

Stop a Dog from Pulling on Its Leash Step 10

Step 1. Buy a halter

The leash attaches to a strap around your dog's muzzle so that when your dog pulls, his head is forced to turn around and face you. By attaching the leash directly to the muzzle, it automatically redirects its attention to you.

Stop a Dog from Pulling on Its Leash Step 11

Step 2. Use an electric shock collar

When training it, try using an electric shock collar or choke collar, but only under the supervision of an expert. This type of collar tightens around the dog's neck if it pulls on the leash, causing shock. Using this type of collar for dog training will help him associate the pulling with the shock it inflicts on him.

  • This type of collar is effective for training a dog, but many experts say it is a dangerous, cruel, or even unnecessary method. It is recommended that you never use a choke collar without the direct supervision of a behaviorist..
  • This type of collar works by using negative reinforcement. Most Dog Training Experts Say Your Dog Will Respond To Positive Reinforcement Better. Keep this in mind if you are thinking about using this type of tool.
  • Use this collar only for education. Never use this collar as a replacement for its classic collar.
  • The use of this type of collar is controversial. Think about the pros and cons of using this type of collar before trying this method.
Stop a Dog from Pulling on Its Leash Step 12

Step 3. Try to use a halti type harness

This type of harness goes under the animal's neck and is fixed around its rib cage. The leash is attached to the strap located under the neck.

  • It works by attaching the leash to the strap that goes in front of the dog's chest, giving you more control over the dog. When he pulls on the leash, he is automatically redirected towards you in a natural and gentle way, which should discourage him from pulling more.
  • Attaching the leash at chest level prevents putting too much pressure on your dog's throat and neck, which is especially important so as not to damage the trachea.
Stop a Dog from Pulling on Its Leash Step 13

Step 4. Fatigue him

Make him run to tire him out before putting the leash on and going for a walk. A tired dog is much easier to manage and will respond more easily to your commands while walking.

Try playing ball in the garden for 10 minutes before going for a walk

Stop a Dog from Pulling on Its Leash Step 14

Step 5. Use positive reinforcement

Happily end the training sessions. Don't end it with a mistake on its part. Success lies in continuing to make progress. Never let the dog end a session on an unhappy note.


  • It is very important to congratulate the dog during all stages of the training.
  • At home, take him for a walk in the garden or around the house to practice. If he pulls on the leash, say "no". When you think he's ready, take him out and show him the world.
  • If you haven't already, teach him to kick off (to follow someone's foot when instructed to do so). This will make it easier for the dog to understand that pulling on the rope causes a shock, but not following your step.


  • Don't overdo it during the education sessions. The first education sessions should not exceed 30 minutes. Don't punish your companion by yelling, hitting, or pulling too hard on the leash. This type of behavior shows that you are not in control and your dog will think that you are not respecting the notion of control. He will then risk pulling even harder.
  • Do not leave a choke collar around your dog's neck unattended. It is easy for an animal to get stuck somewhere or even strangle itself with such a collar.
  • It is better not to use a choke collar or a spike collar if you have not been properly taught how it works (from a dog trainer, behaviorist or veterinarian).

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