How to Stop Dog From Pulling on Leash

Man talking to labrador dog with leash in hand

Dogs love going for a walk, and they get overly excited immediately after they see the leash. However, some dogs can be so annoying, and their excitement gets overboard as they start pulling the leash. Taking a walk with your dog should be a fun activity and not a tug of war.

The moment they start pulling the leash do not follow them as this may be interpreted that it is okay to pull. Dogs have the notion that if they pull they will get to where they are going faster. The excitement to get to what they see in front of them is what leads to pulling leashes.

Some people believe that leash pulling is because your puppy wants to be on top of the pack by taking the lead. On the contrary, dogs do leash pulling because they love going outdoors and taking a walk is a stimulating activity for them. Once your pet gets out the door, their desire to pull the leash is very high.

A dogs’ comfortable walking pace does not match with what is comfortable for you. They tend to walk very fast and having to take a slower walk beside their owner can be very challenging. Canines love to run and get to their destination as fast as they can to enjoy the surroundings. This requires impulse control which is very hard for some pets.

All dogs should learn how to walk on a leash without pulling. This is important for being able to enjoy these times out walking. Keep reading to find out how to stop a dog from pulling on  leash.

Make the Dog Less Energetic Before Taking a Walk

Dogs are very energetic, and they need to utilize that energy in one way or another. Taking only short walks will not be as beneficial for your pup and they may get too excited and start pulling aggressively. Therefore, before taking a walk, it is very helpful to play with them or have some planned exercise sessions to make the dog feel less energy. If your pet less energized prior to taking a walk they will tend to not pull on the leash as much.

So the next time you are taking your pet out for a walk, start by taking them out to the garden and keep him or her busy to for a while to calm them down.

Use Rewards Every Time Your Dog Does Not Pull the Leash

Make sure you have enough dog snacks in your treat bag while you are teaching your dog not to pull the leash. Ask your them to stay still as you put on the leash. Hold some treats on your hand as you start walking and they will be more interested in the reward and help avoid leash pulling. Continue walking around and praise your pup for not pulling. Give them a treat after every successful attempt.

When starting to leash train your dog, start in a quiet environment without as many distractions. Next, you can start training them in the park. Always maintain the praise and rewards as you train them. Your pet will not pull on the leash if he or she knows that by staying close to you, they are going to benefit by getting a treat.

How to Leash Train Your Pet

You can gain the control of your dog by allowing them to move forward only when the leash is loose. Every time they are pulling on their leash, stop walking or change the direction to show them what you would rather them do. When you are using this stop technique, praise the dog when they began to stop pulling. Be consistent in your training and changing the position of the leash is one of the best approaches for training.

Start your walk normally and if immediately your pup starts pulling the leash, turn the other way. The leash will get a quick tug after which you should release it and continue walking in the other direction.

Keep doing the same thing when immediately your dog still starts pulling the leash, and then move in the opposite direction. Your pet may look at you to see why the sudden change of direction but make sure you are not looking at him or her if they do this. Focus on the new direction and after some time you may notice your dog will keep an eye on you instead of focusing on what is making them pull the leash.

Another strategy that works is changing the direction so that your dog will be walking behind you. As they get close to you, make them focus on you by giving a treat. Do many random changes of direction until your dog stops focusing on what is making it pull on the leash and maintain a focus on you.  The American Kennel Club answered a question about your dog taking you for a walk intead of the other wat around

Use Anti-pull Dog Gadgets

Lady walking two dogs on leash

If you have a very strong dog, you may consider using a head collar to reduce the possibility of you being pulled over. Head collars are worn on the dog’s face, and their point of contact is under the chin thus giving you more control as you teach your dog loose leash walking.

Some dogs hate wearing a head collar if you introduce it in an improper or unkind manner. Initially, your dog may try removing the head collar by rubbing his face on the ground. Make sure that you choose the best collar for controlling their pulling.

You should also get the best leash for dogs that pull. There are many anti-pull leashes on the market. For example, the no pull harness leashes. When buying a harness leash make sure it is the best harness to stop pulling by comparing products like the KTYX pet leash or ThunderLeash

Remember that whatever method of stopping your dog from leash pulling that you choose, it should not inflict pain on your dog. Besides, it takes more than just having anti-pull gadgets to change your dog’s leash pulling behavior. Repetition can be boring, but it is rewarding.

Finally, be patient and optimistic. If you are in a hurry, you will get frustrated. Be consistent and apply the right techniques, and you can be sure your pup will start to comfortably take a walk without pulling its leash. Please take a moment and leave a commient below If these tips have helped or if you have another method that worked for you.



Founder of LoveEachPet.com




  1. Wonderful article Stephen. It is well-written and informed. I love the addition of the Koehler Method – even if you don’t call it that in the article. That’s the changing of direction when the dog starts to pull.
    I would also suggest the use of a slip collar (or choke chain), but to use it carefully and let the canine pull themselves into an uncomfortable position so they know what NOT to do. Once they release the tension on the collar, reinforce the positive feeling with a treat. Again, super writing.

    • I started thing about writing about the Koehler Method but decided that it might have to an article in itself. Hopefully, I’ll write that one soon. Thanks for checking out the article and I glad you found useful information within it.

  2. Hi Stephen
    This is a really great article and so informative
    Pulling dogs can be tough however if people are reading they will get the help they need:)

    • I agree that pulling dogs can be a real pain at times. Hopefully, you found some information here that will help you with your dog

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