If your dog pulls on the leash and you’ve tried everything, check out these 7 easy hacks to stop leash pulling.
Out of control leash pulling can make taking your 20 lb dog for a walk and feel like your wrestling a team of sled dogs across Antarctica.
Plus when your dog is pulling on the leash and choking, it makes you worry. Trust me, I was there.
So how can you stop it? Let’s get started.
Leash Pulling: Embarrassing And Dangerous
Nothing is worse than being embarrassed AND in danger! It’s like a double bonus of humiliation and edge of your seat adrenaline.
That pretty well summed up the walks with our dog.
Our obedience school dropout would dart ahead, dragging me behind like an empty can tied to a newlyweds bumper. Strangers would chuckle and say things like “Who’s walking who?”
Ha ha, very funny.
Not so funny when you’re trying to push a stroller or do anything else other than concentrate on keeping your balance.
It also wasn’t funny because our dog would pull so hard she would gag and choke. You would think common sense would prevent your dog from doing that, but then again this is the same species that chases its own tail.
Something needed to change. I didn’t want our dog to trot dog show style at my side, I just wanted our walks to be safe and manageable.
Oh, and yes, a little less embarrassing.
What Causes Leash Pulling?
I figured I needed to know what causes leash pulling. First stop, the Internet.
There I was deluged with a bunch of theories on training dogs. Most either said the same thing or were too complicated.
Was she exerting dominance? Was it an expression of her disregard for me as pack leader? Or was she just really excited to get outside?
I was at the point where I didn’t really care, I just needed to fix the problem.
I was at the point where I would have even bargained with her: “Look. You can be the pack leader if that’s what you really want. Can you just chill out in exchange?…Oh, and since you’re the new leader, can you go to work this week and I’ll stay home and sleep all day and dig through the bathroom trashcan? Deal?”
I didn’t have time to devote to an entire book or all the other stuff you read online. I just needed answers.
So I dove in and did some serious trial and error. Here are the best solutions I found.
7 Dog Hacks to Stop Leash Pulling
1. Chill out before you go out. Our dog freaks when you even touch the leash.
She starts spinning in circles and doing this funny dance. It’s really funny and we kind of fed into it.
The problem is she immediately takes that energy outside and goes pulling on the leash.
Try to get your dog calm before you open the door. Put the leash on and wait a bit.
2. Practice inside. I know. That sounds dumb. . . but it works!
You can practice trying to get your dog to stay at your side. You can also practice going first through doors.
I know the whole going first is tied to a dominance theory but you don’t need to buy into that for it to be useful. The main thing is you are getting your dog to listen to you on the leash.
3. No Pull Harness. Not up for even trying to teach your dog anything? That’s ok!
We live in the 21st century where there’s a product for everything! No pull harness are great.
And they are a great place to start because you aren’t going to fix the problem overnight. Plus, if your dog is like mine, it can be harmful to them to pull so hard on the leash.
The folks at Kurgo are probably best known, check out their popular harness, the Kurgo Tru-Fit No Pull Dog Harness and Easy Dog Walking Harness, on Amazon. You can also get one from Ruffwear from Amazon like the Ruffwear – Front Range No-Pull Dog Harness.
4. Stop When it Starts. This is the most commonly taught method to get your dog to stop pulling. It can also be the most time consuming and frustrating.
Basically, you stop every time your dog pulls on the leash. Stand still until there is slack in the leash, praise your dog, and then move on.
Not a bad method of you don’t mind walking a block in 37 minutes.
5. Reverse Direction. I get a little crazy with the stopping and starting, so an alternate version is reversing direction.
Every time your dog pulls, turn around and go the opposite direction. The trick is to do this without yanking on the leash.
Be prepared for more strange looks from the neighbors.
6. Wear ’em Out. Sounds a little crazy, but this one really works.
Ever notice how your dog pulls less at the end of your walk? That’s because she’s tired.
Play a little or a lot with your dog before you hit the streets. Combine it with step 1 where you let your dog mellow after putting on the leash and you have a much slower walk.
7. No Rewards. At the heart of most dog training is the concept that behavior that is rewarded is repeated.
Most of the time we don’t even realize that we are rewarding behavior we want to discourage. When it comes to leash pulling, the reward is letting your dog get to what he’s after.
If he’s pulling you to sniff a tree or mailbox, don’t let him get there without stopping first. Dogs have short memories when it comes to action and reward, so you just need a slight interruption in the chain.
Things not to do? Never yank on the leash and don’t yell at your dog. Yelling doesn’t work. Trust me, I used to do it all the time. It was like me and my dog were speaking a different language….
Watch a Video on Leash Pulling
If you’d like to watch a video, check this out. I think it will help those that are still struggling. As you will see in the video, he does it without force.
Follow the link to check out Doggy Dan’s video training website.
Leash Pulling Course
Since previous attempts to have my dog Delilah go through obedience school training were unsuccessful, I decided to take the DIY dog training approach.
I studied and studied. We practiced and practiced. Once we figured it out, we refined it again and again.
If you’re struggling like I was, I know it is hard. Even harder is not knowing where to turn for good advice. That’s why I created this helpful guide to help you get back to enjoying walking your dog.
This course will show you how to stop your dog’s leash pulling problem.. You could keep struggling and being miserable on your walks, or you can learn 5 super simple exercises that take only 5-10 minutes per session.
Here are the benefits of enrolling in this course:
- Quick and easy solutions to your dog’s leash pulling problem, forget hours and hours of course materials that you’ll never use
- Short content jam packed with helpful and actionable tips ensures you get the most from your training time.
- Bite sized training that will be able to fit into your schedule
- Save hundreds of dollars and hours of wasted time going to professional behavioral classes or other leash pulling courses out there
- This course is for dog parents made by dog parents. That means real world advice that you can use to get rid of your dog’s leash pulling problem.
The best part? Not only is it affordable and easy to use, it also includes all the extras you need to start teaching your dog not to pull. With the course you get the following:
- 5 easy to do exercises which you can schedule and try out at your own convenience
- Downloadable course notecards to help track your progress and remind you of the exercises’ basic steps
- A sample and customizable training schedule
- A bonus lesson on other means to stop leash pulling
- An overview to leash pulling, including the potential dangers that it can bring
Get back to enjoying walks with your dog and stop leash pulling now by signing up for this all in one solution now.
Walking a dog that pulls on their leash is no fun and can even be dangerous. Use these 7 hacks to stop leash pulling and enjoy your walks with your dog. If you want more dog training tips, check out this free Everyday Training Guide.
Want access to hundreds of dog training videos from a pro? Check out Doggy Dan’s website.