If you share your home with a dog, you’ve probably dealt with some leash pulling at some point. While some dogs are better on a leash than others, it’s important your pup knows how to walk politely – especially for you! But, it’s not always as easy as teaching your dog to sit – leash training can be difficult as it goes against a dogs’ natural behavior. Here are some tips on how to teach your dog to stop pulling on a leash.
Before you begin, it’s important to note that every walk is a training session until your dog knows how to walk politely on a leash. Keep them short and frequent to start to help your pup learn quicker.
There are several training methods to teach your dog to not pull on the leash. One option is “Red Light, Green Light”. This method does require that your dog knows how to sit and come while in distracted areas. First, walk in your desired direction. When your pup reaches the end of the leash and pulls, immediately stop. When they stop pulling and there is slack on the leash, call them and make them sit when they get to you. Say, “yes!”, give them a treat and resume walking.
If they look at you in hopes of more treats, say “yes”, and give them one while you keep walking. If they keep pulling, stop and repeat. Eventually, they’ll learn that staying near you means they get a treat and they get to keep walking.
Another training option is the “lure and reward”. Begin with your pup standing on your left side with several treats in your left hand. Hold that hand in front of their nose and say “let’s walk” and then move in your desired direction. Every few seconds give them a small treat and praise them for walking by your side. If they begin to pull, immediately stop and get their attention by calling their name. Ask them to sit and give praise when they do.
Go a bit farther every day and eventually reduce the amount of treats you give them. Within a couple weeks, you should be able to walk without any treats in your hand and just reward them periodically using treats from your pocket.
To help leash training be even more effective, you should have the right equipment. Make sure you don’t use an extendable leash as those are generally ineffective for training dogs. Four to six foot leashes tend to work best.
Head halters and no-pull harnesses are also recommended as they can help decrease pulling and aid with training.
With enough time, patience, and lots of treats, your pup will be a leash pro in no time! Just be sure to be consistent to avoid confusing your dog by doing the same method every time you walk. After all, dogs are creatures of habit and will train best when they have a set routine!
Once your pup finally stops pulling on a leash, make sure they keep practicing. Try hiring a dog walker during the day to help. Just be sure your dog walker knows the method you used to train them and what works best for you pup. At For Your Spot, we can handle all your dog walking needs. Learn more about our services here.