Teaching your dog to stop pulling on the lead can require a lot of time, effort and perseverance. However, all that spent energy will be worth it when you are able to enjoy peaceful, pull-free walks with your dog.
One of the main reasons why dogs pull on their lead is because in their mind that’s the quickest way to move forward. They want to get to where they want to go as fast as possible, so they believe the more they pull, the faster they will get there. You can watch a helpful video on this subject on the DogsTrust website.
In order to teach your dog to walk nicely on the lead, you have to make them understand that not pulling is actually the quickest way to get to where they want to go.
Steps to Train Your Dog to Stop Pulling on the Lead
- To begin, stand completely still and quiet. Ensure there is no tension on the lead. Remain still and quiet while your dog isn’t focussing on you.
- As soon as your dog pays attention to you, give them a small treat and some praise.
- Now that you have your dog’s full attention, you can now begin to walk.
- Use treats and praise to encourage to pay attention to you.
- If your dog gains too much distance from you, stop and be still before the lead gets too tight.
- Wait for them to pay attention and come closer to you.
- Give them a little treat and proceed to move off again.
- You should aim to practice this in short, frequent sessions.
The key is to constantly repeat these steps above so your dog really starts to understand that pulling will only slow them down. Keeping the above routine will help them understand that in order to get to where they want to go in the quickest time, they have to stop pulling and pay attention to you.