How To Stop A Dog from Pulling On Its Leash: Useful Tips For Dog Owners

Do you have a dog that loves to pull on its leash? This can be a very frustrating behavior for both the dog and the owner. It is important to train your dog how to walk properly on a leash so that both of you can enjoy your walks together.

Why Do Some Dogs Pull On Their Leashes?

There are different reasons why dogs may pull on their leashes. Let us explore them below:


One of the most common reasons dogs pull on their leashes is because they are excited. They see something that they want to investigate and they start to pull on the leash to get there. This can be anything from another dog in the distance, a squirrel, or even just someone walking by.


Another reason why your dog may be pulling on its leash is that it has learned that this behavior is rewarding. If every time your dog pulls on its leash and it gets to where it wants to go, then it will continue to do so. Dogs are very smart and they quickly learn what behaviors get them what they want.

Seeking independence

Dogs may also pull on their leash because they want to be independent. They don’t want to be controlled and they want to do things their way. This is especially true of dogs who are strong-willed or those who were not properly trained when they were puppies.


There are also times when your dog is simply curious and wants to explore everything around them. This is especially common in puppies who are still learning about the world around them. If your dog is constantly pulling on its leash, it may be because it wants to sniff everything and check out all the sights and sounds.

Reacting to other dogs

Another reason why your dog may be pulling on its leash is that it’s reacting to other dogs. If there are other dogs around, your dog may want to go say hi or play with them. This is especially true if the other dog is off-leash and your dog is feeling restrained by its leash.

Uncomfortable walking conditions

Your dog may also be pulling on its leash because the walking conditions are uncomfortable. If the weather is hot, there may not be enough shade or water available. Or, if the sidewalk is icy, your dog may be trying to avoid slipping and sliding.

how to stop dog from pulling on leash - dog walking with a leash

How Do I Stop My Dog From Pulling On Its Leash?

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to stop your dog from pulling on its leash. Follow the steps below:

Step 1: Get a dog harness or headcollar

The first step is to get a dog harness. A dog harness will distribute the force of your dog’s pulling evenly across their chest and shoulders, instead of around their neck. This will help to prevent your dog from choking or getting injured.

Another option is to get a head collar. A head collar is similar to a halter for a horse. It goes over your dog’s muzzle and attaches behind their ears. Headcollars can be very effective in stopping dogs from pulling on their leash, but it may take some time for your dog to get used to wearing one.

Step 2: Help your dog get used to a harness or dog collar

Once you decide which type of collar or harness is best for your dog, it’s important to help them get used to wearing it. Start by letting them wear it around the house for short periods of time. Put it on before meals or during playtime. Slowly increase the amount of time they wear it until they are comfortable wearing it for longer periods of time.

Step 3: Help your dog understand the ‘heel’ command

The next thing you should do is start teaching your dog the ‘heel’ command. This is an important command that will help you keep your dog from pulling on its leash. To do this, start by walking with your dog on a loose leash. Whenever they start to pull ahead of you, stop and make them sit or lie down. Once they are in the correct position, continue walking. Repeat this process until your dog understands that they need to stay by your side when you are walking.

Important Tips To Remember

Below are important tips that you should remember to stop your dog from pulling on its leash:

Never tolerate pulling behavior

As a dog owner, you should never tolerate pulling behavior from your dog. If you do, they will continue to do it because they know that they can get away with it.

Be consistent

It is important to be consistent when teaching your dog not to pull on its leash. This means that everyone in the family needs to follow the same rules and use the same commands when walking the dog. Otherwise, the dog will get confused and won’t know what is expected of them.

Start with a loose leash

When you first start walking your dog, make sure that the leash is loose. This will give them the freedom to move around without pulling. If they start to pull, simply stop walking and stand still until they calm down.

Use positive reinforcement

One of the best ways to train your dog is by using positive reinforcement. This means rewarding them when they walk nicely on a leash and ignoring them when they start to pull. Eventually, your dog will learn that pulling gets them nowhere.

Start with short walks

When you first start teaching your dog not to pull on its leash, it is best to keep the walks short. This will help your dog stay focused and prevent them from getting too tired or distracted. Later on, you can gradually increase the length of the walks.

Never give up

Training your dog not to pull on its leash takes time and patience. But it is important to never give up and always be consistent with your commands. Eventually, your dog will be able to understand that pulling is not acceptable behavior.

With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to teaching your dog not to pull on its leash. Just remember to be patient and always remain consistent with your commands. Soon enough, your dog will learn that pulling gets them nowhere.

How Do I Deal With Barking And Lunging?

There are times when your dog will see another dog and go into full-on barking and lunging mode. This can be extremely frustrating, especially if you are trying to train your dog not to pull on its leash. But there are a few things you can do to deal with this situation.

First of all, remain calm. If you get tense or anxious, your dog will pick up on that and become more agitated. Secondly, try to keep your dog’s attention focused on you by giving it treats or toys. And finally, if all else fails, simply walk away from the situation until your dog has calmed down.

Barking and lunging at other dogs is one of the hardest behaviors to break. But with patience and consistency, you will eventually be able to teach your dog to not engage in these behaviors, especially if you use positive reinforcement.

Some dog owners find it helpful to carry around treats or toys with them when they’re out walking their dog. This way, if their dog starts to bark or lunge, they can immediately distract it with a treat or toy.

how to stop dog from pulling on leash -  dog pulling his leash


How do I train my dog to stop pulling on the leash?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to train your dog to stop pulling on the leash will vary depending on your dog’s individual personality and behavior. However, some tips on how to stop a dog from pulling on its leash include using positive reinforcement, avoiding punishment, and carrying around treats.

Why does my dog constantly pull on the leash?

There are a number of reasons why your dog might be pulling on the leash, including excitement, boredom, or fear. If you’re not sure why your dog is pulling on the leash, it’s best to consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.

How do I stop my dog from leash pulling in 5 minutes?

There is no magic answer to this question – it will take time, patience, and consistency to train your dog not to pull on the leash. If you want, you can call a professional dog trainer to help you get started.

Do harnesses stop dogs from pulling?

Yes, harnesses can help to stop dogs from pulling on the leash, but they are not a cure-all. You will still need to train your dog not to pull on the leash, even if you are using a harness.

Should I let my dog stop and sniff?

Yes, you should let your dog stop and sniff on walks, as this is how they explore and learn about the world around them. However, you should not allow your dog to pull on the leash to get to a certain spot – instead, teach them to walk calmly by your side.

Final Thoughts

So, how do I stop a dog from pulling on its leash? By following the tips above! Just remember to be patient, never give up, and always remain consistent with your commands. With a bit of time and effort, you will be able to train your dog not to pull on its leash in no time. This will make your walks much more enjoyable for both you and your dog.

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by Nicole Barnett

Nicole has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. She has three dogs, two of which she rescued from the streets. When not furiously typing away at her computer, you’d either find her chasing after her adorable dogs and kids, or volunteering at a local shelter.

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