small dog pulling on leash with a bite

How Do I Stop My Dog from Pulling on the Leash? Tools, Tips, and Tricks



Lara Jill , 27th March 2024

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“How do I stop my dog from pulling on the leash?” is a question pet owners ask far too frequently.

Walks are usually our pets’ favorite part of the day, especially if they have limited choices to amuse themselves at home. So when the chance finally presents itself, they transform into a powerful cart-pulling yak pretty damn quick!

Dog pulling on leash is often the result of unbridled excitement, coupled with a few other factors. Many times owners fail to realize that they are also encouraging this behavior by putting off leash training or tolerating their puppies’ seemingly harmless hyperactivity. But as dogs grow older and stronger, fun strolls can turn into wild adventures.

In this article, let’s discuss nifty little tricks and tools that will help you raise a better dog who won’t pull on the leash. The next time you hear desperate pet owners cry out, “How do I stop my dog from pulling on the leash?” you can step in like a true pro, armed with knowledge and ready to save the day!

How to Stop Dog Pulling On Leash 101?

There are many reasons why dogs pull. But believe it or not, teaching your dog not to pull on a leash is not an insurmountable challenge, although it does require a lot of patience and persistence.

Curb the Excitement And Reduce the Salience of the Leash

As we all know, dogs are intelligent, inquisitive creatures—the Sherlock Bones of the animal kingdom. Now, place yourself in your pet’s position.

How would you feel when your owner finally takes you out for a walk after a long, dreary day indoors? Of course, you get ecstatic!

The walk itself is self-rewarding for dogs, as it provides them with a battery of scents and sights that tickle their curious minds.

Unfortunately, dogs can get progressively excited, making it harder and harder to control them. Before you know it, you have unleashed a hairy tornado out of your house!

To address this behavior, it’s important to recognize that impulse control is a key skill for dogs to learn. When your pet gets worked up upon seeing the leash, tell him to sit and stay. Puppies, however, must first learn these basic commands.

Hold off on attaching the leash until the eager beaver calms down. When you handle the leash casually, you are also desensitizing your dog to the leash.

boy gets pulled by a dog

Start Training at Home

I’m sorry to burst Sherlock Bone’s bubble, but he isn’t going anywhere just yet! Begin leash walking inside your house, or even better, take the action outdoors if you have a yard.

Stop walking the moment your dog starts to tug on the leash. Your dog should turn and face you right away. If not, wait for it to happen, then shower him with praise and a tasty reward.

Sherlock Bone’s first mission is to master the art of redirecting his focus to you whenever you hit the pause button. This skill is crucial as the outdoors is a jungle of distractions and potentially dangerous provocations. Until your dog has developed the habit of “checking in on you” each time you stop, progress will remain elusive as a kangaroo rat!

Brace yourself, as there’s a lot more standing involved than walking with a lead during this stage. You might need to perform this exercise multiple times a day for a couple of weeks.

Once Sherlock Bones becomes a leash-walking maestro in the yard, it is time to venture into unfamiliar places to put his abilities to the test.

Slowly But Surely, “Look At Me” Is the Key

Start with a leisurely stroll of 50 to 100 meters on the first day to gauge your dog’s behavior and response to surrounding triggers.

The “look at me” command isn’t just useful for stopping a dog pulling on leash. By training your dog to instinctively check in with you, you’re teaching him to rely on you for guidance in different scenarios.

For instance, if a herd of boisterous children comes running toward you and Sherlock, he’ll instinctively look to you for cues on how to react. With a well-trained “look at me” command, you can quickly reassure your pet that the kids are not a threat and ease any anxiety he may have.

Ultimately, the “look at me” command is a powerful tool for building trust and communication between you and your furry pal.

Gear Up with the Right Gear

It is never an easy feat to teach a dog not to pull on a leash, even more so for sled dogs, such as the Siberian Husky, where pulling is deeply ingrained in their DNA.

To stop a dog from pulling on leash, experts advise making a 180-degree turn and walking in the opposite direction. By doing this, your dog realizes that you, not him, are in charge of the walk.

You may also implement management techniques like using a no-pull dog harness paired with a robust

nylon leash for that secure connection. Whenever your dog tries to pull, the front leash attachment will gently shift his shoulders and core to the side, thus discouraging him from pulling further.

dog awaits a treat

Bring Out the Big Guns

A study published by Iben Meyer and Jan Ladewig, [Applied Animal Behaviour Science (Volume 111, Issues 3–4)] demonstrates that dogs have short attention spans and therefore, would benefit most in multiple but short training sessions. While that may be true, dogs have impressive memories too!

That’s why when it comes to the challenging task of stopping a dog pulling on leash, you have to bring out the big guns — freeze-dried beef liver — the secret sauce that will grab your dog’s attention and ignite his hunger for learning.

Regular treats? Those won’t make a dent in your dog’s determination to pull you down the street like a bikejoring contestant in the World Championships! Throw in some blueberry and vanilla cookies to increase the odds of leash perfection.

Now, here’s the trick: you’ve got to keep those treats within paw’s reach. Get yourself a treat holder so that you can dispense those tasty morsels of motivation with a quick flick of the wrist.


There’s no mystery too big for you and Sherlock Bones if you’ve got determination! Leash walking will turn into a walk in the park if you stick to these tried-and-true techniques. Training might take you a few days, or even weeks—but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was Sherlock’s detective career.

“Sit,” “Stay,” and “Look at me” are the weapons in your training arsenal. When combined with the dynamic duo of a sturdy nylon leash and no-pull dog harness,  Sherlock Bones will think twice before attempting another dog pulling on leash adventure. Lastly, don’t forget to pack a pocketful of scrumptious treats!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can puppies wear a no-pull harness?
No. Using any type of restrictive harness can hinder proper development and cause gait issues in young, growing canines.
Do dogs get sad when you yell?
Training leash manners in unruly adults can be frustrating, but scolding your dog will only worsen the situation. Dogs can become fearful, suspicious, and stressed out just as much.
When is the best time to start leash training a puppy?
While experts have different opinions on the optimal time to begin, it is generally recommended to start leash training between 8 to 16 weeks old.

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