How to Stop Your Dog Pulling

4 Key Steps To Stop Your Dog From Pulling

1. Don’t got for a walk.

At least not for the next few days until you can spend some time getting your technique in place to teach the dog how not to pull.  Do some work in your yard.   It would be far better use of your time to work in the driveway for a few days than to allow your dog to continue practicing pulling and making the walk miserable for you both.  When you do start to venture out, go to the house to the left and right of yours and back and forth.   Then the block, and so on.  Create success before you make a take a long walk.

2. Get a Long Line First!

Hear me out, you’re thinking you can’t even walk him on a long line, so him having 10-15 feet on you is going to be even worse.   Chances are your dog has never really experienced a loose leash paired with movement.   Start Moving with your dog where he has some freedom to change his pace, move around and travel without any tension on the leash at all.  Get this mastered, and then start shortening the leash until you are back to your 4-6 foot leash.

3. Change Directions Often!

When your dog rushes past you make a 180 turn and go the other way.   Yep, he’ll likely feel the leash engage with tension for a second, but he’ll scurry to see where you are headed.  And for a few paces he will be following!   You’ll mark this with “good” and let him go again.   Keep turning (don’t get dizzy) and soon he’ll begin checking in with you and most like be right at your side.  When this happens praise and reward what a good dog he is!

4. Be A Statue:

When you go out with your dog on your normal length leash – walk outside and pick a spot to stop.   If your dog pulls (tension on the leash) no movement at all.  Don’t let him make you take any steps. Brace yourself.   Let him pull until he gives you any step back towards you, releasing the pressure for a split second and then take as many steps as you can until he puts tension back on the leash.

These are important conversations to have with your dog – before you go for a walk.  When they become clear – then, and only then can you start to work on teaching Heel and some of the other training you need to teach.

Read about Opposition Reflex to learn more about why your dog may be hard-wired to pull.

Dana Brigman