Leash Manners

There are various methods for teaching a dog to walk without pulling. There are certain rules that ought to be followed no matter which approach you opt for:

    • Until your dog learns to walk without pulling, all walks are training sessions. Keep training sessions frequent, short, and fun for the dog.
    • You’ll be more successful if you find a way to tire the dog out before taking him for a training walk. Dogs pull in part because they are filled with excess energy, and unless you can expend that energy, it will be very hard for your dog to control himself. Play fetch in the hallway or backyard, play a vigorous game of tug, or drive the dog to the park so he can play with his buddies before you attempt to teach him to walk nicely on leash.

Next step

Walk in your intended direction. The moment you feel the dog pulling on the leash, stop dead in your tracks and wait. When the dog stops pulling (maybe he turns to see what you’re doing) continue walking. If the dog pulls again, repeat the same step: stop dead and wait, when the dog relaxes the pressure on the leash, resume walking. If you do this consistently, the dog learns that pulling gets him nowhere fast.
Another approach would be to change directions every time your dog pulls. If your dog pulls right, you go left. You may get a little dizzy or look a bit funny but this method is an effective one.

For more on leash walking, go to:

What equipment should you use?

While you are teaching your dog not to pull on the leash, you should use a 4- or 6-foot leash. Use a width and a material that are comfortable for your hand. Chain leashes are awkward to use and should be avoided unless you have a dog who easily chews through leashes. Extendable leashes, such as the FlexiTM, or leashes longer than 6 feet should not be used.

GOOD Collar Choices

  • A regular buckle collar
  • A martingale collar
  • A head halter/head collar
  • A no-pull harness

A head halter or no-pull harness may decrease pulling without additional training.  For more information on choosing the right equipment, go to: https://positively.com/dog-training/methods-equipment/training-equipment/choosing-the-right-collar-or-harness/

UNSUITABLE Collar Choices

  • A regular body harness (actually encourages pulling)
  • A choke collar
  • A pinch/prong collar

For more information on choke and prong collars, visit: https://positively.com/dog-training/methods-equipment/training-equipment/choke-and-prong-collars/