Why You Should Stop Leash Pulling for Good

Why You Should Stop Leash Pulling for Good


Imagine that every time you went for a walk, you had to have a leash attached. You wouldn’t be able to adjust your speed or choose your direction, and you’d feel incredibly limited. Unless your dog is properly trained, this is the challenge you both go through every time you take her out. Leash pulling is a common problem, but one that can cause a lot of problems for both dog and owner. Ultimately, it’s a sign that your dog is not under your control, which can be dangerous to others (think other animals or small children), injurious to you or your dog (think back problems or moving cars), and a less-than-satisfying experience overall.

Dog leads are not a “natural” dog accessory. Though it’s totally possible to find an embroidered dog leash that looks like your dog was born for it, he or she was not born knowing how to behave on a leash. Pulling, however, is part of your dog’s evolutionary makeup: many breeds of dogs, such as Bernese and Swiss mountain dogs, were actually bred as working dogs for their ability to pull carts and wagons. Even if your dog has been trained, sometimes he or she will need a “refresher” to remember how to behave on the dog leash.

While you can always take your dog back to obedience school for a crash course in dog lead training, there are also some DIY techniques you can try at home. The first step is to adopt a zero tolerance strategy; being too lenient when your dog wants to sniff the corner hydrant or check out another dog through the fence is likely what got you in this place to begin with. Next, practice with your dog by putting on her collar and leash, then placing a dog treat a few yards away. Allow her to advance toward the treat only until she starts pulling, then make her retreat back to the starting point. She should only be able to receive the treat if she’s able to walk the whole way obediently.

It might take a few days or weeks of practice, but depending on your consistency and the intelligence level of your dog, you’ll be back enjoying your walks in no time. The best reward? A new custom dog leash to celebrate your progress together!

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