10 Effective Tips to Stop Your Dog from Pulling on the Leash

10 Effective Tips to Stop Your Dog from Pulling on the Leash

One of the biggest problems we hear at Alaska Dog Works is that dog owners face is their dog constantly pulling on the leash when walking. In this guide we will provide you with some actionable tips and tricks to help with this problem. 

Walking your dog should be an enjoyable experience for both you and your furry friend. However, if your dog is constantly pulling on the leash, it can turn a pleasant outing into a frustrating struggle.

Fortunately, with the right techniques and training, you can teach your dog to walk calmly by your side. In this blog post, we will explore 10 effective tips to help you put an end to your dog’s pulling behavior and make your walks more enjoyable for both of you.

Understanding the Problem

Before we delve into the tips, it’s important to understand why dogs pull on the leash in the first place. Dogs are naturally curious and energetic animals, and when they see something that piques their interest, such as another dog, a squirrel, or a fascinating scent, they may instinctively want to investigate, leading to pulling on the leash.

Additionally, if a dog has not been properly trained to walk on a leash, they may simply be unaware of the behavior you expect from them.

Tip 1: Use the Right Equipment

The first step in addressing your dog’s pulling behavior is to ensure that you are using the right equipment. A properly fitted harness can give you more control and reduce the strain on your dog’s neck compared to a traditional collar. Front-clip harnesses are particularly effective for discouraging pulling, as they redirect your dog’s attention back to you when they try to forge ahead.

Tip 2: Exercise Before Walking

A tired dog is less likely to pull on the leash out of excess energy. Before heading out for a walk, engage your dog in some physical exercise or play to help them release pent-up energy. A tired dog is more likely to walk calmly by your side, making the walk more pleasant for both of you.

Tip 3: Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in dog training. When your dog walks calmly by your side without pulling, be sure to reward them with treats, praise, or a favorite toy. This will help your dog associate walking calmly with positive outcomes, encouraging them to repeat the behavior.

Tip 4: Practice Patience and Consistency

Changing your dog’s behavior takes time and patience. Consistency is key when training your dog to walk without pulling. Set aside time every day for training sessions, and be patient as your dog learns what is expected of them. With consistent training, your dog will eventually learn to walk politely on the leash.

Tip 5: Use Distractions to Your Advantage

When you’re out for a walk and your dog starts pulling on the leash, try using distractions to redirect their attention back to you. You can use toys, treats, or even a favorite squeaky ball to regain your dog’s focus. By doing so, you teach your dog that paying attention to you is more rewarding than pulling on the leash.

Tip 6: Stop and Wait

If your dog is pulling persistently, stop walking and wait for them to calm down. When your dog realizes that pulling only leads to a halt in the walk, they may start to understand that pulling gets them nowhere.

Once they relax and the leash slackens, you can resume walking. Consistency is key, so be sure to stop and wait every time your dog pulls.

Tip 7: Teach Loose Leash Walking

Training your dog to walk on a loose leash can significantly reduce pulling behavior. Start by using a command such as “heel” or “let’s go” to signal to your dog that it’s time to walk calmly by your side. Whenever your dog starts to pull, stop walking and wait for them to come back to your side before resuming. With consistent practice, your dog will learn to associate the command with walking calmly, making your walks more enjoyable.

Tip 8: Seek Professional Help

If you’re struggling to curb your dog’s pulling behavior, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can provide personalized guidance and training techniques tailored to your dog’s specific needs. Professional trainers have the experience and expertise to address challenging behaviors and can offer valuable insights and support to help you and your dog succeed.

Tip 9: Provide Mental Stimulation

In addition to physical exercise, mental stimulation is essential for a well-behaved and contented dog. Engage your dog in activities that challenge their mind, such as puzzle toys, obedience training, or scent work. A mentally stimulated dog is less likely to become overly excited or distracted during walks, leading to a reduction in pulling behavior.

Tip 10: Be Mindful of Your Energy

Dogs are highly attuned to their owner’s energy and emotions. If you feel frustrated or anxious during walks due to your dog’s pulling, your dog is likely to pick up on those feelings, which can exacerbate the problem. Stay calm, patient, and assertive during walks, and project a positive and confident energy. By doing so, you can help your dog feel more secure and focused, which can contribute to improved leash manners over time.


Dealing with a dog that constantly pulls on the leash can be a challenging and frustrating experience, but with patience, consistency, and the right training techniques, it is a behavior that can be addressed.

By using the tips outlined in this blog post, you can work towards teaching your dog to walk calmly by your side, making your walks more enjoyable and fulfilling for both you and your furry companion. Remember, every dog is unique, and the time it takes to see improvements in leash manners may vary.

Celebrate small victories along the way, and continue to reinforce positive behaviors with patience and consistency. With time and effort, you can help your dog become a polite and well-behaved walking companion, strengthening the bond between you and enhancing the joy of your shared adventures.


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