It can be annoying when your pup pulls their leash…
But more importantly, it can be harmful to them…
Since it puts some pressure on your dog’s neck and windpipe.
But no worries, you’ve come to the right place!
Keep reading to find out:
- 9 simple tricks that stop leash pulling in 5 minutes.
- Why your dog pulls on the leash (3 straightforward reasons).
- The cheater method that stops leash pulling (and 5 easy steps to make its results last).
- And many more…
Table of contents
- Why does my dog pull on the leash?
- How to stop leash pulling in 5 minutes – 9 tricks
Why does my dog pull on the leash?
Your dog pulls on the leash because they aim to go where they want immediately. And humans, for a canine, are too slow. Plus, as curious animals, dogs want to smell everything around them. Most of all, they don’t instinctively walk with a leash. So naturally, they want to get out of it.
How to stop leash pulling in 5 minutes – 9 tricks
#1: “Become-a-tree” strategy
You know what makes leash training harder?
It’s unintentionally encouraging your dog to pull it.
Which you might do by yanking back their leash.
When you do, Fido’s impulse urges them to fight and pull further.
Warning: Tugging their leash doesn’t just encourage the behavior. It can also hurt your dog. This can result in burns on your canine’s neck. Or it can also crush their windpipe.
So instead of doing any of that, here’s a simple trick:
Become a tree.
Stop in your tracks once your pup gets ahead of you…
Then, ignore their pulling behavior and just stand there like a mighty tree.
By the time, they’ll stop and get near you again. Therefore loosening their leash.
Only then should you give them their reward. Then, continue walking with them.
Continue reading: 27 Common Dog Training Mistakes + Fixes
#2: The reverse trick
Let’s put a little twist on the last strategy.
Instead of just standing there like a tree and waiting for Fido to realize you stopped…
This time, when they pull their leash, turn around, and walk.
Then, your pooch will immediately notice how you’re heading in the opposite direction.
Which will make them follow you and eventually catch up to you.
Once they’re beside you and their leash starts to get loose…
Praise them and hand them their reward.
And it shouldn’t matter if your route becomes a zigzag pattern…
Because you must do this trick every time they pull their leash.
Apart from this trick creating an unpredictable route…
Which most dogs aren’t a fan of…
Your pup also learns they get rewarded for walking next to you.
#3: Use high-value treats
Ditch their usual kibbles and follow this effortless trick instead:
Reward your pooch with high-value treats.
“What are those? Where can I buy them?”
High-value treats depend on one dog to another.
Because they’re goodies that your pup doesn’t usually get.
And are also treats that your doggo absolutely loves.
“How is this trick useful?”
Research revealed that dogs have a food preference.
So if you play within your canine’s interest when it comes to treats…
You can speed up their training.
Because if you reward them with high-value treats…
They’re more likely to listen and follow your commands during their drills.
That said, I recommend cutting up pieces of plainly boiled chicken, beef, or pork (with no spices).
Or you can take Fido to the pet store…
Wander around and let them pick a pack of treats.
You’ll know once they stop and keep sniffing on a specific pack.
#4: The cheater method (and how to make it last)
I consider it cheating when someone uses this.
Because it’s the quickest trick…
And you just need 1 thing:
It has the following qualities:
- Doesn’t cause chaffing.
- Quick to put on and remove.
- It won’t easily slip off your dog.
Plus, it’s more comfortable because their shoulders can freely move around.
So they feel less restrained. Leading to a lesser urge to pull their leash.
But like they say, “cheaters never win.”
That’s why I understand how this quick method is a band-aid solution.
Its benefits can come and go if you don’t take advantage of it.
So I suggest you use this window to reset Fido’s knowledge.
I recommend teaching them:
The heel command
SFSPCA says this trains your pooch to stay close to you while walking.
Specifically, your pup should be on your left side whenever in this position.
And there should be no more than 6 inches (15.24 cm) between you and Fido.
Here’s how to properly pull this off:
Step 1: Prepare
You’ll need a handful of those high-value treats I mentioned before.
And ensure you’re doing this training session in a quiet place. Somewhere with little to no distractions.
Step 2: Getting into position
Start with your dog’s leash in your left hand. Then, hold the treat in your right.
Your pooch, who’s wearing the no-pull harness, can start at any position…
As long as you get their attention and they’re looking at you.
Step 3: Command and guide
Call your dog by their name and say the command, “Heel.”
Then, hold the treat over their nose and guide them to your left side.
Step 4: Deliver reward and reinforcement
Once your pup gets in position on your left…
Do the following to reinforce the behavior:
- Hand them the treat.
- Say, “Yes!”
- Pet them.
Step 5: Repeat
Keep doing this drill for 5 minutes. And practice it at least 4 times daily.
And if that was a bit challenging to follow or you’re a visual learner…
You can watch this short video that shows you the same quick process:
You might also want to know: Can A Dog Wear A Collar And A Harness? 3 Dangers
#5: Add smell stops on your drills
Fun fact: VCA Hospitals say your dog can smell up to 10,000 times better than you.
That’s why they’re so compelled to pull the leash and sniff ahead.
But like my approach about most innate canine behaviors…
They shouldn’t be a drawback for you.
Instead, I recommend using things like this to your advantage.
If your pup wants to sniff around while walking…
Then, put up smell stops during their leash training.
Those are areas where you allow Fido to sniff.
And doing this trick is beneficial in many ways like:
- Providing great mental stimulation.
- Discouraging pulling and encouraging patience.
So incorporate this trick with the other techniques I included in this read.
You can reward Fido from time to time by allowing them to go to smell stops.
Or, if you’re taking short breaks during their drills…
The smell stops can be sites for a brief recess.
You might also be interested in: 13 Fun Facts About A Dog’s Sense Of Smell
#6: The aroma train
As I said, your pup’s desire to sniff around shouldn’t be a disadvantage.
And another way to use it to your favor is through this trick called:
The aroma train.
It’s where you hold treats in your closed fist.
Then, let that hand hang on your left side while walking with your canine.
I guarantee doing this holds your canine’s attention.
They’ll have their nose sticking to your closed hand…
And as they stay close to you, there’ll be no more leash pulling.
#7: The treat dispenser
Let’s make the previous trick more fun.
Instead of plainly hiding the treats in your closed fist…
Upgrade it to be the treat dispenser trick.
You’re still going to walk with goodies in your left hand.
But this time, dispense a treat every 2 or 3 steps.
Your pup will consider those delights as rewards for staying close to you.
So they won’t pull their leash anymore. How easy was that?
#8: The silky leash technique
This strategy is developed by Grisha Stewart. She’s a renowned dog trainer and author.
Some might even know her for being one of the best dog trainers on YouTube.
Now, she has this trick called the silky leash technique.
And the idea is to apply slight pressure on your dog’s leash. Which they’ll learn to follow during leash walking.
To understand better, here’s a step-by-step process on how to do it:
Step 1: Get into position
Place your dog in front of you and ensure they’re looking at you.
Hold their leash in one hand, while the other is for treat delivery.
Step 2: Put light pressure on your dog’s leash
Since your pooch is in the middle…
Pull the leash on one side.
Start with the left first.
Step 3: Watch for a reaction and reward them
Your dog is bound to react toward that pressure by:
- Looking at the side.
- Walking toward the area you pulled them to.
- Turning their head toward the pulling direction.
When they do any of that, reward them through treats and praises.
Step 4: Repeat on the other side
Under step 2, you pulled Fido on your left side.
This time, put gentle pressure on their right.
And when they react, hand them the treat.
Don’t forget to praise them as well.
Step 5: Keep alternating on both sides
Repeat steps 2 to 4 for 5 minutes.
And do this drill at least 4 times a day.
Eventually, your dog will learn to give in to that gentle force in exchange for a reward.
For further reading: 11 Easy Steps To Leash Train Your Dog
#9: Be faster than their trigger
Dogs are curious creatures.
That’s why they get distracted when the slightest stimulus catches their attention.
It can be anything like:
- Another dog.
- Some rodents.
- A person walking.
- A car or bicycle passing by.
And they’ll pull their leash because they want to pursue those triggers.
Now, this might be a bit of a hard trick…
But it’s just as quick.
And it’s not impossible to grab your dog’s attention first.
The keys are observation and assessment.
Look around whenever Fido pulls their leash.
What’s there when they act up?
Once you identified your pup’s trigger…
The next time you’re walking them on a leash…
Grab their focus by holding a treat over their head.
Then, use that attention to increase the space between them and the stimulus.
Lastly, don’t give them the treat until the trigger goes away.