Does your hike with your dog leave your hands callused, arms sore, and mind frustrated because your dog drags you up and down the trail like their latest fetch toy?

Leash pulling is a very common problem, but also one that can be corrected.  The simple rule: if your dog is walking you, then the walk should not continue.

Why does my dog pull?

One reason dogs pull is because they’re simply excited.  Excited about the walk, excited about a smell, or excited by another dog, person, shrub…whatever grabs their short-lived attention.  Ultimately, a dog will pull unless they are trained not to.  Continuing the walk, or speeding up to create slack in the leash only contributes to the problem.

How to do I train my dog not to pull?

  1. Begin by choosing a quiet, fenced, non-distracting place to practice.
  2. Leash your dog up and stand still.  Wait for the dog to stop pulling or leaping around.  As soon as your dog settles, sits, or lies down, praise them and give them a treat, and tell them “Go.”
  3. Take one step forward.
  4. Wait for your dog to settle down.  Praise them, give them a treat, and then tell them “Go” again, repeating the whole sequence over and over.  Each time, have them stay in position for longer periods of time before they get the treat and the walk resumes.
  5. Once your dog is able to go on these one step walks without pulling, start taking two steps, then three steps, and so on.  Eventually you should be able to walk together on a loose leash.  If your dog starts to pull during any part of the walk, stop and repeat the one step process.


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