2 min read

How to Train Your Dog to Stop Pulling on the Leash


We’ve all seen those wonderfully, well-behaved dogs that walk next to their owners like they were born to it. But behind every easy-breezy, carefree walk is an owner who has put in some time into training their dog properly. 

Having proper leash manners minimizes the risk that you will be pulled over in a moment of overzealous leash yanking and will make the time more about walking and less about tug-of-war. Teaching your dog to walk nicely on a leash allows you to take them to more places and for longer walks, because it’s more comfortable and enjoyable for the both of you. All it takes is some short training sessions and consistency. 

Check out the following steps to be walking up a storm in no time!

Rottweiler dog pulling on leash during walk

Getting ready

Before you head right into the training session, be sure you have everything you need at the ready. Here are some things to consider.

  • Be sure you have the right collar or harness for your dog's needs and a reliable leash that is sturdy and the right length. 
  • Get your training treats ready that your pup really likes and that you can easily carry with you.

  • Make sure you have somewhere to train where your dog is not distracted such as a place inside your house or yard.
  • Keep training sessions short, so that neither of you get overwhelmed. Training for 5-10 minutes a day is perfect.

Golden Retreiver taking a relaxing leashed walk by woman's side

How to Train Your Dog to Stop Pulling the Leash

Ready to get walking with a relaxed pup by your side? Just follow these 8 easy steps:

  1. Place your dog sitting next to your left leg, with his shoulder in line with you.

  2. Make sure you have a snack visible in your hand to get your dogs attention.

  3. Step off with your left foot, while saying "heel".

  4. As soon as he takes off, turn around and start walking in the opposite direction.

  5. Once your dog catches up to you and reaches the correct position next to your left leg say "heel" and give him a treat.

  6. Repeat the above steps and every time your dog pulls on the leash correct him by saying "heel".

  7. Initially reward him each time he is in the heel position and walking by your side, it also teaches him to look to you for direction. As he progresses, get him to walk for a longer period beside you before he gets the treat. Try to combine leash-walking with some off-leash time so your dog has some time to enjoy sniffing and going at his own pace. He then knows that when he is on the lead it is time to behave. If your dog doesn’t reliably come on command, find some off-leash dog parks in your area to enjoy.

  8. Enjoy your walk and continue intermittently rewarding your dog for paying attention and walking with you. Once consistent behavior is established rewards can be in the form of treats, play or just simply loving scratch behind the ears when he is doing the right thing.

Need a little help training your pup to relax and enjoy the walk? Book an at-home or digital training session to get started with a pro!

Comments (1)

Kimberley Banuelos


Thank you for the detailed tips! I have an 8 year old Yorkie/Mini Schnauzer mix who definitely has a “mind of his own” during our walks! I really needed an alternative to getting annoyed with Petey when he pulls on the leash/harness.
comment photo

Leave a comment

Your name




Add photo(s) of your petoptional