Tips to prevent the dog from pulling on the leash


Dogs can learn not to pull the leash with simple guidelines, such as prizes, offer you a fun ride and other simple techniques

  • Author: By EVA SAN MARTÍN
  • Publication date: January 29, 2014

How to ensure that the dog does not pull the leash during walks? This question is a frequent headache for those who share their lives with one of the 5.5 million dogs that reside in Spain. But nevertheless, getting the dog to not pull the leash is not complicated if you follow some simple tricks offered by canine educators. Among them, make the walk fun for the dog, forget about canine punishments, Don't respond to shoves, use food rewards so that the dog does not pull the strap and Remember that learning is a matter of two: the dog and its owner.

1. How to ensure that the dog does not pull the leash? Better together

A trick for the dog not to pull the leash is to offer fun walks so that the dog can connect the accessory with a positive experience

Dogs need to learn how to walk with the canine leash during their walks in the street or park. And without pulls. Like people, dogs are not born knowing, and both owner and dog must practice together how to walk together without pulling the leash.

Learning how to walk with the dog without pushing is also a basic skill that most dogs and owners need to practice to enjoy their outdoor outings. "Although the simplest thing is that the animal practices walking without pulling since it is a puppy, an adopted adult dog can also learn how to walk on a leash, without dragging its owner," explains the canine ethologist, Lisa Radosta-Huntley .

Dog walks, therefore, should be considered dog education sessions while our furry partner does not learn to walk without stretches. "The canine walks with leash should also be short and fun for the dog," adds the Society Against Cruelty to animals. The goal is that the animal relate the leash to a pleasant experience I want to repeat.

The dogs that pull the leash, in addition, tend to waste energy, and in general the chings of the rope are signs that the animal demands physical activity. "A key to getting the dog to not push is to get tired before using the walk rope, with canine games at home or in closed recreation areas, "these experts add.

2. Do not respond to the dog with another leash

We must not respond with more leashes to the dog's thrusts, the animal will get stressed and we will only aggravate the problem

A frequent mistake when it comes to walking with the dog with the help of a dog leash is to respond with more jerks to the dog's shaking on the rope. This answer is, however, a mistake in the education of the dog to avoid.

"Dogs learn by associations, so when we pull the rope to try to keep the dog by our side, our dog will get stressed, and try to pull even harder," explains canine behavior expert Turid Rugaas, author of 'The language of dogs (Kns, 2013), one of the reference guides in this of canine education.

Consequently, the dog that receives a leash of the leash is usual to also respond with an even stronger pull next time.

3. Prizes for the dog not to pull the leash

Prizes are one of the key tools of dog education. "You have to find a prize attractive enough to arouse the interest of the animal, and canine food is undoubtedly a great incentive for the dog that learns to walk on a leash," adds Radosta-Huntley.

Edible prizes for the frequently used dog are pieces of sausage: its strong smell is a very motivating reinforcement for the animal. Arm yourself with a canine bag of prizes - of those that allow you to tie the belt - will be an ally on these occasions.

Other prizes that work are the toys with the dog, the caresses, the kind words with the furry companion. Each dog, like each person, is a separate world, and the task of a responsible owner is to learn to decipher it.

"Positive reinforcement, not punishment, is the fastest and most effective way to teach a dog any kind of canine norm, including the action of not pulling the leash during the ride, "says animal behavior expert Karen Pryor, author of the manual 'Don't kill him, show him' (Kns, 2012)

The key is to offer the prizes before the dog pulls the leash, and repeat them during the walks. In this way, the animal will be aware of us, will walk closer to its owner and learn to be more attentive to him.

4. Choose the appropriate leash to avoid dog pulls

What is the best leash so that the dog does not pull during walks? The experts in dog education usually coincide when rejecting the extendable straps: these canine strips are not appropriate for the four-legged friend to learn to stay close to his owner, and quiet, during the walk.

The key, therefore, is to choose the most appropriate strap for each dog. In this sense, the canine harnesses are less aggressive than the collars to anchor the leash, and avoid the uncomfortable pressure on the neck of the furry companion, a reason for canine stress not uncommon among pedestrians.

5. Techniques so that the dog does not pull the leash

Each teacher has his booklet on this dog education. And this maxim is also valid when we try to instruct the walking dog.

The canine educate Ricardo Antón, author of the blog Educating my dog, collects some interesting proposals to ensure that the dog does not pull the leash in his log. Among them, staying still when the dog tries to stretch the rope, as well as walking in the opposite direction during the walks, to invite the dog to be more aware of us.

The right equipment

To start you must get a good team before going out to the street that allows neither you nor the dog to harm you due to this situation.

The dog, pulling the leash exerts tremendous pressure on the neck that can lead to eye complications such as glaucoma, especially in the case of young dogs. For this reason our first advice is that you acquire a comfortable and suitable harness for him.

If the dog pulls so much that you cannot with him your only option will be to acquire anti-shooting harness, with him you will practically not notice that your dog is pulling on you. In the image you can see the anti-shot harness. Find out how it should be placed at the chosen point of sale. The results will surprise you, guaranteed. In addition, they are perfect for working obedience and teaching you to walk next door.

To avoid pain in your hands every time you pull hard, you should buy a padded strap Where do you put your hand? Avoid extensible straps, too thin or hard materials. Once equipped and ready for adventure comes the key moment: start working with the dog.

In the image we can see the anti-pull harness:

Causes that make your dog pull the leash

Here are some causes that can cause your dog to pull the leash. It is very important that you identify them if you really want to solve this problem:

  • The first cause that can make your dog pull the leash is basically the excitement of going outside to interact with other dogs and discover new trails. It is completely normal and understandable that dogs get excited when going for a walk. They usually throw the first 10 or 15 minutes of the ride and then relax.
  • On the other hand there are dogs that have Accumulated energy They didn't just burn. In these cases we must check the calories of the food you eat and we must prepare to start exercising with our pet. It is very important that we comply with this requirement to avoid stress or anxiety in our dog.
  • If our dog suffers severe stress or anxiety It is very important to offer well-being during the walk (without pulling, leaving you sniffing, allowing you to exercise.). These types of dogs need extra time in the walks and the use of anti-stress toys, in these cases, from an animal expert, we recommend that you buy the Kong. Training with a dog that suffers from anxiety should not be aggravated.
  • Finally we can include in another group dogs that have some kind of problem either of a psychological or symptomatic nature that can only be solved by going to the specialist.

How should the dog walk be?

The first 5 or 10 minutes of the ride are exclusively for make the needs. At this time we should not interrupt the dog with orders or try to "walk by our side", it is important that we let him urinate calmly and without pressure. After this time the dog will continue to urinate less frequently, at least for 15 more minutes.

After urinating, the ideal would be go to a pee-can or to an area where the dog can run without being tied. This is one of the basic premises that any ethologist or canine educator will recommend. Obviously dogs that run without obeying should not be released in places without fencing or protection.

After urinating and releasing the accumulated energy, the dog is ready to practice obedience, walk by our side or exercise with us.

Tips to encourage tranquility>

In many websites we find various "tricks" to prevent the dog from pulling the leash but we must distrust those who suggest us to give strong pulls (can cause eye and respiratory problems) or those that make no sense "Take your dog with the short leash and stop, then change direction. "If they don't make sense to you, imagine yourself for your dog.

Here is a list of tips that will allow you to improve the well-being of your dog to relax and the walks are more enjoyable and quiet:

  • Walk with your dog at least 2-3 times a day.
  • Let your dog smell the environment without limit during the walk to relax, even if you approach urine if properly vaccinated, nothing has to happen to you.
  • Do not pull the belt, let it free.
  • Look for pipi-can areas where you can run.
  • Practice exercise and sport with your dog.
  • Do not quarrel, practice positive reinforcement.
  • Do not punish him, a stressed dog can worsen his behavior in the face of punishment.
  • Offer love and support for as long as this happens.
  • Make sure the walks are calm and relaxed, take advantage of the first hour of the morning or the last of the night.

It is also very important to note that we must avoid some common mistakes of the walk since that also causes discomfort in the dog. Pulling the strap tightly, not allowing you to sniff or offer you too short walks are some examples.

Teach your dog to walk with you

To start working with the tensioned belt we have to place ourselves in a Quiet place without any distractions. We will put the harness and leash on the dog and start:

  1. Choose a word or sound to communicate to your dog that you want him to walk with you. Generally the word "together" but you can use a sound with your tongue or any other word.
  2. Stand with your dog, wait until he is calm, without tightening the leash. So tell him "together" and give him a little piece of food (snacks for dogs or frankfurt for example). Immediately, and without giving your dog time to walk away, repeat the word "together" and give him another piece of food. Repeat this five to 10 times, the dog will start to match the word with the prize.
  3. Start making small steps from the point where you are, keep telling him "together" and rewarding him every time he comes to you.
  4. Now is the time to start walking. Take a treat and let the dog smell it without offering it (with a clenched fist). Guide him by drawing an imaginary line with the candy while you say "together, together, together." Before you get distracted tell him the release order "Very good!" and reward him with the treat.
  5. Keep practicing this procedure, each time with more and more distance. The idea is that the dog walks by your side following the food, watching you.

Practice this order about 5 or 10 minutes daily, always without pressing the dog and trying to carry it out on your own initiative, do not try to force it. After the session you must allow the dog to run and play. Do not use the order together for other situations, you should only use it during the walk for the dog to relate it correctly.

Remember that belt pulls are not effectiveOn the contrary, they increase the stress levels of a dog. A good canine educator or a responsible owner will always bet on teaching you to walk alongside rather than leash your dog.

1. The dog is easily distracted

Train in a different place where there are no distractions of any kind. This exercise is difficult for dogs (especially adults) and you have to start in a very quiet place where you can control distractions.

Distractions can also occur if the prize you offer is not powerful enough. Get yourself most appetizing food How can they be bits of Frankfurt?

2. Your dog goes crazy when you go for a walk

Many dogs get excited when their owners take the leash. This is the result of classic conditioning, since most dogs like to go for a walk.

Hold the leash several times during the day, sometimes when you are not going to walk your dog. Just take the leash and have it with you for a while, ignoring the "crazy" of your dog. Then, return it to the usual place and repeat the procedure several times. This way you will extinguish your dog's behavior.

3. Your dog jumps and barks before you put on the leash

The answer to the previous problem will help you with this problem. However, you should also make sure you never leash your dog if he is very excited. Before putting on the leash, wait for him to calm down, even when you go for a walk. Do not put the strap while it is not controlled.

It can also be very useful to reward you when you are calm. We must always reinforce the behaviors we like about the dog and try to avoid unnecessary punishment.

5. Your dog tightens the leash even though it is close to you

If you have a two-meter regulatory belt, this is impossible. Maybe you are holding a lot of strap in your hands. Give your dog a little more leash, so he doesn't feel trapped.

If you have a small breed dog (Chihuahua, Yorkshire terrier, etc.) or a puppy, it may be easier if you get a slightly longer leash, for example two and a half meters.

6. You can't walk your dog without pulling the leash

Your dog yet not ready to walk without pulling the belt. Do not expect him to walk perfectly down the street when he is still learning to do it in places without distractions. Keep practicing daily without being overwhelmed, some dogs take longer to learn.

Go to a professional

If your dog is really stressed or seems not to understand anything you teach him maybe you should think about going to a professional. Canine educators, ethologists or trainers will propose tricks and appropriate guidelines for your case and explain all the details you should know about your dog.

If you want to read more articles similar to Tips to prevent the dog from pulling on the leash, we recommend that you enter our section of Basic Education.

Why does our dog pull the leash?

One of the most common complaints among those who share their day to day with a dog is that their partner pulls on the leash. Situations usual, not normal, when the animal has been educated since puppy waiting, free of stress and tension. The reasons why our dog pulls the leash can be multiple:

For Gonzalo Trigo, a specialist in behavioral problems and assisted interventions with animals and co-founder of, one of the reasons that lead the dog to pull the leash is “that the animal is not clear that the leash is not simply a top, but that is what marks its reference zone, your comfort zone when you walk with the guide. By not understanding that he has a reference area, he wants to leave, and until he internalizes that his autonomy depends on the guide, the dog will not cease to have expectations towards what is outside. ”

One of the reasons why our pet pulls on the leash is to communicate with another dog.

That desire to get out of that zone of autonomy It can be caused by numerous involuntary factors, as a result of poor emotional management (fear, stress, anxiety, excitement): “Sometimes, your emotional state does not allow you to assess that you cannot access what is outside your circle of autonomy ”.

Marco Moretti, canine educator and founder of Pelutopia, summarizes the usual situations that lead the dog out of that comfort area in four: “the dog pull to reach something that interests you like a smell, the park, or communicate with another dog, to run away from a situation that causes them fear, by frustration or, simply, because by pulling the belt they get what they want, and by doing so they reinforce the behavior of pulling the belt, and a behavior that is reinforced is more likely to be repeated. ”

Why teach your dog not to pull the leash

According to Gonzalo Trigo, the problem is not in itself the "pulling of the leash", but that the dog is not clear about what is that circle of autonomy that the educator spoke earlier: "the leash should not be a control tool of impulses, that is to say, it must not be a tool so that it does not reach the sites, but it must be a tool that connects us with our dog in case it needs help.

When we ask the educator to indicate why should we teach him not to throw He explains that, fundamentally, “so that the animal is comfortable, and so that we are also comfortable, without generating frustration for either party during the walks but, on the contrary, well-being”.

For his part, Moretti shares that need to generate well-being on the walks - “a quality walk needs to be pleasant and relaxing for both the dog and the caregiver” - and adds that it is important that we teach the dog not to pull the belt because this could have physical consequences for the dog due to the tension of the device when using collars instead of harnesses: “the neck is a very sensitive part and the pressure of a collar due to the tension of the belt can be harmful due to damage to the trachea, thyroid, etc.”.

Therefore, the canine educator insists on the need to establish good communication, with the aim of "avoiding conflicts between the dog and the human, fully enjoy each walk, and safeguard the health of the animal."