How to Stop Your Dog Pulling On the Leash

You can stop your dog pulling on the leash relatively easily by teaching your dog a simple 3-step "Heel" command. This simple command works wonders for both puppies and full-grown dogs alike.

The Heel Command

The first stage of teaching your dog to heel is to prevent him from pulling on the leash at all.

1. You will need to have the collar and leash on your dog.

2. Stand next to and to the right of your dog so that you are both facing in the same direction and the dog is sitting on your left.

3. Start walking forward slowly in a straight line, leading with your left leg. As soon as your dog takes off and starts pulling on the leash, stand still and pull the leash back towards you. Do not drag the dog back towards you. All you need to do is halt its progress.

4. Wait until the dog stops, praise it and then continue walking. No command needs to be given at this stage as you are just trying to teach your dog good manners so that it can more easily understand the Heel command when the time comes to teach it fully.

If you apply this method for ten minutes at a time and for three or four times per day then within four or five days you should be ready to move on to the next phase. It is quite likely that you will get good results within a few minutes, at least enough that your dog will stop pulling you all over the place. It may take longer for some older dogs that have been given a free rein, so to speak, throughout their lives to change their leash-pulling behavior.

Modifying the Training

Sometimes you have to modify the way that you are training your dog slightly. When your dog starts to pull, you need to:

1. Stop and give your dog's lead a few tugs, and growl the guttural growl, ("AAHH!" rather then "NO") then bring the dog back beside you.

2. Start walking away again and hold a treat by your side (so that your dog knows it is there).

3. Your dog should be following along side you. If it tries to jump for the treat ignore it (do not let your dog bite at your hand though).

4. When your dog tires of that, and simply walks along beside you, say "HEEL!" then reward your dog for walking beside you.

5. Repeat this over and over and you should start to see the results. If you praise your dog as it comes towards you then your dog is being rewarded only for backing up (the very last action it performed). You need to reward your dog for walking freely beside you as you move off from the stand still.

It may be a common problem, but your dog pulling on the leash doesn't have to be a nightmare. Follow the steps above, and you and your dog will be able to enjoy long, peaceful walks without incident in no time.

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