Dog pulling on walks

You’ve gotten a lot of answers, but I will share that last summer in Seattle i had the same issue - dog pulled me off my feet the first day, bloodying my shin and elbow and palm on a sidewalk.

I looked up “How to stop a dog from pulling” and we had subsequent daily exercises where I trained him not to do that. He didn’t completely give it up - he is a young dog - but it ended up being way less pulling when I trained him and let him know in no uncertain terms that I AM THE BOSS AND THE TOP DOG.

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This may not work for every walker & dog, but it worked well for me with a recent large strong dog that pulled. Every time there was tension on the leash, I came to a dead stop. He wore a harness, so the abrupt stop did not hurt his neck. After a brief pause I’d start walking and again, as soon as there was tension, I’d stop.

It took us about 10 minutes to go a block and he was very confused until… he had an “aha” moment: no tension = we get to walk.

After that, he was much improved and only needed occasional corrections. It takes patience. Consistency is key - I stopped EVERY time there was tension on the leash. Without that consistency the dog will likely keep pulling since they know that sometimes pulling gets them what they want.

Again, it may not work for everyone but maybe it will help some folks.


@LovingLife I’ve done that with a pulling dog and it worked a treat too

We do the same, additionally we also walk in the other direction to send a clear signal. The only dog we can’t do this with is a Newfoundlander, he’s way stronger than either of us! But he’s very food motivated, so we use that to our advantage.

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I sometimes have succes with a slightly longer lead. Some dogs just need a little bit more space to be relaxed on a walk. (I bring my own adjustable trainer lead on sits just in case.)

@Mombirb Yes! I have found this too. They need a bit of space, probably scared we’ll step on their heels :slight_smile: Or some dogs do so much better with retractable leash instead of a standard leash. It’s amazing, all the differences.

Hi, this response may be a little late. But if you put the lease under the front leg closest to you, the dog will not pull as much.

I’m glad to hear that a harness is helping as that’s hit and miss depending on the type of dog. I have quite a bit of experience with a couple of my own dogs and my current one came to me with no lease training and reactive unleash which I didn’t know when I adopted him.
Putting a leash directly on a plain collar justs chokes when the dog pull.
If you still have any trouble with the dog suddenly pulling at particular times, a trick you might not be aware of is to take the leash down the dogs back, flip it under the dog in front of the hind legs and back up through the leash. Any dog, will stop with that but in particular a male dog!
It sounds like you’ve got things in going well now but I suggest doing some sudden turning around, so that the dog learns it has to go with you and be aware of where you are not you chasing after the dog. Good luck.


It is only a short sit so I won’t have time to make a huge difference but things are improving. I’ve been driving him to places where he can run free straight from the car. He is very obedient off lead.

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I have a harness for my strong 57 lb. dog that has a place to hook the leash on her chest, this really helps me with her pulling! When she tries to pull she is moved sideways so she rarely tries to pull. The only downside is I sometimes have to stop and reposition her leg. Well worth it! Makes our walks so much more enjoyable!

I would recommend, if you can, hook the leash on the front of the harness right at the chest. What that will do is force him to turn around and you’ll be able to control him better and he won’t pull as much. A harness, as a general rule, it makes them want to pull more that’s what harnesses are used for which is why I suggest clipping the leash to the front of his harness it makes it a totally different situation.

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One of my sits was for a large lab who was very strong and always pulled on the lead. The pet parent used a harness and a retractable lead. I don’t like retractable leads at all, especially for strong dogs like this one so we switched to a new harness with a clip in the front and a regular lead, it helped tremendously.


I’m finding that he’s pulling less with a harness than with the leash clipped on to his collar. I’ve also been driving him to places where he can run free straight out of the car

@Smiley I’d tend to agree on this; we’re keen walkers and currently on our 3rd sit via THS. All 3 sits have had dogs and apart from the 2nd sit we’re definitely walking further than the dogs would usually. We quickly worked out what was the maximum time/distance for the individual dog(s) and adjusted our habits, especially for the ones with little legs!
One owner did say we could let their dog off the lead but as it was our 1st sit we were reluctant and having watched her come alive in the woods we drove to (rather than the local park she was used to) we didn’t want to take the chance she wouldn’t come back once she went into squirrelling mode. She had a long retractable lead so still had plenty of scope to roam without us worrying.

I had a similar experience on two of my sits. What I realized recently was that I had to establish my rules with the dog. I start the walk with a short leash and give the dog positive reinforcement(god boy, treats always work). As the dog responds, I let out the leash. Patience and calm is best. Remember that you are not the owner and the dog know it. You can accept less than perfect results. Hope this is in time to help.


In this case it doesn’t matter as even people he knows well have trouble with him pulling. He is simply over enthusiastic.

I totally agree with the treats in the pocket especially when a dog is food-motivated.
You may consider doing other things in the house to set your alpha status.
I have found that free feeding is not helpful in establishing myself as alpha, so put the dishes away and I feed on a schedule that fits the dogs’ pre-walk timing. And I show them that I eat first. Just fake the chewing, say HMMM this tastes so good. Keep them watching you above their heads and they will not know the difference, they will believe you are eating first. That’s a simple way to start with the Alpha setup. Works for me. Also, I am a smaller size person, so don’t sit for large dogs. Not safe for me or the big dogs.

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