How to Stop Your Dog from Pulling on the Leash

Does your dog tend to walk you, rather than it being the other way around? Does Fido sometimes haul you along with him when he wants to chase a squirrel or greet a canine friend? Man’s Best Friend has been our loyal companion for a very long time, but he does have a few bad habits. Pulling on the leash is one of the most common complaints dog owners have. In this article, your Colorado Springs vet gives some tips on how to stop your canine buddy from yanking on his leash.

Correcting the Problem

Dogs that don’t behave on leashes can be quite dangerous. This is especially the case with larger dogs that are strong enough to drag their owners behind them. You definitely don’t want your pooch lunging into traffic, or rushing at another dog! To keep your canine pal from jerking you around, you’ll need to act as soon as his misbehaves. When you head out for your daily walk, start by telling your furry buddy “Let’s go for a walk.” As soon as the leash tightens, stop walking. Don’t take another step. Sooner or later, Fido will turn to look at you and try to figure out what’s going on. As soon as he does this, praise him, and then walk backwards a few steps. Next, call your dog to you. When your canine friend reaches you, immediately reward him with praise and a delicious treat.


Training a dog, or any animal, takes time, patience, and consistency. Don’t expect to cure Fido’s pulling habit in a single day. Also, don’t be surprised if at first you can only make it a few steps without stopping. Just keep at it, and have realistic expectations. Sooner or later, your furry pal will figure out that pulling gets him nowhere.

What Not to Do

Never punish or yell at your dog for pulling. Negative reinforcement doesn’t work for dogs, and often backfires. Fido may not understand what he did wrong, since he’s really just following his own instincts. Being punished may just make him scared and anxious, which could lead to further problems. Also, avoid using ‘punishment’ collars, such as shock collars or choke chains. Instead, reward positive behavior.

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