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How to Stop Puppy from Pulling on Leash?

White puppy trying to pull out of a harness against a white background.

Generally, the pups start to pull on the leash when the lead tightens while they are walking with their owners. So, if that is the case with you then just stop walking to make the lead slightly loose. There are also some other reasons which can cause this negative behavior. Fortunately, this problem can be controlled by teaching your dog to walk next to you with a loose lead. Keep reading to know why your puppy is pulling on the leash and learn how to control this behavior.

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Why is My Puppy Pulling on The Leash?

Pulling on the leash is usually considered a normal canine behavior as it is quite natural to them. They usually pull on the leash to get them where they want to go. Another reason for your pup pulling on the leash is that he/she is eager to go walking and you are late. Similarly, the pulling on the leash can be because of the excitement of walking, exercising, or playing games (like fetch).

In some cases, it feels that they are pulling on the leash because they’re trying to be dominant. However, all they want is to complete their desire. Mostly hunting dogs exhibit this behavior because it is natural for them to search and examine their surroundings. So, if your pup has a hunting background, chances of your pooch pulling on the leash increase significantly.

Pulling on the leash can become a habit if you do not control it at the right time. Your dog can start to pull on the leash without any reason and just for sake of seeking attention and for demanding something (a treat or reward).

How Do You Train a Puppy to Walk on A Leash Without Pulling?

Tan dog pulling against red leash on a beach

Most people think that dogs can walk politely on a leash, but in reality, this skill needs to be trained to avoid future discomfort. This skill is quite important to teach especially if you want to add value to your dog’s walking time. The following are the tips to train your pup to walk on a leash without pulling.

Introduce Collar and Leash

In the beginning, you need to let your dog get used to wearing a collar or harness. If your pup is comfortable with then introduce a leash to him. Let the pup wear it for short periods in the house especially when you are playing with him and giving treats. This way the puppy should love its leash time as it involves food and fun.

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Teach a Cue

White pit terrier mix dog pulling against a leash while walking on a paved street

This is one of the most important steps in your dog training as it can help you and your dog communicate quite easily even in crowded places. Introducing a sound cue like ‘’whistle’’ or the word ‘’yes’’ can be used to indicate to your dog that the food is coming. Whichever method you use the work is the same your dog has its attention on you.

Similarly, when the puppy is on a leash, looking at you after you make the sound just reward him with a treat. Do this again and again and you will see after a few repetitions, your puppy will not only look at you but also starts coming towards you (of course for a treat).

Let the Pup Come to You

By using a cue your pup is coming towards you wearing the leash just back up a few paces and then reward him when he gets to you. Repeat the process until your pup is not coming towards you or walks with you a few paces, upon, hearing the cue noise, comes to you. Always keep short sessions as puppies have a short attention span.

Practice Inside

Red colored puppy on a leash indoors

Now, if your puppy is easily coming to you on cue, start practicing by walking a few steps in a room with some distractions like (feeling and seeing the leash around him). Give treats and praise whenever your dog comes towards you and walks with you while having a leash on.

Take Your Pup Outside

When you perfect it inside the house then take the pup outside to test the skill. There are some challenges in this step because your pup will experience all the sounds, smells, and sights. Be patient and keep the first few walks short. While you’re on a walk, if your pup gets distracted because of smell or any other thing then make sure to use the selected cue sound and move a few steps away. And if the pup follows you, reward him or her with an appreciation or a treat.

What Age Should You Start Leash Training a Puppy?

Black puppy on a leash outdoors being given a treat

Generally, the leash training of puppies starts when they are 7 to 8 weeks old. But due to very short spans of attention the ideal age of starting leash training for a puppy is about 10 weeks old. This is because at this age puppies can follow basic commands and understand daily routines.

How Long Does It Take to Leash Train a Puppy?

White puppy chewing on a leash laying in grass outdoors

If the leash training of your pup started at a young age then ideally it will take around 4 to 6 weeks for your dog can walk properly with a leash. But it also depends on the dog’s dedication as to how fast he or she will acquire this skill. The training period is once or twice a day with intervals of 5 to 15 minutes which is probably quite enough to accomplish good results.

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