Teach Your Dog to Walk on a Leash without Pulling

Walking your dog on a leash can be a challenge, especially if they have a tendency to pull. But don’t worry, with the right training, you can teach your furry friend to walk nicely on a leash without any pulling. Consistency is key when it comes to training, so make sure you treat every walk as a training session. In the meantime, you might want to provide your dog with alternate forms of exercise to keep them active while you work on their leash manners.

Method One: Red Light, Green Light

To start, if your dog pulls on the leash while walking, simply stop! Wait until they stop pulling or put slack in the leash by either looking back at you or walking back towards you. As soon as the leash is loose, give them positive reinforcement by saying “Yes!” and rewarding them with a treat. Then, continue walking. If your dog starts pulling again, repeat the process. During the walk, reward your dog for staying close to you or looking up at you. This method teaches your dog that staying near you or looking at you results in rewards and the opportunity to keep moving. It also teaches them that pulling on the leash means the walk comes to a halt. If your dog pulls to sniff something, follow the same steps above but reward them for putting slack in the leash by walking with them towards the object of their interest. Sniffing becomes their reward. Remember, consistency is key. Always stop moving the moment your dog starts pulling.

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Method Two: Lure and Reward

Another effective method is to use luring and rewarding techniques. While walking, keep several treats in your left hand (if your dog is on your left side) and hold your hand in front of their nose. Every few seconds, give them a treat and praise them for walking nicely on the leash. If they begin to pull, stop immediately and redirect their attention. Ask them to sit, then put your treat hand back in front of their nose and start walking again. Practice this daily for at least a week, and then stop luring your dog with treats in your hand. Instead, treat them every few steps from your left pocket or treat pouch. Gradually increase the number of steps between treats over multiple training sessions.

Things to Remember:

  1. Rewards: Teaching your dog to walk on a leash without pulling requires plenty of rewards. Use high-value treats like hotdogs, cheese, or jerky dog treats to keep them motivated.
  2. Pre-Walk Routine: Teach your dog to control themselves before the walk starts. Only put the leash on when all four paws are on the floor or ask them to sit before clipping on the leash.
  3. Consistency is Key: Make every walk a training session. If your dog sometimes gets what they want by pulling, they will continue to pull while walking.


When it comes to equipment, using a regular buckle or snap collar, or a martingale collar is recommended. You may also consider using a head halter, such as the Gentle Leader, or a no-pull harness, like the Easy Walk. These tools can make walks more pleasant for both you and your dog. However, it’s important to note that they do not automatically teach your dog not to pull. Training using a regular collar is still necessary. Avoid using a regular harness, as it can encourage pulling. Additionally, fabric or metal choke collars, as well as pinch/prong collars, should be avoided.

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Remember, training your dog to walk nicely on a leash takes time and patience. Stay consistent, use positive reinforcement, and soon you’ll be enjoying peaceful walks with your well-behaved furry companion. For high-quality collars and leashes, check out Karen’s Kollars.

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