dog on leash

How to train a dog to walk on a leash without pulling?

Pulling on the leash is one of the main reasons that people give up on dog training. Dogs may be stubborn, but they’re not stupid! When a person pulls too hard on the leash and makes it uncomfortable for them to walk, this often leads to frustration from both parties and usually ends in an unpleasant exchange.

The key to getting your dog walking nicely beside you without pulling is by teaching them how much pressure is appropriate while still keeping their attention focused on you rather than other distractions. Dogs aren’t born knowing the way to walk beside you on a leash.

It is up to the owner to teach them, and it takes time and patience. There are many methods for training your dog not to pull on the leash, but they all have one thing in common: You must always stay calm and reward good behavior with treats or praise.

Patience is the key to a successful leash training

There are a few important things to remember when training your dog to walk on leash. The first is that it will take time and patience, and don’t expect the first session to be a long one, distance wise at least. 

You’ll need patience for both you and your pup. Keep sessions short but regular with occasional longer walks as you work on getting him used to being on leash.

What you will need?

  • Leash
  • No-Pull Front Harness or Head Collar
  • Dog Treats

Selecting the right leash for walking your small dog

Choosing the right leash for your dog is important to both you and your pet. If you are looking for a durable, lightweight, easy-to-use one for a puppy or smaller dog, choose an elastic or retractable leash.

These types of leashes are perfect because they allow more freedom of movement without sacrificing control over the animal. For larger dogs that need heavier duty material such as thick nylon straps with wide buckles.

You should also make sure that the length of the leash is sufficient so that you can maintain control over your pet, and they don’t run off into traffic or something equally dangerous. Lastly, if possible, consider getting a bright-colored leash with reflective materials on it, so people can see them in low light conditions.

Selecting the right collar for walking your small dog

One of the first things you will need to do when choosing a collar for your small dog is to decide what type of collar you want.

You have two choices: Harnesses and Collars.

A harness goes around the chest, while a collar attaches around the neck. Harnesses are great because they can distribute pressure evenly across your dogs’ body, making it less likely that he’ll pull on his leash and choke himself.

* Choke collars are not recommended because they don’t have the best safety record. These type of collars can harm the trachea by choking or restricting breathing which is not recommended for dogs with short noses like Pugs, Bulldogs or Pekingese breeds.

Training Your Dog to Walk On a Leash

1) When walking your dog on a leash, it is important to keep him on the side that you want. The dog should always walk on the side that you choose, and he will stay in this habit throughout his life. It is also important to make sure that both of you are comfortable with where the leash is positioned, so there are no problems.

2) A great way to train your dog not to pull is by practicing walking without stopping. If you start out and walk a few steps, then stop and make the dog sit before continuing on. When he sits, praise him and start again. This will show the dog that when he walks nicely, you’ll stop for him; but if he pulls on his leash you’ll keep going without stopping for him.

3) When they start pulling on the leash, repeat the stop and sit pattern until they listen. Then continue with the walk but make sure that every time he begins to pull again you stop and have him sit before continuing again. 

Keep repeating this pattern until he has stopped trying to pull altogether. You should also use positive reinforcement like giving treats or petting him when he walks by your side for an extended period of time with no signs of pulling or resistance.

4) Permit your dog to deviate off the path, as long as he does not pull. Every dog will from time to time mark their spot with their urine, these are ordinary habits that you should allow as long as it does not become too repetitive.

5) Use a good leash and keep it short enough so that you can reach the end of it with one hand. If he starts to pull or lag behind, give him a gentle tug and encourage him verbally in a friendly tone. When he is walking properly beside them reward him with treats and praise.

6) Dogs are very active animals and need to be walked at least twice a day. This will help them get used to walking, exercise, and release some of their energy. Walking your dog also benefits you because it gives you the opportunity to take in fresh air and spend time with your pet. You should always walk on the same route so that they can get used to where they’re going.

7) Dogs need to be walked for their physical and mental health, but it can also cause your dog stress when you come into contact with other people or dogs. There are ways to reduce the risk of making your dog stressed out while walking him through high-stress areas. Reassure your dog with kindness that everything will be okay and that you are there with him. If he gets too worked up have him sit and wait for people to pass.

8) Dogs are wonderful pets, but it is important to teach them how to interact with kids. Children can be unpredictable and often do not know their own strength. If your dog doesn’t know how to behave around children, they may accidentally hurt the child or vice versa. It’s best for everyone if you teach your dog from a young age what behavior is appropriate when interacting with children.

Don’t forget poop bags

Dog walking is a great way to get your dog some exercise and release energy. It also allows you to spend time with your pet outside the house, but there are many hazards that come with it.

One of these is making sure that you always have poop bags on hand for when your dog needs to go do his business. If not, then be prepared for the consequences!


  • Karin S

    Welcome to All About My Small Dog, where my love for small dogs and years of hands-on experience meet your need for trusted information. As a dedicated small dog enthusiast and pet parent, I'm deeply committed to sharing expert insights, reliable advice, and a community of support. Every blog you read here is crafted with the utmost care, guided by my passion and expertise. You can trust that you're in the right place for valuable insights and a warm community that understands the unique joys and challenges of small dog ownership. Together, we'll make sure your small dog's world is filled with love, care, and knowledge.

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