How To Train Your Dog To Walk On A Leash Without Pulling

I’ve always loved walking with my dog. I love seeing the world from her point of view: sniffing every tree and lamp post, playing with other dogs, and generally enjoying herself. But there’s one thing that keeps me from enjoying our walks as much as I’d like: pulling on the leash. 

It doesn’t matter if we’re going down a busy street or just taking a leisurely stroll around the block; my sweet pup still insists on dragging me along by her neck collar like an anchor. It’s not fun for either of us! 

So today I’m going to share some tips and tricks with you on how to train your dog to walk well leashed without pulling.

How to Train a Dog to Walk on Leash Without Pulling – YouTube
1. Leash training your dog is essential for their safety and your peace of mind.
2. Positive reinforcement training is more effective than punishing your dog.
3. Choosing the right leash, collar, and training techniques based on your dog’s temperament is crucial.
4. Consistency, patience, and a positive attitude are key to successful leash training.
5. There are many resources available to help you train your dog to walk on a leash without pulling, including articles, guides, and expert advice.

Use a Head Collar

A head collar is a great tool for training your dog to walk on a leash without pulling. It allows you to control your dog’s head, which is where they get their direction from. In order for them to pull with success, they need to be able to see where they’re going and what’s around them so that they can move away from distractions or other dogs that may be coming towards them. 

By using the head collar when walking your pup in public places (or even just outside), you’ll be able to prevent pulling while still allowing them some freedom of movement so they don’t feel like they’re being restrained all day long!

The Ultimate Guide to Dog Training is an excellent resource for every dog owner, covering every aspect of dog training from basic obedience to complex tasks. If you want to learn more about effective dog training, follow this link to our Ultimate Guide to Dog Training.

Use a Harness

You should use a harness, not a collar. Harnesses are safer for dogs and they help with pulling. They can also be used to train your dog not to pull on the leash by applying pressure when he does so, but this is not always ideal for all dogs or situations.

The best type of harnesses are front-attaching ones (like this one) because they distribute pressure evenly across their chest rather than putting too much strain on their neck and trachea like traditional collars do.

It’s important that you get fitted properly; if your dog has any sort of neck issues such as disc disease or arthritis then I recommend getting an extra large size even though it may feel too big!

Harness TypeDescription
Front-clip harnessThe front-clip harness attaches to a leash at the front of the dog’s chest, making it harder for them to pull, and giving you more control. Highly recommended for dogs that pull persistently.
Back-clip harnessBack-clip harnesses help distribute the force more evenly across your dog’s body, reducing strain on the neck. They are suitable for small dogs or dogs with respiratory issues.
Dual-clip harnessDual-clip harnesses provide versatility by having clips on the front and back. You can use the front clip when you’re starting leash training, and the back clip when your dog is accustomed to walking on a leash.
No-pull harnessNo-pull harnesses are designed to discourage pulling by giving gentle pressure around the dog’s chest or underarms. Highly recommended for dogs with neck or back problems.
Head halterThe head halter fits over your dog’s muzzle and behind their ears, giving you greater control over their head movements. Not recommended for short-nosed breeds or dogs with respiratory problems.

Teach Your Dog How to Walk On A Loose Leash

  • Teach Your Dog to Walk On A Loose Leash

The first step in teaching your dog how to walk on a leash is getting him comfortable with the idea of being attached by one. If he doesn’t know what it feels like, then he won’t be able to learn how to control himself while wearing one.

  • Teach Your Dog How To Walk At Your Side

Once your dog has gotten used to walking with a leash attached, it’s time for the next step: teaching him how not pull when he’s attached by one! 

The best way I’ve found for doing this is by using an empty plastic bottle filled with sand and capped at both ends (this makes it heavier than regular bottles). 

Hold onto this bottle as you would normally hold onto your pup’s leash–but keep it loose enough so that its weight keeps him from pulling too much when we walk around together outside our house during these lessons (this will make sense later).

Socialization and positive reinforcement are crucial to successful puppy training. If you’re wondering when to start training your new pup, check out our guide on When to Start Training Your Puppy for valuable insights and tips.

Keep The Leash Tight

Keeping the leash tight will help keep your dog from pulling. If you are using a collar, make sure that you can slip two fingers between your dog’s neck and its collar; if it is too tight, it can cause chaffing or even injury.

If your dog tends to pull on their leash when they see other dogs or people, try putting them in an extended down position (with their belly on the ground) before going past these distractions. This helps calm them down and prevents them from lunging forward when they see something new–and gives them less room for pulling!

Pay Attention To Your Dog’s Body Language

When you’re walking your dog, pay attention to his body language. If he seems stressed or anxious, stop walking and give him some time to settle down. 

Don’t pull on the leash or keep your dog on a tight leash–this will only make matters worse by causing unnecessary stress for both of you. 

When it comes time for him to move in the direction that YOU want him to go (such as when entering an elevator), don’t try forcing him into this situation; instead wait until he’s comfortable with it before proceeding forward.

Body LanguageDescription
Tail positionA relaxed tail held in a natural position indicates your dog is at ease and comfortable. A tail between the legs signals fear or submission.
Ear positionDogs’ ears are often a good indicator of their mood. Erect ears can indicate alertness, while flattened ears can indicate anxiety or submission.
Eye contactDirect eye contact from your dog shows a sign of confidence or is a challenge. Avoid direct eye contact when introducing your dog to other dogs.
PantingHeavy or excessive panting can be a sign of anxiety, pain or discomfort.
StiffnessA stiff body, raised hackles, and a tense posture can all be signs of aggression.
YawningYawning is often a stress-relieving signal for dogs and may indicate anxiety or discomfort.

Make Sure The Walk is Fun For Both of you

When you’re out on your walks, make sure that both of you are having fun. If your dog is enjoying the walk and not pulling, then they will be less likely to pull on their leash.

If they aren’t having fun during this time, they may try harder to get away from or run after something interesting (like another dog). Make sure that before each walk begins and throughout its duration there is space for playtime if needed!

A good rule of thumb is: when in doubt–play!

Excessive barking can be distressing and frustrating for both you and your dog. Fortunately, our Experts provide many effective techniques for barking control, which you can find in our article on How to Train Your Dog to Stop Barking.

Practice With Other Dogs

Dogs are social animals, so they’ll want to interact with other dogs. If you have a dog walking buddy, use them! The two of you can practice together and really hone in on your dog’s leash-walking skills.

Go outside! You might be tempted to practice indoors so that your pup doesn’t pull as much when there are distractions around him/her (like other people or animals), but this may actually make things worse: the leash will feel tighter because he/she is being restrained from moving forward by something invisible (like an imaginary barrier). 

Instead, take your furry friend outside where there are real obstacles for him/her to navigate around and over–and if there aren’t any obstacles available then create them yourself by placing some cones on the ground for him/her to walk around as well as around trees for him/her not only pull against but also go through under low branches too high off ground level for humans’ comfort zone levels only–this way both parties benefit from each others’ presence while still having fun too!

Training TechniqueDescription
Group dog walking classesParticipating in group dog walking classes is an excellent way for your dog to gain socialization skills and learn how to walk on a leash among other dogs.
Puppy playdatesPuppy playdates can help your puppy learn how to behave around other dogs and build confidence on a leash.
Dog walking servicesHiring a dog walking service can help your dog get used to walking on a leash with experienced walkers and their dogs.
Doggy daycaresEnrolling your dog in a doggy daycare can help them learn how to socialize and walk with other dogs in a safe and supervised environment.
Dog obedience classesEnrolling your dog in obedience classes can be beneficial for learning general obedience skills as well as socialization.

Practice In Different Places and Weather Conditions

When you’re practicing in different places and weather conditions, be sure to pay attention to your dog’s body language. A change in their behavior could indicate that they are uncomfortable with the location or situation. If this happens, move somewhere else and try again.

If you’re practicing in a quiet area where there aren’t many distractions, like on a quiet street or in an empty park, start by walking at a normal pace for about 20 minutes before trying any training exercises with your dog (see below). 

This will let them get used to being on leash without having too much time pass by when they’re not doing any work! 

Then once they seem relaxed enough–and only if they are relaxed enough–you can start working on staying focused while walking on leash with distractions around us!

A well-trained dog is both disciplined and well-behaved, and training your dog to stay is fundamental to success in other areas of dog training. For effective tips and strategies on training your dog to stay, take a look at our guide on The Most Effective Methods for Training Your Dog to Stay.

Be Patient and Be Consistent

To train your dog to walk on a leash without pulling, you must be patient and consistent. If you are not consistent, your dog will not learn. 

It took me several weeks before I could take my pup out for walks without him pulling on the leash (he was only six months old), but with time and patience he eventually got used to walking nicely by my side. If you are impatient with your dog during this learning process, they may become anxious or even aggressive towards people or other animals in their path–and nobody wants that!

For example: I would always take my pup out for walks around our neighborhood when it was sunny outside so that he could get some exercise while also getting used to seeing strangers pass by us in cars (and on bikes). 

This helped him understand how big the world is outside of our front door; however if we did this at night time when there wasn’t much traffic around then he would get scared because everything seemed unfamiliar compared

Proper socialization is essential for your dog to have a positive relationship with other dogs, people and their environment. Want to ensure your dog can comfortably and confidently interact with other dogs? Follow our guide on How to Train Your Dog to Behave Around Other Dogs for effective, positive training techniques and tips.


We hope you find these tips and tricks helpful for training your dog to walk on a leash without pulling. It’s important to remember that training takes patience and consistency, but it can be fun for both of you!

Further reading:

Here are some additional resources for leash training your dog:

Training Your Dog Not to Pull on the Leash by Pet Expertise: A comprehensive guide to leash training that covers everything from understanding why dogs pull to different training methods.

Teach Your Puppy to Walk on a Leash by AKC: A guide that includes tips for training your puppy to walk on a leash and helpful information about choosing the right leash and collar.

5 Ways to Train Your Dog to Walk on a Leash by RSPCA Pet Insurance: A brief guide that highlights five different approaches to training your dog to walk on a leash without pulling.


Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about leash training dogs:

How do I stop my dog from pulling on the leash?

There are several effective ways to stop your dog from pulling on the leash, including positive reinforcement training, the use of no-pull harnesses and head halters, and teaching your dog to walk nicely on a loose leash.

What kind of leash should I use for training?

It’s important to choose a leash that is the right material, length, and style for your dog’s size, breed, and temperament. A six-foot leash is generally the best length for training, and a flat or martingale collar is recommended instead of a choke or prong collar.

Can I still use a retractable leash for training?

Retractable leashes can make it difficult to teach a dog to walk nicely on a leash and should be avoided during leash training. Opt for a standard flat, martingale, or slip leash instead.

Should I punish my dog for pulling on the leash?

No, punishing your dog for pulling on the leash is not effective and can cause stress and anxiety. Positive reinforcement training is a more effective way to train your dog to walk nicely on a leash.

How long does it take to train a dog to walk on a leash without pulling?

The amount of time it takes to train a dog to walk on a leash without pulling can vary depending on the dog’s age, breed, and temperament, as well as the training methods used. Consistency, patience, and a positive attitude are key to success.