Mastering Leash Training: How to Stop Your Dog from Pulling

We’ve all been there. You’re out for a leisurely stroll, enjoying the fresh air, and suddenly you’re yanked forward by your over-enthusiastic furry friend. Pulling is a huge problem for the dog-owning public and a leading culprit for why so many otherwise healthy dogs are doomed to life in animal shelters. Whether it's simple leash-pulling or more significant leash reactivity and leash aggression, the primary thing to keep in mind is that these issues are almost always preventable and manageable when using positive training methods.

Why Dogs Pull on the Leash

Dogs love to be outside, and the walk is a stimulating and exciting part of their day, so the desire to push ahead is very strong. Humans do not make ideal walking partners since a dog’s natural and comfortable walking pace is much faster than ours. Having to walk calmly by a person’s side when the only thing a dog really wants to do is run and investigate his environment requires a degree of impulse control that can be very difficult for some dogs to utilize.

When my dog Max was a pup, he would drag me down the street like he was on a mission to find buried treasure. It was both comical and frustrating. Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not pull on the leash while being walked because they want to be pack leader, top dog, alpha, or dominant over their human. They’re simply excited and curious, and let’s face it, we humans can be pretty slow and boring in comparison to all the interesting smells and sights outside.

Common Misconceptions About Leash Pulling

One of the biggest misconceptions is that leash pulling is about dominance. In reality, it’s about excitement and lack of proper training. Dogs are like kids in a candy store when they’re outside. Everything is new and fascinating. They want to explore, and the quickest way to do that is to pull. When Max was younger, he saw every walk as an opportunity to discover something new, from the neighbor’s bushes to the local park.

Solutions to Stop Leash Pulling

Now, let’s talk solutions. Pulling is one of the things that a dog can do on its own to reinforce itself. Although we can work on pulling during a one-on-one private session, it is something that we cover in the basic obedience class at Prodogz Dog Training in Medford, Southern Oregon. With some simple techniques and sometimes different equipment, pulling is something that can be curbed rather quickly in a positive way.

Using the Right Equipment

One of the first steps is using the right equipment. A no-pull harness or a head halter can make a world of difference. When I switched Max to a no-pull harness, it was like night and day. He went from pulling like a freight train to walking calmly by my side. The harness gave me better control and made the walk more enjoyable for both of us.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is your best friend when it comes to leash training. Reward your dog for walking by your side with treats and praise. Every time Max walked beside me without pulling, he got a treat and a “good boy!” This made him associate walking calmly with positive outcomes. It’s like training a child to say please and thank you—consistency and rewards go a long way.

Consistency is Key

Consistency is crucial. Make sure everyone who walks your dog follows the same rules. If one person allows pulling and another doesn’t, your dog will get mixed signals. When my family members started following the same leash training techniques, Max’s behavior improved significantly. It was a team effort, and it paid off.

Structured Training Classes

At Prodogz Dog Training in Medford, we offer a four-week basic obedience class that covers leash training and other important behaviors. These classes are designed to provide a structured environment where your dog can learn and practice good leash manners. The benefit of a class setting is that your dog can learn to behave even with distractions around, which is often the hardest part of training.

Why Choose Prodogz Dog Training?

Choosing Prodogz Dog Training means choosing a team dedicated to your dog’s success. Located in Medford, Southern Oregon, and serving the Rogue Valley, we offer comprehensive dog training solutions tailored to your needs. With over 25 years of experience, Jason has successfully helped countless dogs and their owners overcome leash pulling and other behavioral issues.

Personal Experience with Private Sessions

If leash pulling is the only issue you’re facing, a one-on-one private session might be the best approach. I remember the first private session we had with Jason. He showed us practical techniques and tools that were easy to implement. For example, we practiced the “stop and go” method, where we’d stop walking every time Max started to pull. He quickly learned that pulling meant the fun stopped, and he needed to come back to my side for the walk to continue.


In conclusion, managing leash pulling doesn’t have to be a struggle. With patience, consistency, and the right techniques, you can transform your walks into enjoyable experiences for both you and your dog. Remember, it’s all about positive reinforcement and making sure your dog understands what’s expected of them. If you’re struggling with leash pulling, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. At Prodogz Dog Training in Medford, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Your dog will thank you, and your arms will too!

Special Note from Prodogz Dog Training: Thank you for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed our free training blog. While you're here, feel free to browse the rest of our website and learn more about how to train your puppy. Prodogz Dog Training is your one-stop dog training facility for positive reinforcement dog training in Medford, Southern Oregon, and the Rogue Valley. Please visit our Schedule page to see when our next basic obedience class is scheduled to start or call Jason at 541-608-2857 to schedule your one-on-one private training session with you and your dog. Happy Training!