How to Stop Leash Pulling In 5 Minutes

You’re probably not alone if you have a dog that pulls on the leash when you walk it. Dogs love to pull on things, and they do it for various reasons. Most enjoy the thrill of pulling something really heavy to make sure everything looks disorganized. This might have pushed you to find out how to stop leash pulling in 5 minutes.

It’s no fun walking a dog when it seems like they’re trying to drag you along the sidewalk. Luckily, a clever solution can stop leash pulling in about 5 minutes —and most times, without training or obedience classes.

What Causes My Dog To Pull on the Leash?

The first thing to remember is that pulling on the leash is normal behavior for dogs. They’re naturally inclined to pull, and it can be very difficult to change their behavior.

Keep in mind that there are many different reasons why your dog might pull on the leash:

  • Your dog might be trying to tell you something by pulling on the leash, like “I need a break!” or “I’m tired!”
  • The dog is feeling anxious or stressed. This pulling can happen when your dog feels threatened or around people or other dogs. Therefore, he’ll try to get away from them.
  • The dog wants attention from someone else. This could be his owner or another dog close by but not near enough for him.

Stopping Leash Pulling: Step-by-Step Guide

Dogs are great, but they can sometimes be a challenge to walk. Leash pulling is one of the most common problems that dog owners run into. Mostly, it’s not just annoying. It can also be dangerous, and that’s why laws are available to guide leashing. 

two dogs on leashes facing each othe on the side of the road

There are many ways on how to punish a dog, but there are also better ways to get your dog to quit pulling on the leash without punishment.

Here is a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Select the Proper Equipment 

Do you have a dog that loves to pull? You’re not alone! It’s a common problem for many dogs. The good news is that there are ways to make your dog stay calm and focused.

The most obvious solution is to ensure your dog fits well with its collar. At this point, you may wonder what leash is best to stop a dog from pulling. If you notice your dog experiencing pain from the pressure of its collar, switch to a no-pull harness instead.

These harnesses allow you to attach the leash directly onto their body without putting any pressure on their neck or shoulders. This harness makes pulling much more uncomfortable than it would otherwise be, which can help encourage better behavior.

If this doesn’t seem like an option right away, try using a pinch collar instead. It is designed to tighten around the neck if your dog pulls hard enough—but don’t hurt them.

They’ll still be able to breathe well while wearing it, and as long as they don’t get too overexcited while running around with it on, they should be fine in the long run.

Step 2: When your Dog Starts Pulling, Stop

If your dog pulls on the leash when you’re walking, you might think he wants to go somewhere. But if you give in and let him pull, this will only reinforce his behavior. 

The second step is to stop whenever your dog pulls. You need to stand still and not move.

You might think this will be hard for your dog, but it’s a great way for him to learn what “no” means. If he knows that when he pulls, you stop walking, then he’ll have no choice but to listen when you tell him not to do something else.

attentive dog on a leash looking at owner

Don’t worry if he doesn’t understand right away—that usually happens in small steps as he better understands what’s okay and what isn’t.

Step 3: Wait for Your Dog To Look at You

The moment you stop moving is the moment your dog gets to work. The dog will tug at the leash, but you’ll not move an inch.

What can he do next? He’ll turn and look at you.

It might take a while for the dog to understand what’s happening. This trick takes time, especially if your dog is the stubborn type.

As soon as he looks at you, turn away from him. This move will make him think that there’s something interesting happening behind him, and he’ll want to check it out.

In a flash, you’ve got his full attention.

Step 4: Change the Direction When Your Dog Starts Pulling 

If you’ve ever tried to walk your dog and noticed that it just keeps pulling, this tip is for you.

It works with both hyper dogs that pull on the leash non-stop, as well as more laid-back ones. Here’s how it works:

If you want your dog to learn how to walk on a leash, you can start with the most basic skill: walking normally.

Walk your dog normally for about 10-20 minutes whenever they pull and start walking in the opposite direction. Your dog will feel jerked and uncomfortable when you change direction quickly enough. Do this when the dog pulls the leash.

It may take some time for your dog to learn this skill, but if you keep at it, you’ll soon be able to take your entire walk without ever having to say “no.”

What if My Dog’s Training Isn’t Progressing Quickly Enough?

Getting your dog to stop pulling on leashes at once is hard. The good news is that you don’t have to train them all at once. 

You can start training your dog that walking beside you is more rewarding than dragging you down the street by rewarding them with treats or toys as they walk nicely alongside you. This training can take time, but if you are consistent, your dog will soon realize walking beside you is more fun than dragging your feet.

It’s important to remember that this process won’t happen overnight. It will take a lot of patience and consistency from you and your dog to understand what’s expected and the rewarding process.

FAQs: What’s There to Know 

Can Pulling on the Leash Harm My Dog?

Yes, leash pulling can hurt your dog. You can cause permanent neck damage if you’re too rough with your dog.

But it’s not all doom and gloom! There are ways to keep your pup safe and happy while on the leash.

If you have a dog prone to pulling, it’s important to train them on a leash instead of using a training collar or head harness. This way, you can prevent accidents and keep your dog safe.

Should I Use a Prong Collar or a Choke Chain?

No, you should never use a prong collar or a choke chain.

white dog with black and white spots walking with a leash

A choke chain or prong collar is just like a leash—only on steroids. It’s designed to stop your dog from pulling hard enough to cause damage to the dog’s throat. 

But they don’t work! They only make things worse by increasing the amount of pressure your dog feels when he pulls against them.

If you’ve ever used one of these devices and seen how it makes your dog look like he’s trying to pull through a hole in the concrete, then you know what we mean. He might look like he’s having fun, but all he’s doing is hurting himself and making the situation worse for everyone involved.

Should I Discipline My Dog For Pulling?

When training your dog, you should never punish him for pulling. The best solution for a dog pulling on a leash is to deny him a reward for doing it.

If your dog walks by your side and pulls on the leash, it can be negative reinforcement. You may think that this helps to correct the behavior of pulling, but it creates a cycle that’s harder to break.

Instead of punishing your dog when he pulls, try using positive reinforcement. This gesture means that you reward him with treats or playtime when he walks calmly next to you or behaves well in other ways.


Training your dog can be a lot of fun, but it’s also hard work. It’s important to remember that your dog will be watching you and that they might pick up on your emotions.

In the beginning, training can be frustrating. Your dog doesn’t want to stay still and may even get antsy around you while you’re trying something new. But don’t give up! Just take it slow and follow your dog’s cues as best as you can, and you’ll be able to see improvements in no time. You may still acquire the best collar for training stubborn dogs.

Our dogs are very attuned to our emotions, so we never want them to be scared or reluctant to keep us company. We also want them to know they’re safe with us. Use treats and praise when they do well instead of yelling or hitting them when things go wrong.

Photo of author

Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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