How to stop your puppy from pulling on the lead

Cocker Spaniel Puppy pulling on the lead
Oh dear (Picture: Getty Images)

Walking a puppy, excitable as they are, can quickly become very chaotic.

Many people say that pulling on a lead is one of their biggest struggles and more than a quarter said they’d consider giving up their dog for ‘problematic’ behaviour.

Lorna Winter, director of the UK Dog Behaviour and Training charter, has some top tips to get your dog stop pulling its lead.

Practise in the garden and house

Lorna describes this as an ‘absolute must’.

She tells us: ‘Don’t leave it until they are allowed out on walks, as this is already too late.’

Your dog needs his own cozy spot as well, preferably a crate, a comfy bed that’s his alone and a selection of appropriate toys.

First, she says you should start inside.

‘Practise in the house,’ she explains, ‘walking up and down without even using the lead.’

Child walking a puppy dog
You’ll be walking with ease in no time (Picture: Getty Images)

Utilise treats

We’re all about positive reinforcement, and treats are a great way to keep your pup’s attention.

‘Have some treats ready in your hand,’ says Lorna. ‘Hold them down at thigh level, and walk at your pup’s pace. Once mastered, take it into the garden.

‘Increase the steps in between treats. If your dog moves ahead, stop, reposition, and start again.

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: The Saluki is the world’s oldest dog breed. They appear in ancient Egyptian tombs dating back to 2100 B.C.

‘Once your dog consistently walks nicely alongside, you, then you can start to introduce the lead.

‘By the time your pup has had their second injection they should already be walking nicely alongside you like a pro.’

Never yank the lead

This should hopefully go without saying, but do not jerk the lead. You wouldn’t like it, so why would you subject your baby best bud to that sort of thing?

‘Never jerk or yank on the lead,’ says Lorna.

‘Just stop, drop some treats behind your heel until your puppy is back where you want them, and then start moving again.

It’s not so black and white. It’s a myth that dogs only see in black and white. In fact, it’s believed that dogs see primarily in blue, greenish-yellow, yellow and various shades of gray.

Laura is co-founder and head of training for coaching app Zigzag

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