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Teaching Dogs Not to Pull on Leash

Dogs Who Resist Walking on Leash continued...

It will help to walk your dog in less frightening environments at first. Instead of walking on a busy road, opt for a quiet residential street or a path through the park. Gradually progress to busier areas as your dog develops confidence in quieter places.

Some dogs respond well if you ask them to do something else when they stop forward movement. Ask your dog to sit, down, make eye contact, shake a paw or perform any other convenient behavior that he knows well and enjoys. This may help your dog forget why he was nervous and begin walking again. Of course, you should praise and reward him for performing these behaviors.

Fearful and insecure dogs benefit from low-key exposure to the world. Rather than going for a walk, try sitting on bench and just hanging out with your dog. Talk to him and periodically give him treats for any signs of relaxing in the situation, such as being calmer and able to pay attention to you and do easy behaviors you ask him to do (like sit) for tasty rewards.

Need More Help?

If you’d like help teaching your dog to walk politely on leash—or if you’d like to learn how to train additional useful skills—consider contacting a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) in your area. Many CPDTs offer private lessons and group obedience classes that focus on fun, effective training methods .

WebMD Veterinary Reference from ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist

The ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist specializes in the resolution and management of pet behavior problems only. Please do not submit questions about medical problems here. Only licensed veterinarians can diagnose medical conditions. If you think that your pet is sick, injured or experiencing any kind of physical distress, please contact his veterinarian immediately. A delay in seeking proper veterinary care may worsen your pet's condition and put his life at risk. If you are concerned about the cost of veterinary care, please read our resources on finding financial help.

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