How to Keep a Puppy From Straining on a Leash

Good leash behavior makes walking your puppy a pleasant experience.
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Walking your puppy on a leash often seems deceptively easy. Although a leash helps control your pet companion and keep him safe, when he gets exited he's bound to start straining and pulling. To keep him from doing this, never allow him to take you for a walk -- giving in just one time reinforces his leash-straining behavior and teaches him that it's alright to pull. Learn how to keep you pup from pulling your elbow out of its socket so walking him becomes enjoyable for both of you.

Step 1

Pull the leash in the opposite direction the moment you feel the tension in the leash increasing. By pulling back and changing directions you surprise your puppy. He'll notice that his straining doesn't get him to where he wants to go. Be consistent and do this each time he pulls on the leash. Over time, he'll stop the bad leash behavior.

Step 2

Stop walking if your puppy starts pulling on the leash. Stand still, tightly hold the leash and don't make eye contact with your pet companion. Allow him to pull as much as he wants. When he notices he's not getting anywhere, he'll eventually relax and the leash will get some slack. Say "good boy," and give him a treat when he stops straining and calms down. This reinforces his good behavior so he might repeat it. Continue walking and repeat this tactic each time your puppy starts straining on the leash.

Step 3

Redirect your puppy the instant he starts pulling. Hold the leash in your right hand and when he starts pulling, extend your right arm forward and move it slowly to the right. Your puppy will follow the direction of the leash. Bring your right arm out to your side and around the back of your body as if you're making a circle with the leash. Grasp the leash with your left hand and bring it around to your left side. Praise your pup when he ends up at your left side and continue your walk, making sure to guide him in a circle and correct him each time he starts pulling.


  • To get your puppy used to being on a leash, have him wear his collar and leash around the house and watch him closely.

  • Make sure all family members correct your puppy when he starts pulling on the leash. If one person lets him get away with it, it can ruin his training.

An Item You Will Need

  • Dog treats