These notes will help you to train your dog or puppy to walk nicely to heel and not to pull on the lead.
As with all dog training, teaching a puppy never to pull on the lead is far easier than stopping them pulling later.
But, whether you’re teaching a puppy or an older dog, the training process is much the same – it just takes longer to teach a dog who’s already learned that pulling on the lead is a fun thing to do – even if they seem to be choking themselves. Start off in a quiet place in the house and simply lure your dog or puppy to your leg and give them a treat. Take a step, give another treat. Take two steps and another treat (or click and treat). Take several steps and give a treat. Do this around the house and garden before using the lead. Then repeat the process with the lead on, but without using it to pull your puppy or dog to you.
If they do try to pull on the lead, just stand still, holding the lead. Don’t play tug of war. Simply stand still. As soon as your dog stops pulling then say “good” and give them a treat.
When your dog no longer pulls on the lead around the house and garden, or when they at least understand the game a little, then go for a walk. Take good handful (i.e. perhaps half the meal!) of your dogs food (if your not feeding complete dry food then use equivalent treats) with you. Walk slowly, practising both luring your dog to your leg and also standing still when they pull. Continue to reward them as above, each time they stop pulling or walk to heel. Gradually building up the number of steps you can take without them pulling on the lead.
Doesn’t it all sound so simple? Well, with lots of training practice and consistency, your dog should learn that pulling on the lead is not nearly as rewarding as being by your side. But, work slowly, gradually building up the training, and don’t expect miracles.