Training Tips to Stop a Big Dog from Pulling on the Leash and Barking on a Walk

By: Sam Kanouse

Published Date: October 9, 2017

For this positive dog training session in Omaha we worked with 8 month-old German Shepherd, Boomer (pictured here in the back with Pomsky, Byno in front), teaching him loose leash walking and to stop dog reactivity and stop barking.

When I first arrived Boomer and Byno were too excited to come out and greet me. I used positive reinforcement by giving them treats while in their kennels when they stopped barking and were calm. This helped them learn to associate having new people coming into their home with good, calm behavior.

When I sat down to chat with the dogs’ guardians, I learned that Boomer was dog reactive and people reactive while out on walks. I also learned that leash pulling was an issue for Boomer, which made it hard for his guardians to work with him on his dog and people reactivity issues. I decided to show his guardians how to use our Structured Walk method to help Boomer stop pulling on the leash so we could also work on his reactivity and barking. To see how I accomplished this, watch the video below.

The guardians noticed an immediate difference in Boomer’s behavior. I want to remind the guardians to keep the leash loose while walking the dogs and only have tension on the leash when you are doing a quick, mild correction. Also, remember that if Boomer starts to bark at people or dogs, move him backwards where he is far enough away that he can settle back down. This will help him build confidence and learn that he doesn’t need to bark at people or dogs while on a walk.

By the end of the session Boomer and Byno were both calm dogs and walking on the leash loosely. Boomer was relaxing while walking by new people on the street and was learning to stop barking at dogs in their apartment complex. To keep up this good behavior, make sure to give the dogs plenty of daily exercise, use our Escalating Consequences to disagree with the dogs for undesirable behavior and use our Petting with a Purpose technique for good behavior. We wrapped up this dog behavior training session with Boomer and Byno’s Roadmap to Success video, which you can watch below.

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This post was written by: Sam Kanouse

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