Training a Culver City Dog to Stop Pulling on the Leash

By: David Codr

Published Date: August 12, 2022

For this Culver City dog training appointment, share tips to train 6 year-old Terrier mix Phoebe to stop pulling on the leash.

Phoebe is a rescue dog who is fortunate to have a very smart, educated and dedicated guardian who is so devoted to her well being. Often when I am called in to work with fearful dogs, I have to start at zero; coving the basic building blocks of dog behavior modification. But her guardian understood how to use marker words, desensitization and counterconditioning and had made significant progress on her dog reactivity and aversion to unknown humans.

I did offer a few pointers such as practicing in an easier environment. In order to use Desensitization and Counter Conditioning, its imperative you are exposing the dog to a lower level of intensity of their triggers. The guardian had been working in a daily busy environment that was likely too much for Phoebe at her current level. While our goal is to work up to such a setting, you need to first practice in a place the dog feels comfortable in and gradually work up to more challenging locations or triggers.

After discussing this and many of dog behavior tips, we headed out to Culver Park where there were less people so that we could work on Phoebe’s habit of pulling on the leash.

How to Train a Dog to Stop Pulling on a Leash

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If you have a dog who pulls on the leash on walks, you aren’t alone. This is one of the more common dog training requests for dog trainers. And I’ll share a pro training secret with you; the # 1 reason most people fail to successfully train a dog to stop pulling on the leash is they try to practice on an actual walk. This sets the dog up for failure for multiple reasons; dogs walk faster that us, pulling on the leash accomplishes what the dog want (to get to something) or we pull back triggering a tug of war (the exact opposite of loose leash walking).

We found a fairly quiet corner of the park so I could show Phoebe’s guardian an easy way to teach a dog to stop pulling on the leash, something we now refer to as Loose Leash Walking. If you want some tips to stop a dog from pulling on the leash on walks, check out the free positive dog training video below.

I regret we didn’t work on these secrets to stopping a dog from pulling on the leash sooner. It was a long and warmer than usual day and I think Phoebe got too tired to want to continue. Hopefully the pantomime I did in the dog training video above gives a good illustration, but I found another video that shows a different dog training company using the same loose leash walking method in their facility.

Since Phoebe’s guardian is so dedicated and has an amazing support staff (lol), Im confident she will be following along and eventually walking with a loose leash. Now its important to keep in mind, in situations where Phoebe feels anxious, fearful or triggered, this method will not stop her from pulling on the leash. When a dog is reactive, its not resonable to expect them to be obedient and disregard their fear, anxiety or triggers. If her guardian recognizes Phoebe is uncomfortable, she will need to proactively move Phoebe away from whatever that is before she feels the need to bark at, confront or pull to get away.

Since we worked in a few different locations and covered many dog behavior tips, I sat down and recorded a roadmap to success summary video that you can check out below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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