There's one thing about leash training that I can't quite wrap my head around regardless of how many of these I read:

If your dog is pulling ahead of you on their leash, the advice is always never to pull back, which makes sense. But does this include just stopping in your tracks? Isn't that automatically creating tension even though I'm not moving/pulling that will still cause him to instinctually pull against?

My puppy definitely walks with the leash pulled tight especially if he sees something and I'd like to have him walk with slack but don't want to stop walking if that's not what I'm supposed to do because it obviously still creates leash tension.

  • if i understand this right both involves stopping one involves pulling after you stop. Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 19:53
  • @trondhansen Right -- I'm just talking about how stopping walking does create tension on the leash since he's still pulling, so I'm a bit confused about whether I'm reading the advice correctly.
    – Ryan
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


From my experience with two Huskies - which are obviously big pullers - so far I'd say a combination of both works best:

  • First, think of tractor pulling, if you know that motorsport. Basically the harder the dog pulls, the slower you go (or even stop). The lower the tension is, the faster you go.
  • Over time the dogs learned that just pulling won't work and they may now keep the leash on slight tension but they no longer actually pull it (unless there are things like cats or squirrels involved).
  • We pull the dogs back only if they'd otherwise get rewarded (or in danger) for doing something. For example, if the dog suddenly jumps into the street sniffing or at some other person.
  • Keep in mind that pulling the dog back creates significantly more tension compared to just standing still. The dogs are able to differentiate between both.

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