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How to Walk a Stubborn Dog

Updated on February 27, 2014
Clip Art by OCAL at
Clip Art by OCAL at

Walking Your dog

An aggravated dog owner that feels his pet has balked, may think that his dog is mule-headed. This is the typical human response to a dog that declines to walk on a leash. But has the dog been trained to walk on a leash?

Characteristically, a dog dislikes a leash. The dog, or puppy might flop down, tug against the leash, or try backing out of the collar. The pooch isn't born knowing good leash habits.

What are some reasons why the dog won't walk? He isn't familiar with a leash, and he doesn't know he gets to go walking when you put the leash on. Has he walked on a leash before? If not, let him sniff his leash. Don't allow him to play with it.

Is he familiar with wearing a collar? The dog should be familiar with the collar before introducing the leash. See if the collar abrades his neck. He may need a different collar. The puppy definitely needs to get used to a collar. It is going to feel odd to him. It is probable that he will chew or scratch his collar. After he stops, spring the treat for him. Attract him to walking with you, collar only, by giving him treats when he does.

Other Considerations

Is it cold outside? Is you're dog short haired? Does he need a doggie sweater? Is it an old dog that may have health issues and suddenly doesn't want to go walking?


Tips for Walking Dogs

Teach Statue Dog to Walk on Leash

When the dog won't walk, September Mom at the recommends this method for leash training. To interest the dog in walking, secure the leash to his collar while inside. Get his treats out and drop one or two in his eyesight, and roam through the house sprinkling some treats around. Disregard the leash and the dog. Don't encourage him to get the treat. Just go through some regular activity like straightening up as you drop the goodies.

Go do something in a room beyond the dog's view. Allow the pet to retrieve and eat the treats on his own initiative. At intervals, not too often, find your dog and pet it briefly, and return to your activity. When thirty minutes has passed, remove the leash peacefully. Later that day and evening, redo the technique. Dogs learn to associate praise and treats with their leash.

Train him inside, then go outside. There is a lot of stuff that exhilarates him is outside. These distractions inhibit leash training.

How to Walk a Dog on a Leash That Pulls

Or How to Stop a Dog from Pulling When Walking

Some dogs will walk on a leash, but they pull in any direction that grabs their interest. This is a sign the dog is very excitable in response to the outdoors. He wants to sniff all over and see what's going on. He is exploring the world by smell, and sounds get his attention. Your dog may have preoccupations that he tries to investigate like runners, other canines, bicyclers.

Laura Luck at recommends this technique. To train him to walk calmly use some treats and a clicker. When you get outside with your dog on the leash, stop, be quiet, wait, and let your dog look inquiringly at you. Then click your clicker, and produce a treat for him. Move ahead a couple of steps, stop, get the look, click, and produce the treat. Go forward several steps and allow the leash to get taunt, allow your dog to look back, click, and produce the treat.

To get your pet to stop being absorbed by a distraction, Luck says get him distanced some from the distraction, if he refrains from reacting to it click and give a treat.

Tree Method

When your canine friend tries to haul you off in an effort to sniff something, or check out another dog. Stop and stand still. Just hold out longer than your pet. He will quit pulling, provided you wait long enough. When he does, give praise. Begin walking. Your dog will learn that he can begin hauling you around again in three, five, or seven minutes, if you allow him to out wait you. Persistence is the thing that will get this method to work. When he refrains from pulling and starts to walk behind or beside you, whichever way you are training him, reinforce the good behavior with praise.

Lead Rope and with Pinch Collar

This method sounds inhumane. Straining against the pinch collar does hurt a bit. Your dog will figure this out and stop pulling. Use a long lead rope for this training, and allow him to stray off to the rope's end. Head off in a different direction, and pull the lead rope slightly. He may show resistance. Halt. Tighten his rope a little and wait for him to go in your direction. When he comes your way stroll until he goes another way. Then turn and go away from him. Etcetera

Do this over and over again to train him. When he pulls away and heads in another direction, turn away and walk. Go through the procedure until he learns.

Short and Loose Leash Walking

Many dog trainers like Cesar Millan use the loose leash way of training dog's to walk. He does not recommend flexible leashes or any long ones. He says these leads help the dog to control where you go and hamper training. He says the short leash gives the owner control, but after the owner corrects the dog by tightening the short leash, Milan says to loosen the tension after the teaching point is over.

Dog Walking Tips

Let your dog know you are the leader of the pack is Milan's advice, as well as many other dog trainers. Walk with good posture and confidence in your stride. These trainers advice to go out and in first, and to have the dog walk beside or behind you. The pack leader is always first. The alpha controls the pack. If you are being walked, many problems behaviors can crop up says

Training your dog to heel is a good method for stating who is the alpha. It is your choice to train the dog to heel by your side, or a bit behind you. You will have control of your dog, if you teach him and he learns to pay attention to you, then you are the decision maker. When your dog seems to be doing okay, don't slack up, he will take the lead, and that battle is lost. Plus, he begins to form a bad habit.

Milan say to allow the dog to stop and smell and do his business, after he has the right attitude, he calls it state of mind. So, when he is walking correctly for a bit, let him relieve himself. When the walk is finished, go inside and remove the leash. Milan recommends that you teach the dog to wait calmly while you do this and while you put your hat up or take your coat off.

Remember, you are the leader and make the decisions. Once you are ready, if this is a morning walk, feed your dog. It teaches him that his food is a reward for behaving well. If it's an evening walk praise and pet him for the good behavior.

Putting the dog in a dog obedience class, can help you try him. No matter which method you choose to train a stubborn dog to walk on a leash, you must control the situation always and be the leader constantly.


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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great tips!

    • Deltachord profile image

      Deltachord 4 years ago from United States

      Thanks for the vote up. Hope it helps.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      I have a very stubborn miniature Schnazer (who is the star of several of my Hubs). She loves to go on a walk, but then she wants to go only where SHE wants to go. I'm going to try your tip on using a clicker and treat. She only weighs 14 lbs, but she aggravates me.

      Voted UP, etc.

    • Deltachord profile image

      Deltachord 4 years ago from United States

      You're welcome.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Indeed it is. With voice, the entire body is the instrument. Many folks are surprised to know that. So happy to hear you like music. Music has been my life and always will be. Thanks so much!

    • Deltachord profile image

      Deltachord 4 years ago from United States

      As my mother always said, you can learn something new everyday. I'm glad the article helped you, vocalcoach. Thanks for voting me up.

      Being a vocal coach sounds very interesting. I like music a lot, and a good voice is an instrument.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Good rules for walking your dog. Thought I knew them all. But I learned more from your hub. Nice job and voted up!