How to train dog to walk nicely on leash?

My Golden nearly chokes himself when walking with a regular collar on. He has been to obedience class, but just has failed miserably at walking by my side! So, I’ve tried a slip collar, but I just didn’t like it and it didn’t do much good anyway. So, now he wears a gentle leader, which works ok, but he still pulls a bit and I’m sure it’s not good on his neck when he gets excited and jumps around when we see other dogs. Plus, it’s leaving a permanent mark across his nose. So….what is the most effective way to train him to walk nicely using a regular collar? I don’t necessarily care if he “heels’ or walks by my side at all times. I just want to make him stop pulling. How did you get your dog to accomplish this??
It IS hard to teach an old dog new tricks!!
he is almost 3. rescued him at 10 mo. old.

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24 Responses to “How to train dog to walk nicely on leash?”

  1. david w said:

    You offer him doggy treats. if that doest whenever he chokes himself by running to fast pull back sharply (but not strongly or youll hurt him/her) on the lead. continue to do this for about a month or 2 and the dog will walk nicely.

  2. Carl p said:

    Did you watch the training dvd that came with the gentle leader?
    He should not pull, there should be no tension on the leash and he should correct himself, if there is a mark on the nose….is the nose loop too tight? is the neck strap too loose? if it is it will caus chafing around the nose as the back will move.

    I use the gentle leader on my 125lb Bullmastiff and I am 100lbs and female….I could walk a pack of them on those things…I would make sure it’s fitted correctly, this is the best product for walks.

  3. iluvtorofl said:

    Use a gentle leader or no pull harness. I don’t like the ones that fit around the nose, I prefer the harness. I don’t know how old your golden is, but mature ones are usually very docile and will walk right at your heel even without a leash. You might consider altering yours to calm it unless you plan on breeding.

  4. yarmiah said:

    I too have an exuberant dog when it comes to walking on a leash.
    He has gotten much better using the following techniques:
    -teaching and training to “HEEL” in the house, where there are less distractions
    -using a prong collar and 6foot leash only used when walking
    -stopping completely when he pulls

    He is far from perfect but I continue to see improvements with each walk.

    Good Luck!

  5. friendlygirl42 said:

    I know some people don’t like choke collars, but they can be temporary, just to let him know that if he pulls he will not enjoy the feeling. They need to learn that you are the master and the one in control. I have used the regular collars and my 7 mth old Boxer has snapped each one of them & they are not cheap. The 1st day with a choke collar she has changed for the better!

  6. coump462 said:

    Goldens are very easily trained with food or affection treats. When you walk your dog,give him a very sort leash’like six inches or so. The dog should learn to walk right at your side so when he pulls you can pet him with your free hand to get his attention off whatever is causing him to pull-like other dogs or whatever

  7. sjbmillerleps said:

    i’m not a pro at training dogs, but I have four well behaved dogs and would like to think I had something to do with that. My dogs pulled like you described to, so i took the collar off and used a harness. you still can attach a leash. It gives you more control, plus they won’t choke themselves to death. When you are walking and they pull, immediately switch directions while telling them to heel, prcatice makes perfect, I always kept small bite size treats in my pocket. Praise for doing right is so much more important than scolding for doing wrong

  8. Gail H said:

    Teach him to heel. Do this by holding him on a short lead close to your left side. In your right hand hold a treat to his nose say “Heel” and lead him in the direction you want to go. When he preforms the task correctly give him the treat and praise him.

  9. Jenn said:

    you need to watch Dog Whisper. The website is:
    http://www.cesarmillaninc.com

    I never had a problem with my Golden Retriever. He took right to the leash. We took him to a trainer one time and she showed us some basic commands like sit, stay and here. She walked him on the leash one time and that was all he needed.

  10. PackLeader22 said:

    It’s not difficult but will take some effort on your part. You didn’t indicate how old your dog is but I’m assuming that he’s relatively young given his jumping and excited behavior toward other doggies. You have a couple of choices. First, always make sure the dog walks by your side or behind you. This doesn’t have anything to do with correcting the pulling per se but it will make him a better dog for you.

    I would suggest a prong collar if your not strong enough to give him the appropriate level of correction. The harder the dog pulls, the harder the correction need be. And the correction is a pull up or to the side not back. By pulling back on the lead, it only intensifies the dog’s desire to fight for the front. By pulling up or to the side, you break the dog’s sense of balance temporarily. When you correct the dog, make it quick, look him in the eye and then tell him NO. If that doesn’t sit well with you, simply stop moving forward. You stop and the dog will stop. Give a quick correction and say no. Proceed forward but move so in front of your dog. Don’t allow the dog to start the walk again. You are the leader. Good luck.

  11. tishkabob2004 said:

    you may try one of those prong chockers. they pinch the neck when you pull on it. Work it like you would a chocker, pull and release. I had to train my husky with one. She would pull me all over the place, and man if she seen a cat i would have to sit down and brace myself. The prong chocker did the trick. She quickly learned who was in charge

  12. xxkarlxx said:

    1)play with dog and spend more time with him 2)he become nearer to u and he become love u 3)then 3 times in a week try make him to do things u want not be aggressive or some thing if he do it right give him some thing he likes remember no meat or chocolate!! i make that to my dog i tell her sit and give her food dog and she sit believe me it will work for sure

  13. Carrie S said:

    I use a gentle leader too because I have more control especially when we see other dogs. They don’t automatically make them stop pulling they have to learn that with corrections. The reason a gentle leader is usually recommended is because large breed dogs are very strong in their chest and things like a harness and leash attached to a regular collar mean they will be pulling against you with all their power, on the face they have less power to pull.

  14. dog owner said:

    Get a short leash or hold it with little slack. The idea is to hold him at your right side consistently. Give him no slack on his leash. He shouldn’t even be able to put his head down. KEEP HIM AT YOUR SIDE, slightly behind you. When you walk, walk briskly, do not look at him, do not talk to him at all, walk briskly looking forward and do not give him a vote as to when and where to start and stop. When you do stop, pull up gently on his leash and push down on his behind, do NOT let him lay. When you start walking again, say nothing, just walk briskly, looking forward head up high, no slack on his leash. Repeat, repeat , repeat, it shouldn’t be too long before he starts automatically when you do and sits when you stop. CONSISTENCY!!! Never give a command that you do not make him follow through . . EVER. Never let him decide where the walk will go. Very consistent is the key

  15. traviesa said:

    DO the tree method. While you are on a walk with him and he starts to pull just STOP until he gets that you are not going to move unless he stops pulling. Once he’s stops make him sit by your side for a few seconds then say “lets go” and start walking. Keep doing this over and over and he will get the idea that if he starts to pull that you will stop and not move until he quits. Worked with my pug.

  16. tomagskaizer said:

    Golden Retrievers are usually very docile and obedient dogs and after yours had attended obedience class & you failed, it is because you did not do your homework properly. You have to perserve and do the heel work every day but only for a short time, about 15 mins a day. Wear a choke chain but you must be careful to wear it correctly, otherwise it will not work. Give a lot of praises and reward him with treats when he starts to walk without pulling. Use the choke chain until you are able to make him stop pulling but only when you are training him.
    Good Luck!

    .

  17. Brett M said:

    Do NOT use a choker… (thx)

    They make a collar that “unfolds” into the neck of the dog when they pull on it (I don’t know what they’re called)… it doesn’t choke or gouge, but it does feel very uncomfortable to the dog. …I’ve seen these work very well. Pretty soon the dog knows it can only put a little pressure on the leash and stops pulling so much.

  18. healthypets said:

    I work with dogs everyday at a boarding kennel and found the easiest way to stop them from pulling or walking me is to just stop. I stop walking and wait for them to turn around to see what’s going on. When they come to me and sit I pet them and try again. Very soon they figure out to keep moving forward they have to stay near me. A gentle leader will work if it’s adjusted correctly. I don’t use them because I don’t think my own dogs should be treated like a horse. They don’t have the same strength in their neck as a horse, but it will help.

  19. Mario said:

    Two words: Prong collar. I started using one on my puggle and he shaped up during the very first walk. You can find one at the pet store for around $15.

  20. Tom C said:

    First, practice attention exercises like “Watch me”, “look at me” with treats and/or toys to motivate him. Teach him to look at your eyes on command. Dogs can often learn this pretty quiickly. At first, putting the treat/toy at eye-level assists getting started.

    Then hold the leash at about 4 ft. from the collar with your right hand and start the dog on your left side. Have a dog treat or toy the dog likes in your left hand at about belt level in front and right next to your body. Give rewards copiously and frequently for good heeling. Many dogs will try to walk with their heads turned toward the food/toy and at your side. Distractions and short attention spans can be a problem. So, move briskly and with a purpose, changing direction frequently…left, right, around in a circle, 180 degrees …anything except long distances in a straight line. Practice where the outside distractions are minimal. Talk to your dog while practicing to keep his attention, and give him cues like “right turn”, “left turn” and “in a circle”. If your Golden pulls ahead, use the “watch me’ command, and reward any little turn of the head toward you. Keep upping the standard, so that your dog eventually has to come back to heel to get a reward.

    Make a game out of it, and be upbeat. When your golden is fairly consistent at your left, use a new command for heeling on your right, lightly slap your right side with your right palm for an additional cue, and let the dog go behind you to the other side, while you switch hands on the leash and toy/treat. Temporarily the leash wraps behind you, until the dog is cued to return to left-heel.

    The above has worked for me, and was taught by highly qualified instructors. All dogs require reinforcment training from time to time. At first, it takes nearly your undivided attention and lots of consistency. When your dog pulls ahead, and ‘watch me’ seems ineffective (which it will when distractions are great), quickly move back and forth in opposite directions until your 4-legged friend remembers that you are on the other end of the leash demanding his attention. Best wishes on that.

  21. Shelly G said:

    Sometimes I have the same problem with 1 or 2 of the dogs I walk. It can be a pain in the butt.

    Are you using a retractable leash or the regular one? The retractables are crappy for pulling prevention and heel training.

    I would practice with the regular leash until he listens/ learns better. You should make a habit of heeling though until her gets it. When they want to stop & sniff or if we’re not really going anywhere – I let them out too.

    As that “dogs point of view” email that’s been circulating refers to: Hey- they gotta have some time to sniff & pee etc cuz it’s who’s walk is it anyway?!

    When we’re on a “mission” to go home or get some good exercise then it’s back to business though.

    As for the pulling and choking: I tell them “quit pulling & you won’t hack & cough!” Of course, I’m talking to myself. All they hear is “blah blah-what??” -he he… I stop moving then they stop. I call them back and start over again, and again, and again. It’s difficult sometimes though.

    They hate the gentle leader but, it’s better than you’re shoulder dislocating! And yes, Likorice has a mark on her nose too. Maybe you can loosen it a bit..?

  22. Edward W said:

    It is never to late to train a dog. We have 6 dogs and one of them has her CGC certificate, Canine Good Citizenship.

    You were talking about the gentle leader leaving a permanent mark across the dogs muzzle, that is incorrect. The gentle leader is only put on the dog when it is taken out for a walk, when you bring the dog in you take it off.

    We have used gentle leaders on all of our dogs at first. You said you wanted your dog to walk beside you, what you can do is to use the GL for awhile when the dogs is out, then when the dog is out you will walk the dog on the GL and when it obeys you then you can swithc over to the reg collar, if the dog acts up you switch back to the GL, and so forth.

    What alot of people don’t think about is the dog is trying to be Alpha(#1), when on the GL and it acts up you correct it in diff ways depending on what it is doing wrong.
    With the dog on the GL and if it goes out in front of you you say, aaaan’t heel, the aaaan’t will get the dogs attention.
    When you correct the dog make sure you say the Command first then if the dog doesn’t respond you say aaaan’t followed by the command. Such as aaaan’t sit.

    If the dogs start to jump around you pull up on the leash followed by the command that you started of with. Pulling up on the leash imitates the action that Alpha dog uses on another dog to tell them to back off. The Alpha dog will brings its teeth down on the second dogs muzzle, doesn’t actually bite, followed by a growl that means I am # 1, you back down.

    If you want to make sure that you are doing it correctly take you and your dog to dog obedience classes.

  23. rohan s said:

    Here is an excellent site with some wonderful options 4 U. Check it out……..

  24. michele g said:

    we have a 8month shit-shuz. We have to wrestle him down to get leash on him. He is petrified and fights to get it off. Or won’t move and lays down. any comments to help




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