How to Get a Stubborn Dog to Walk On a Leash
Does your dog pull on the leash? Or maybe they refuse to go out at all? Regardless of what your stubborn dog’s issue is with walks, the solution is easier than you probably ever expected, and we’re going to cover everything you need to know in this article.
So, without further ado, let’s get right to answering how to get a stubborn dog to walk on a leash!
Table of Contents
What Do You Do When Your Dog Won’t Walk?
When your stubborn dog doesn’t want to walk on their leash, first try these tips to make them comfortable:
- If they seem worried about a new route, sit and pet them for a few minutes to relax them before trying to go out on your walk.
- New gear? Familiarize them with their new leash or collar by allowing them to sniff it out before putting it on for the walk.
- Check their paws to make sure there’s nothing that shouldn’t be there (like a small rock) bothering them.
- Adjust your dog’s collar position. It is more comfortable for your dog higher on the neck, and not loose (just not too tight either).
- Use excited verbal commands to get them moving. If you find one that works, remember it and consistently use that. Give them praise and pets when they get up and going on the walk.
- Entice your dog with treats. Give them a small treat when they allow you to put on the leash, and another once they get moving.
Should You Drag a Dog That Won’t Walk?
You should never drag a dog that won’t walk! Pulling or dragging your dog can injure your dog’s neck, knees, or elbows — especially with younger dogs that are still growing. You’ll also create a negative association with walks for your dog and ruin their trust with you, making things even tougher the next time they need to be walked.
What Do You Do When Your Dog Won’t Stop Pulling on the Leash?
When your dog won’t stop pulling on the leash, you need to take back control of your walks. Stop immediately and do not move again until your dog gives you back slack on the leash. You’ll likely have to do this often at first. Dogs are descended from wolves and will still have that stubborn spirit take over sometimes.
You can also simply turn and head in the opposite direction of the way they’re pulling. They’ll quickly learn to follow you and not the other way around.
If your dog is full of energy and pulls back on the leash, then it would help to exercise them a bit before you go out. Bring them out in the backyard to play ball, or have a little fun in the house before heading out.
Finally, you can try a no-pull dog harness. These are designed in a way which prevents your dog from using their weight to drag you along during walks. These can be a good option for slightly stubborn dogs, but you’ll still need to address the behavioral reasons they were pulling in the first place.
How Do I Stop My Stubborn Dog From Pulling on the Leash?
To stop your stubborn dog from pulling on the leash or refusing to walk for good, you’ll need to address the behavior at its core. Your dog isn’t cooperating during walks because they do not respect you as their leader.
Your dog see themselves as in charge, so they lead the way. That means when they want to investigate every little smell or critter they see along the way, they will. That means when they just don’t feel like going even when it’s time, they won’t.
And this stubbornness surrounding walks will continue for as long as you allow them to think they run the show. Remember that dogs are pack animals, and in every pack there is a leader. Your dog’s stubborn walk behavior clearly shows that they view themselves as pack leader.
Get control of your family pack in your dog’s eyes, and you’ll be able to put an end to their stubbornness with walks and also other behavioral issues like aggression and barking.
But how are you supposed to become leader of your family pack, you’re wondering? Well, I would watch an excellent free video series by a renowned trainer named Dan which will show absolutely everything you need to know.
Dan (of course) uses only 100% humane and loving methods — so you’ll never have to worry about being mean to your pup. And his videos are made for regular people, so they’re easy to understand and get right to the point, meaning you’ll see real results in no time.
Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. Soon, you’ll be able to go on pleasurable walks with your dog, and the refusals and/or pulling will only be a fading memory. Won’t that be nice?
You should now know everything you need to address your dog’s stubbornness on walks, regardless of whether the problem is with refusing to go or with pulling. Make sure to pin or share this so that you’ll have all the tips saved, because it may take a few walks for your dog to grasp things fully.
Just be patient and follow our recommendations, and you’ll get there before you know it! Good luck!