Walking Your Dog: Stop and Go

Walk with your puppy on a leash. If the puppy pulls (which is very natural for a dog to do) stop walking immediately. As soon as the puppy tunes into you, or there is slack in the leash, praise the pup and give him a treat. Do not move forward until there is slack in the leash.

How it Works
  1. Puppy is on leash and you have treats and a toy on your person.
  2. You start to move forward.
  3. One of several scenarios will take place:
Scenario One

The pup will pay attention to you and not pull.

Praise the pup and after a few steps, stop and give him a treat.

Scenario Two

The pup will not pay attention to you but he will not be pulling on the leash.

Stop. The pup will end up walking past you. Once the leash gets tight, stop, and stand still. It is up to the pup to figure out that a tight leash is going to put a damper on things! He also learns that it pays to be checking in with you.

Once he has moved closer to you and there is slack in the leash, praise him and offer him a little taste of the treat.

If after standing still for 30 seconds or so, the puppy has still not tuned into you, try backing up a few steps.

Scenario Three

The pup will dash ahead and the leash will immediately get tight.

Stop, and wait for the leash to loosen up. The pup will actually need to stop his forward motion and come back closer to you in order for the leash to get loose. Once he has done this, praise him, give him a treat, and continue on your way.

Scenario Four

The puppy does not walk at all and you feel as though you are practically dragging him.

In this case, we need to look at the situation and decide what the problem is.

Can you get the puppy motivated with treats or toys?

Is the pup too full of dinner to be enticed with treats?

Is the pup going for walks that are too long for him? Shorten the walks and see what happens. You may need to shorten them drastically to see a difference.

Is the pup afraid of something on the walks? Is he noise sensitive? (See TIP: If Your Puppy is Frightened in Socialization.)

Is the pup healthy? Rule out a physical problem by taking the pup to the vet for a check-up.


Stop walking the instant your pup puts tension on the leash.


Wait for your pup to tune back into you, either by looking back at you or coming back towards you. Give that pup a tasty treat.


Resume your walk.

Walking Your Dog: Additional Information
Lots of Stops and Treats!

It is important to stop often and give that pup a tasty treat. This is how the dog will learn to check in with you. Even if things seem to be going great, you must remember to stop. A good rule of thumb, in the beginning, is to walk two or three steps. It will feel weird at first like, “oh my, I am not getting anywhere” but this is what has to happen in order for the exercise to be effective. Walk, stop, walk, stop. Think timing and feedback. You will start to see the results as little by little the puppy starts to offer you glances on a regular basis. 

Which Side Should Your Dog Be On?

In competition, the dog heels on the left. This is taught as a matter of tradition. It is up to you which side your pup walks on. Unless you are planning to show your dog, it really doesn’t matter.


Trouble Shooting: Places to go, people to see!
Nothing takes the place of taking the time to teach your puppy to walk nicely on a loose leash, but for those occasions when you just have to get where you’re going in a hurry, this piece of equipment can be a lifesaver. A no-pull harness is a gentle and effective tool designed to help curb your puppy from pulling on the leash.

Everyday Uses for Loose Leash
  • It is not desirable to be pulled down the street by your dog. At the very least, this feels unpleasant. Worse, injuries can easily happen.
  • A dog that is out of control and unpleasant to take for a walk very often ends up not going out at all. This will most certainly be the foundation for some serious problems. It will cause problems in the house, problems in the yard, and potentially, problems with other dogs or people.

If your puppy is a real eager beaver, bouncing off the walls and hyper, to begin with, your intonation should be calm and quiet to help keep the pup focused. With a shy and timid pup, you may want to ham it up a bit to get the puppy relaxed and into the exercises and or games.