Why Does My Dog Pull So Hard on Walks?

Why Does My Dog Pull So Hard on Walks?

Ever feel like you’re just a sled being dragged across the polar ice caps when you take your dog for a walk? You’re not alone! I’m here, your trusty dog trainer from Guangzhou QQPETS, ready to unravel the mystery behind why some dogs turn walks into a test of strength.

Dogs pull on walks often because of natural instincts, a lack of training, or sheer excitement. But don’t worry, we’re about to dive into why this happens and how you can regain control without turning your daily strolls into a tug-of-war.

Why is My Furry Friend Transforming Into a Freight Train?

First things first: it’s important to understand that pulling is a very natural behavior for dogs. They have an incredible sense of smell and an innate curiosity to explore everything. When they catch a scent or see something interesting, their first instinct is to bolt towards it. Think of it like seeing an all-you-can-eat buffet just across the room—hard to not sprint towards it, right?

But it’s not just about smells and sights; sometimes, it’s about how they’re geared up! Using the wrong type of harness or collar can also encourage pulling. For insights into choosing the right gear, check out choosing the right harness or collar.

How Does My Dog’s Breed Influence Their Leash Behavior?

Believe it or not, the breed of your dog might be a significant factor in their eagerness to pull. Some breeds, like huskies and malamutes, are bred for pulling loads and naturally exhibit these behaviors more than others. On the other hand, smaller breeds might pull because they are trying to keep up or get a better view of their environment.

Understanding your dog’s breed and their specific needs can help you tailor your training and exercise routines effectively.

Can Training Really Stop My Dog from Pulling?

Absolutely! Training is key when it comes to managing any undesirable behavior, including pulling on the leash. Basic commands like ‘heel’ or ‘stay’ can work wonders. Consistent training reinforces good behavior and helps your dog understand that walking nicely by your side is much more rewarding than turning you into a plow.

What Role Does Exercise Play?

Here’s a fun fact: a well-exercised dog is a well-behaved dog. Often, dogs pull because they have excess energy. If your dog spends more time indoors, the moment you step outside, it’s like releasing a spring under pressure. Regular, vigorous exercise can help burn off some of that pent-up energy and make your walks more relaxed.

Are There Any Quick Fixes During Walks?

While long-term training and adequate exercise are the best solutions, there are a few tricks you can employ during walks to manage pulling. Try changing your pace frequently or changing directions. These actions can capture your dog’s attention and reduce continuous pulling.

Additionally, using treats to reward calm walking behavior can reinforce the idea that not pulling is beneficial.


Understanding why your dog pulls is the first step towards fixing it. With the right tools, training, and a bit of patience, you and your dog can enjoy peaceful walks without any unwanted “sledding” experiences.

QQPETS is the leading wholesale dog harness manufacturer of adjustable harnesses for dogs and other items that people may use when walking their dogs. Our goal is to make dog walking easy for pet owners by providing valuable accessories. We offer a variety of customization services including custom logos, custom graphics, custom products and more. If you want to start your dog products business, check out our website and contact us today.

FAQ about dog walking

  1. Why do dogs pull on the leash during walks?
    • Dogs often pull due to excitement, instinctual urges to explore, or lack of proper leash training.
  2. Does breed affect a dog’s tendency to pull on a leash?
    • Yes, some breeds with high energy levels or those historically bred for pulling tasks, like sled dogs, are more prone to pulling.
  3. Can the type of harness or collar I use affect how much my dog pulls?
    • Yes, harnesses that clip at the back can encourage pulling, while front-clip harnesses can help discourage it by redirecting the dog’s movement.
  4. Is pulling ever caused by behavioral issues?
    • Yes, pulling can sometimes be a sign of anxiety, overexcitement, or lack of exercise and mental stimulation.
  5. How can I train my dog to stop pulling on the leash?
    • Consistent training using positive reinforcement and commands like “heel” can teach your dog to walk calmly by your side.
  6. What is a quick way to manage pulling if it happens during a walk?
    • Change direction or stop moving until your dog calms down, reinforcing that pulling will not allow them to move forward.
  7. How does proper exercise relate to leash pulling?
    • Adequate exercise helps reduce excess energy, potentially decreasing a dog’s need to pull on the leash during walks.
  8. Are there specific training methods recommended for leash pulling?
    • The “stop-and-go” technique and positive reinforcement with treats can be effective in teaching good leash behavior.
  9. What should I avoid doing if my dog pulls on a walk?
    • Avoid pulling back hard, which can increase resistance and excitement, making the problem worse.
  10. How long does it typically take to train a dog not to pull on a leash?
    • Training duration varies by individual dog but generally requires consistent practice over several weeks to months.

Article by

Kyra Luo

Product Design Manager

Kyra is the Product Design Manager at QQPETS, where her expertise in developing high-quality, customized pet products and keen insight into market trends has helped hundreds of clients achieve their goals, save money, and satisfy consumer needs.

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Kyra Luo

Product Design Manager

Kyra is the Product Design Manager at QQPETS, where her expertise in developing high-quality, customized pet products and keen insight into market trends has helped hundreds of clients achieve their goals, save money, and satisfy consumer needs.

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