Do This to Stop Dog-Walking Problems Like Pulling Leash and Misbehaving

If I asked you to write down at least three dog-walking problems, I am sure I’d find leash pulling and misbehaving somewhere on that list.

Why? Because almost 80% of those who come to me for help on walking their dog have those issues.

And here’s the truth: the solution is fairly simple.

The problem starts when dog owners dismiss their dog's little quirks and defiance during walks as nothing serious… until they are.

Fortunately, you can flip the switch by doing one simple thing: really making your dog see you’re in charge.

How? Read on to learn more.

Key Takeaways

  • Leash pulling, barking, and overexcitement during dog walks often stem from a common root: your dog believes it's in charge.
  • If you take charge, your dog will start to relax. Thus, your walks will be more calmer, controlled, smooth.
  • Gentle gestures the walk like calmly pausing to tell your dog they’re not the one in charge can help you retain control from start to finish.


Table of Contents

  1. Stop Dog-walking Problems By Taking Control of the Walk
  2. Stop Dog-Walking Problems: What Happens When You Take Control of the Walk with Dogs
  3. Stop Dog-Walking Problems By Taking Charge… Not Only On Walks. The Dog Calming Code Will Help You!

Stop Dog-walking Problems By Taking Control of the Walk

The most common cause of dog-walking issues like leash pulling, barking, and getting excited by just about anything is this: your dog thinks they're in control.

It's like the case of “whoever gets in the driver's seat first decides where the trip goes.”

When the dog sees they have taken over the “driver duties” during the walk, expect them to drive… even if it requires pulling the leash, running without your permission, and chasing everything!

Yes, they would do all these things despite your non-stop commands of “No, no, no, no!”

So it's absolutely critical that control is in your court… and your dog has to know it!

Here are some ways you can do that.

#1: Take Control Even Before You Start the Walk

If you start exhibiting control after leaving the house, you already lost it.

Control is solidified when you're the one to decide when to take the walk.

“Doggy Dan, what do you mean by this?”

I want you to think of this: who decides to go for a walk?

If your dog approached you with a leash in their mouth, prodding you to take them outside, AND YOU AGREED, you have lost control.

Let's say your dog goes to you to signal they want to go out; here's what you can do…

Ignore them for five minutes, then give the cue that it's time for a walk.

You're doing this not to make your dog feel ignored but to establish your role as the ultimate decision-maker in walk-related matters.


#2: Your Dog Will Persist in Regaining Control… You Can Gently Remind Them With This Move

Dogs understand control. In fact, dogs are so keen in having it because it's programmed in them that control is necessary for survival.

So you will see a lot of attempts to take charge of the walk or get in front of you so they can control the walk.

(Bonus note: dogs also try to take control of the walk because they are sometimes very protective and feel responsible for protecting you.)

The great thing about dogs is they're quick to get the message. Once you do something that tells them “Hey, I got it. I'm in charge,” they will adapt.

If your dog makes a run for the door to ensure they go first, do this gentle move: calmly block their way with your legs, open the door, and go first.

#3: And If Your Dog Insists on Taking Charge of The Walk, Pausing for a While Works

If your dog persists, insisting on being the one in charge, stop the steps. Refrain from continuing the walk until they get the message that you decide what happens with your time outdoors.

Doing this simple step is like giving your dog an outdoor timeout. Once your dog gets that you stopped because of their rowdy behavior, they will listen to you.

Stop for a few minutes until your dog calms down and understands the message.


#4: Wrap Up the Walk When Needed

If rowdiness persists, you should be quick on stopping and heading back home.

I know this can feel heartbreaking for you and your dog, but it's one of the most powerful ways of telling your dog, “Hey, what you did is not going to make this walk continue. Please remember that.”

Deciding to end the walk right there and then will establish to your dog that, indeed, you have the final word.


Stop Dog-Walking Problems: What Happens When You Take Control of the Walk with Dogs

Chill on the Protective Stuff

You know how some dogs get all barky and uppity around other dogs? That's them being overprotective. But guess what?

When you take charge of the walk, your dog starts to chill out. They look to you for cues, and pretty soon, they're not so quick to bark or get feisty with other dogs. It's like they're thinking, “My human's got this, no need for me to go all superhero.”

No More Leash Tug-of-War

Ever feel like you're in a tug-of-war match with your dog on walks? You're not alone. A lot of us deal with dogs pulling on the leash.

But here's a cool thing – when you're clearly in charge, your dog starts to get it. They follow your lead instead of dragging you around. It turns the walk into something you both can actually enjoy.


Relaxed Vibes All Around

Ever notice your dog being super tense and on guard when you're out walking? They're in what I like to call ‘protector mode'.

But when you step up as the leader, it's a game changer. Your dog gets the memo that you're handling the big stuff, so they can kick back and enjoy the walk. They get to sniff around, see the sights, and just be a happy dog.

Making Friends, Not Frenemies

Leading the walk also means smoother run-ins with other dogs and their humans. When your dog is behaving and not causing drama, it's way easier to have friendly encounters. No awkward apologies or tense moments.

Just good, sociable walks.

Building Trust, Like a Boss

Consistency is key. When you lead the walk the same way every time, your dog learns to trust your decisions.

They feel safer and more secure with you in charge, and that just makes your bond stronger. Walks turn into quality time you both look forward to.

Good Manners, Not Just Outside

Here's a bonus: dogs that get the hang of your leadership on walks often behave better in other areas too.

We're talking calmer at home, nicer to your guests, and listening better in general. It's like they understand you're the leader all the time, not just on walks.


Stop Dog-Walking Problems By Taking Charge… Not Only On Walks. The Dog Calming Code Will Help You!

Being in charge during the walks is just one of the many facets of being a true blue pack leader dogs respect and listen to.

You see, being in control is business #1 for the dogs. And if you don't get this (or how to do this!) you will find yourself dealing with the same issues not just on walking but with almost all the challenges that come with dog ownership.

The Dog Calming Code™️ can help you understand what it means to really be a pack leader, and how to take control from your dog who thinks they are in charge. Because when you're a pack leader who knows, your dog will just follow.

You can learn about the Dog Calming Code here.

~ Doggy Dan 

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Doggy Dan

Doggy Dan is the founder of The Online Dog Trainer, a wildly successful online training program for dog owners. His goal is to continue to share his unique approach to dog training with like-minded people who wish to make a difference in the world of dogs. His training methods focus on creating and building the connection between dogs and dog owners, and are shared and used around the world.

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