5 Tips to prevent your great dane from pulling on a leash

We all know just how big Great Danes are. In fact, some outweigh their owners! When your dog is that big, leash pulling can be extremely dangerous. Your Great Dane could pull you into traffic, down a hill, or pull you off your feet. For these reasons, it’s important your Dane learns lovely leash manners. The following are tried and true tips to help make sure that your Great Dane doesn’t pull on the leash.

Image Source: Dagny Mol via Flickr
Image Source: Dagny Mol via Flickr

#1 – Start Young

As soon as you bring home your Great Dane, start leash training. Immediately. This includes just an eight-week old pup. The sooner you instill those good leash manners, the better. Why wait until his is over 100 pounds and a teenager to train him when you can do it while he weighs just 20 pounds?

#2 – Practice Attention

Danes are big, goofy and love people! This is wonderful, but it can also be a problem if your Great Dane is constantly trying to pull you toward every person or dog he sees to say “Hi.” Danes are also hunters, so some are inclined to chase smaller animals. A key to stopping these behaviors is to keep your dog focused on you during a walk. Working on looking at you when you say her name, offering eye contact without a cue, “leave it” and “drop” are important to leash training.

#3 – Teach Them To Move Into Pressure

Since Danes are big, there is a “secret” leash training tactic that can really make a difference in your leash training. Dogs naturally pull against pressure. So, your dog pulls, hits the end of the leash and it just makes him pull harder. Especially if they are in a harness! But, you can counter this by teaching your Dane that when he feels pressure on the leash, he needs to come towards it, instead of moving against. It takes some training, but it’s well worth it. Start by applying light pressure to the leash – this is not a leash jerk or a correction. As soon as your dog’s head turns toward you, reward. Eventually they will start moving their entire body around.

Image Source: Amy the Nurse via Flickr
Image Source: Amy the Nurse via Flickr

#4 – Reward Correct Position

Whenever your Great Dane is in heel position – walking nicely by your side with a loose leash – be sure you are rewarding him. This can be anything your dog likes, including treats, praise, toys, etc. As long as your Dane likes it, it’s a reward. Dogs repeat behaviors that are reinforced, so the more you reinforce him for being in that position, the more he will go there. It’s as simple as that!

Video: How to get a 5 month old Great Dane to stop pulling on the leash: Lexi's first lesson

#5 – Don’t Let Pulling Be Reinforced

As mentioned above, dogs do what gets reinforced. If your Great Dane pulls on the leash and gets what he wants (to sniff that bush, to greet that person, to chase the cat) then he will continue to do it and it will get worse. Instead, if you feel your dog start to pull you in one direction, turn and walk the opposite way. Once he is walking next to you nicely, you can turn back and go the way he wanted to. This teaches your Great Dane that if he wants to go somewhere, he has to keep that leash loose. This works best when they are still a puppy and not stronger than you, so be sure to train early!

Reviews & Comments

Related posts