How to Run With a Dog That Pulls: Tips and Tricks

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Run With a Dog That Pulls
Caption: A dog is pulling away during the run

Running with your dog is a great way to spend time together and keep both of you healthy. In fact, there’s nothing better than taking your pup for a run. They get to explore their surroundings and sniff new scents, and you have the opportunity to enjoy some fresh air while getting in shape, and together you both can bond in ways like never before!

But jogging with a dog who likes leading the way, pulling you in one direction or another when they get bored or distracted by other pooches on the street, is more frustrating than fun.

In this blog post, we’ll provide some tips and tricks on how to successfully go on runs with an energetic pup who pulls all the time. This way, you don’t need to worry about being dragged down the street or having an uncomfortable running experience anymore!

1. Loose Leash Walking

There are many reasons why your dog pulls on a leash while walking. Most dogs pull because they’re excited to explore new places, see what’s around them, smell something, chase squirrels or other animals, or try to catch up to a fellow canine companion that just ran ahead.

Dogs also pull because being on a leash is not natural to them whatsoever. Another reason is that pulling is rewarding for them.

How so? You might ask. When they pull, they get to sniff, track down an animal or other things that catch their attention, or get to the place they want to go!

The good news is that you can teach your dog not to pull while walking or running on a lead, and this technique is called loose-leash walking. To do that, first, you will need a leash and a harness with a front ring, also known as no-pull dog harnesses. Then, you can start implementing the training!

  • Leash your dog, start walking with them, and make sure there’s no tension on the lead.
  • When your pup starts pulling, don’t jerk their head back. Instead, stand still and wait for them to calm down and come back to you, then praise and reward them with treats.
  • If they don’t, move back to the starting point and start again.
  • If your pup starts pulling again after this short walk session ends, repeat steps one through three until they understand that pulling will not get them anywhere!

Be sure to take it slow while teaching your pup how to run or walk on a loose leash, and have patience with them as they learn. Also, don’t forget about rewarding them for good behavior! You’ll be amazed at how quickly they’ll learn.

And I can’t stress it enough, curbing this behavior requires lots of patience and consistency. It might be hard at first but keep at it because there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Your pup will soon enough be able to run or walk nicely with you without dragging you down anymore!

2. Train Your Dog to Run With You

Now, your pup has learned the leash training basics and knows how to walk beside you without pulling at your arm and choking themselves every time they get excited about something!

So, what’s next? You have to teach them how to run with you side by side! That includes training them how to jog with you at the same pace and when to stop and turn. Let’s be real. No dogs will ever know how to run alongside you if you don’t teach them.

We’ve covered all that in “The Ultimate Guide to Running with Dogs: Everything You Need to Know!”, make sure to check it out.

3. Minimize Distractions

A Girl is Running With a Dog
Caption: A girl is running with her dog on a less populated trail

Even with the most well-trained dogs, there will be times they will get distracted and try to engage with the environment while you’re trying to enjoy your jog. It can be anything from a squirrel or other dogs running across the path to someone walking by.

To ensure this won’t happen, go for runs in places where there aren’t as many animals or people around. And pick a wider trail over a narrow path. This way, they are less likely to make a sudden stop and go on their sniffing adventure while running.

4. Bring Treats

Bringing treats is just as important. Not only will that help your canine to focus more on you than anything else around them while running, but you will also have the ability to modify any unwanted behavior on the spot.

For instance, if your dog doesn’t get along with other people and often barks at passersby, you can use treats as a distraction to divert their attention away. And whenever a jogger approaches, give your pup a treat before they bark. This way, they will learn people coming their way isn’t a threat, and they will get a tasty treat for calm behavior.

Bringing treats on jogs also makes recalling your dog easier while letting them run loose during breaks, plus you can improve their leash skills and other basics anytime, such as sit, stay, and leave it.

5. Use a Dog Running Harness Instead of a Collar

I always recommend using a dog harness designed for running instead of a collar. The reason is that collars can cause choking and may damage your dog’s thyroid glands and tissues around their neck area. And an uncomfortable dog won’t enjoy running, and as a result, they may ruin your experience as well.

Using a well-fitting harness can prevent that as it will disperse the pressure over your dog’s body. Look for the one that has padding in all the right places, like the chest and neck, to keep it from rubbing against your fido’s skin. You would also want to find the one that has adjustment points on each strap so that it can fit your dog when they gain or lose weight.


No doubt. Running with a dog who pulls can cause an otherwise enjoyable experience into one filled with frustration and stress for both you and your pup. But luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to stop that.

To summarize:

  • Provide your dog with loose-leash training.
  • Teach your pup the basics of running with you.
  • Run in less populated areas.
  • Keep treats handy.
  • Use a well-fitting running harness.

I hope you find this post helpful and that it will help make running with your dog a much more enjoyable experience! Good luck!