This dog trainer's one super simple tip could help put a stop to lead pulling

Woman taking her dog for a walk on a fall day
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lead pulling is a common frustration amongst pet parents and one that can make those daily walks a real chore for both you and your dog. While investing in one of the best dog harnesses and a quality lead are important, getting your pup to walk nicely isn’t always as straightforward as investing in the right gear.

Getting out and about in the great outdoors can be a wonderful adventure for both human and hound, but those dreams of joyful daily walkies can soon be replaced by dread if you happen to have a pup who drags you around the block and leaves you feeling less invigorated and more exhausted upon your return home. 

Thankfully, there is a solution to lead pulling and it’s one that top dog trainer Adam Spivey (opens in new tab) is only too happy to share in one of his latest Instagram videos which you can view below. 

“If you’ve got a reactive dog, a nervous dog, an overly excitable dog, a very high energy dog, if you’ve got a dog who just pulls on the lead, one of the things we recommend is a backpack,” Spivey explains.

In the short clip, Spivey gives an example of a weighted backpack that can be useful in assisting with lead pulling. “What the backpack does is it gives your dog a job,” he says. “Nearly every dog on the planet was bred to do a specific job. When a dog is working a dog is happy, so although your dog may not be necessarily bred to carry something…..giving your dog a job can help them to focus on something.”

Alongside giving your canine companion a task that they can channel their attention into, Spivey says backpacks are wonderful for helping to slow a dog down - making it particularly useful for anxious pups or those that are wanting to run at a hundred miles an hour.

But just because a backpack will slow your fur friend down, don’t mistake that with them getting less exercise than they normally would. “It actually increases the amount of exercise they’re getting but in a controlled manner,” explains Spivey.

And while a weighted backpack can benefit most pups, Spivey does add one note of caution. “Backpacks are for healthy dogs. If your dog has any joint problems or underlying issues, speak to a vet first before using a backpack.”

If you decide to try Spivey’s tip and use a weighted backpack, we recommend you check out the tips we share in our guide to how to use a harness on a dog. These include selecting the right size backpack, giving your pup time to get used to wearing their backpack indoors before venturing outside, and rewarding them with praise and treats when they let you put it on them without any fuss. 

Kathryn Rosenberg

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has spent the past two years dividing her writing time between her two great loves - pets and health and wellness. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with one very mischievous Cocker Spaniel, drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and attempting to set numerous world records for the longest ever FaceTime calls with her family back home in NZ.