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  • April Schrader, CPDT-KA

How Potty Breaks Can Fuel Leash Pulling

Potty breaks are a fundamental part of a dog's daily routine, providing them with an opportunity to relieve themselves and stretch their legs. However, what many dog owners may not realize is that these seemingly innocent outings can inadvertently contribute to the development of undesirable behaviors, particularly pulling on the leash.

In this blog, we'll shed light on the connection between potty breaks and pulling habits, and offer insights into how you can turn these moments into productive training opportunities.

The Potty Break Predicament: When puppies are introduced to potty training, it's common for owners to let them lead the way to their designated potty spot. In an effort to avoid accidents indoors, we may allow our eager pups to pull us towards their desired location. While this might seem harmless in the beginning, it can set the stage for a bad pulling habit to take root.

The Pulling Progression: As your puppy grows and becomes more confident, the pulling behavior they learned during potty breaks can escalate. The association between pulling and getting to their favorite spot becomes deeply ingrained. Over time, this can lead to frustration for both you and your furry friend. Your once-cute puppy is now a strong, determined puller, making walks less enjoyable and even potentially dangerous.

Addressing the Issue: To prevent potty breaks from becoming the starting point of a pulling habit, it's crucial to take a proactive approach to leash training from the beginning. Here's how:

  1. Leash Training Basics: Teach your dog loose leash walking from the start. Use treats and positive reinforcement to reward them for walking beside you without tension on the leash. Practice during potty breaks and every time your dog is on leash

  2. Stop Walking: If your dog starts pulling, immediately stop walking, this teaches them that pulling doesn't work to get them where they want to go.

  3. Continue Walking: Once you've come to a stop, give your dog a moment to release any tension on the leash or glance back at you. When you observe this, use the cue "yes" and resume walking.

  4. Training Walks: Set aside specific times for training walks where the focus is on walking politely on a leash. This can help break the association between potty breaks and pulling.

Potty breaks are essential for our canine companions, but they can inadvertently lead to a frustrating pulling habit if not approached thoughtfully. By taking a proactive approach to leash training and incorporating positive reinforcement, you can transform potty breaks into valuable training moments. If you're also looking for effective potty training tips for your puppy, make sure to check out our comprehensive guide on How to Potty Train Your Puppy FAST! for valuable insights. With consistency and patience, you can enjoy stress-free walks and a well-behaved, happy pup.

If you're looking for professional guidance in leash training and addressing pulling behaviors, feel free to reach out to us at Best Buddy Dog Trainer. You can also text us at 301-231-1907 or email Jeff at We're here to help you and your furry friend enjoy walks together while building a strong bond of trust and communication. With consistency and patience, you can enjoy stress-free walks and a well-behaved, happy pup.

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