Getting your dog to walk on leash without pulling can be such a drag! The "walking without pulling" exercise, taught without any leash corrections, can take some time for a dog and handler to master.
We suggest that you train this exercise initially in an area that offers little to no distractions. Once that is going well, you can start practicing in other places.
In order for your dog to understand what it is you are looking for in this exercise it is important for the handler to start off with a short leash and to encourage the dog, by talking to him, to stay close at your left but even more important than that is to make sure to reward the dog if they are walking nicely at your side or looking up at you while they are doing it. The biggest mistake people make is not treating enough! This exercise should really pay if you want your to dog to learn to walk by your side.
What I have found works best with this exercise is encourage polite walking whenever possible. Try not to let your dog drag you anywhere. It may take you longer to get somewhere but you have to try to eliminate the gray area in your dog’s understanding. Try to always bring along some treats on your daily walk and practice for just one minute at a time several times throughout your walk. At the end of each "practice minute" you can release your dog from your side by saying, "OKAY!" which will allow them to move away from you and get out leash distance again. Short training bursts such as this are a great way to train your dog.
Remember to be fun and encouraging to your dog!
When we cover this exercise in our classes and our training DVD, and note that initially its helpful to fit your dog with either a Sensation Harness or a Gentle Leader collar to prevent your dog from really pulling until he or she learns to walk without pulling.