One of the most important skills you can learn is how to handle the leash in a way that fosters communication between you and your dog.
We want to avoid pulling and tight leashes. We also want to avoid using the leash to correct our dogs, by jerking or tugging at the leash. We want to prevent frustration at both ends of the leash.
Instead, we want a loose leash that is handled in such a way that gentle movements of the leash communicate to your dog what you want him to do. We want fun, joyful walks where neither your nor your dog is pulling and where communication flows along the leash between you and your dog.
How do we achieve that goal?
Perspective: If you view walking on a loose leash as a partnership between you and your dog, in which each of you has a responsibility not to pull, it will help.
Equipment: No equipment can teach your dog not to pull but the right equipment can go a long way to help resolve pulling issues. I use a15 foot long line and a Balance Harness. The long line is attached to the back of the harness. In conjunction with the leash skills described below, this equipment makes your dog feel as if he is "off leash" but you still have the leash for safety and control.
Leash skills: Grisha Stewart, an amazing trainer, developed a program called Behaviour Adjustment Training (BAT) for helping dogs who are fearful or respond aggressively to other dogs or people. As part of BAT, she developed a set of leash skills. These skills gently communicate to the dog what you want him to do and are highly effective in creating enjoyable walks at both ends of the leash. Below are two videos that showcase the leash skills. Grisha Stewart with Juliet HondenLot using Grisha's leash skills