Golden Retriever on Leash

How to Stop Your Golden from Pulling on the Leash?

We love our Golden Retrievers, and want them with us all the time! But to do this, Goldens need to understand some simple rules. Basic positive dog training commands such as sit, down, stay, come, and heel, help make it easier to communicate with your Golden. Each of these is an essential part of exercising control over your dog’s behavior, and earning his trust when done with positive and kind dog training methods.

A Golden Retriever with very little or no obedience training may deal with new interactions by being rambunctious during puppyhood and overly friendly. Since this breed is so loving, aggression does not come into play. Instead your Golden Retriever may pull you on the leash!

Positive dog training will help your Golden Retriever build confidence and trust, and allow for your Golden Retriever to build friendships with other people and dogs too.

Puppy Golden Retriever positive dog training needs to begin at an early age in a quiet environment without distractions. When your Golden Retriever starts responding well to cues, move training sessions to a more fun and stimulating environment like the dog park or beach.

Positive Dog Training

Positive dog training can even take place indoors in your home when the weather’s too hot or too cold. This ensures that training continues and is consistent, and that there are no lapses in your positive dog training schedule.

Positive dog training should continue throughout your Golden Retriever’s life and should be combined with fun activities like agility, canicross, swimming or even fun doga classes! Golden Retrievers need to have enjoyment and plenty of off-leash activities for mental stimulation.
Choose the Correct Dog Training Equipment for Your Golden Retriever

If you have a shy or hyperactive Golden Retriever that tends to get excited in new environments, it’s best to be well- prepared. The correct choice of positive training equipment becomes so important in positively training your Golden Retriever.

Martingale Collars

Matingale Coller

Martingale collars are a hybrid dog collar that give you the security of a slip collar with none of the negative aspects of some of the other dog collars. The Martingale collar tightens only to the point of snugness-a good fit and not tighter, thus preventing choking and your Golden escaping from you when out and about.

Face Collars

Face collars don’t work because your Golden Retriever can slip out of it and escape. Another favorite is the no-pull harness which does not apply pressure over your Golden’s head. Some dog trainers believe that this collar is not effective.

Face Collar on Dog

Extendable Leash

Extendable Leash on Golden Retriever

The extendable leash is not the best training option since these tend to extend out as far as twenty feet, and have been known to get caught around ankles, dogs, and shrubs when out on a walk. If your Golden Retriever has an emergency, this leash tends to allow for your furry best friend to be too far away for you to help out in an emergency. Pet parents also have had issues with this leash getting caught up with other dog leashes when dogs interact with each other.

Positive Training Methods for Your Golden Retriever

Today there are many different ways to train your wonderful Golden Retriever. Golden Retriever pet parent should educate themselves about all the various methods before attempting any one of them.

Consulting with licensed positive dog trainers about the best positive dog training methods for your Golden Retriever is advisable if you’re a first time pet parent. Positive dog training methods like clicker training and correction based training with rewards are the most favorable and effective way to positively train your Golden Retriever.

Positive dog training reinforces the principles of positive reinforcement. By asking your Golden Retriever to perform a required behavior, and then rewarding him with praise and a treat when he or she complies, you’re teaching him to understand what you want. In return, your Golden Retriever gets rewarded.

That said, Golden Retrievers that have been trained with only positive reinforcement and gentle corrections learn exactly what you want from them without being scared. With that said, the mild corrections will rarely apply. The result being a Golden Retriever that’s happy, calm around you, and who is willing to learn. Most importantly, you’ll have a Golden that trusts you!

Virtual Dog Training for Your Golden Retriever

“Virtual training is useful for dog parents who want to brush up on their dogs’ basic obedience, reinforce fundamental training lessons, get quick answers to questions, or supplement existing in-person training lessons. It’s helpful during transition periods such as when you’ve just adopted a rescue, or have moved to a new home and are trying to find a certified trainer in your area,” via Claudia Bensimoun, Animal Wellness. However, virtual training has its limitations, and should not be used as a replacement for in person training, especially in cases where the dog has behavioral problems.

“Virtual training can be a tricky proposition,” says renowned trainer Victoria Stilwell. “In certain cases with certain dogs, while trying to address very particular lessons or issues, it can be an effective tool, but it can also quickly morph into a problem scenario. For example, often a client will hire a dog trainer to ‘fix’ a given issue, only to find out from the trainer that there are far different (and sometimes more complicated) issues at play than the person was previously aware of. Virtual training generally doesn’t allow for the flexibility to address those types of issues,” via Victoria Stilwell, Animal Wellness.

“It also makes the dangerous assumption that the dog owner and ‘virtual teacher’ are on the same page in terms of what they’re trying to address and how the dog responds to the training,” Victoria continues. “All too often, positive dog trainers see clients who miss important signals in their dogs, and virtual training creates a situation where there’s not a qualified dog behavior expert on hand to oversee the process. Virtual training can only be considered for the most basic cues and language-building dog training – not any kind of behavioral issue.”

For more on virtual dog training, visit:

Working with a Positive Dog Trainer and Your Golden Retriever

Many Golden Retriever parents rely solely on their positive dog trainers, yet there are still some pet parents that prefer to train their own Goldens at home, or at the dog park. Here are some perks that one gets from a positive dog training program.

  1. Everyone benefits when working with a positive dog trainer- most of all your Golden Retriever.
  2. In a positive dog training class, your Golden will learn the basic commands and be part of a group. This helps with socialization, trust and canine friendships. Great for puppyhood!
  3. Your positive dog trainer will give your Golden individualized attention and instruction, most especially if he’s having difficulty with some of the commands.
  4. Always choose a small class with less than 10 students per instructor.
  5. You still need to do positive dog training homework at home with your Golden Retriever for a few minutes each day, never longer.
  6. There are numerous virtual dog-training classes via SKYPE that can help when combined with traditional, positive dog training classes.
  7. All dog training homework with your Golden Retriever should be broken down into 5-10 minute segments. This helps your Golden Retriever focus, and does not tire him out.
  8. Always end on a good note and praise your Golden Retriever with a well-deserved healthy treat. (baby carrots, blueberries or cubed grilled chicken)

How to Leash Train Your Golden Retriever?

Dog walking your Golden Retriever should be a favorite part of your day, and your Golden Retriever will look forwards to every walk throughout his lifetime. You should too!

Since exercise is such a powerful stress-reliever for Goldens, it’s necessary that your Golden Retriever learns how to properly behave when out for a walk. That means ABSOLUTELY NO PULLING!

Leaving your Golden Retriever outside alone all day in your backyard is not only unfair and neglectful, but deprives your Golden from socializing with other dogs and people. That said, your Golden needs to be taken out for walks, and to the dog park or dog beach several times a week, even if you have a huge garden. Dogs need socialization, and playtime with other dogs. They too need playdates at the dog park, and a best friend!

Always get your Golden Retriever used to both the collar and leash before you decide to take him for a walk outside. No matter what age!

Here’s what you should do on your first walk with your Golden Retriever Puppy or Adult Dog.

The most important part of successful positive dog training is to help your Golden Retriever experience success, without any fear of failure. And most importantly, without being scared of you. This is achieved through approximation training.

It’s important for Golden Retriever pet parents to break down each behavior into tiny components, so that your Golden can understand the behavior that is required from him at all times. Without confusion!

All these continuous, small successes set your Golden Retriever up for success throughout his lifetime, and will keep your Golden Retriever interested in learning, as well as helping him build up his confidence.

  • Keep your Golden Retriever relaxed, focused and happy.
  • Walk your Golden around your home or in your yard first.
  • If your Golden Retriever puppy starts pulling on the leash, stop. Start walking again when he’s stopped pulling. Never get mad or impatient!
  • When he’s walking right next to you, reward him with praise and a healthy treat.
  • You can then change directions, and let him sniff around.
  • When crossing busy streets, shorten your leash to make sure he’s far away from traffic to keep him safe and away from moving cars.
  • When other family members walk your Golden Retriever, maintain all the positive dog training rules by being consistent. Your Golden Retriever should never be allowed to pull you around.

Walk Without Pulling Golden Retriever Positive Dog Tips

If you have an energetic Golden Retriever that enjoys pulling, always begin with the Start and Stop Method. If your Golden tries to get ahead of you suddenly, turn and walk in the other direction.

Now your Golden is right behind you, suddenly wanting to catch up to you. As your Golden Retriever gets next to you, click and reward with his favorite treat. The click marks the behavior or position you’re wanting from your Golden Retriever.

This method always works because all dogs don’t like retracing their steps on a walk. They love sniffing out new territory and new scents. That said, your Golden Retriever learns to move forwards without pulling, and will rewarded with a treat if he’s right next to your side.

The Voluntary Return Method and Your Golden Retriever

This is an uncomplicated method, your Golden Retriever is rewarded when he stays close to you, and also for allowing the leash to remain loose. If your Golden Retriever is busy exploring while out on a walk with you, and you walk past him, reward your Golden right away when he catches up to you.

Click and reward with a healthy treat. You did not ask your Golden Retriever to walk by your side, but you ‘captured’ the behavior and rewarded him.

With so many different types of leashes and harnesses around, it’s easy to become confused. Leash and harness colors follow trends and are available in nylon, leather or cotton. They can also be extendable, stretch or slip leashes. That said, here are some tips on some of the best ones around! Harnesses are easiest to use on large dog breeds like the Golden that may have a tendency to pull.

What to Look Out for When Purchasing a Leash or Harness for Your Golden Retriever?

  • High-quality fabric
  • Durable
  • Breathable fabric
  • Affordability
  • Dual leash attachments
  • Numerous color options
  • Trendy
  • Easy-to-put on
  • Seatbelt loop
  • Can be machine washed
  • Made in the U.S
  • Easy-to-read size chart
  • Well-known brand
  • Size options from xx-small to xx-large
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Sustainable packaging
  • Eco-friendly product
  • Comfort and safety
  • Allows for full range of motion
  • Extra padding for comfort
  • Lightweight material with reflective trim for night visibility

Our Three Top Golden Retriever Harness Picks

Kurgo Journey Air Dog Harness

The Kurgo Journey Dog Harness has four adjustment points for a near- to -perfect fit. This popular brand has steel hardware that is durable, and most importantly is a crash-tested harness for ultimate safety while driving.


  • Breathable and durable mesh fabric
  • Both front and back end attachments
  • Steel hardware
  • Easy-to-put on
  • Includes a 10-inch seatbelt loop for driving
  • Crash-tested harness
  • Machine washable with ripstop fabric
  • Affordable


  • None. Great Product.

Ruffwear Front Range Everyday Harness

Ruffwear Front Range Everyday Harness is an effective and safe dog training tool that can be used every day for long walks, and also for long hiking trips or when out camping. This product is easy- to- custom fit, and uses two clasps. With four easy adjustment points, Ruffwear Front Range Everyday Harness is one of the best dog harnesses out there for your Golden Retriever.


  • Affordable
  • Comfortable with secure fit
  • Provides ultimate control with your dog’s comfort and safety in mind.
  • Durable and fashionable
  • Available in 5 sizes from xx-small to x-large
  • Padding in the neck area for extra comfort
  • Made from a lightweight material
  • One D-ring for leash attachment to reduce pulling
  • ID pocket built into harness for extra safety
  • Reflective trim for visibility


  • Plastic hardware
  • May not be as durable as other harnesses

Sleepypod Clickit Sport Dog Safety Harness


Kurgo Tru-Fit Enhanced Strength Dog Harness – Crash Tested Car Safety Harness for Dogs, No Pull Dog Harness, Includes Pet Safety Seat Belt

Dual purpose walking & car safety harness: Crash tested for dogs up to 75 lbs.

Crash test video


  • CRASH TESTED CERTIFIED: Enhanced strength crash tested car harness for dogs up to 75 lbs
  • All steel nested style buckles and hardware
  • Leash attachments on back and front of harness
  • Broad, padded chest plate for extra protection and comfort
  • Includes a 10″ seatbelt tether with all steel carabiner
  • Compatible with any vehicle seat belt system
  • Comfortable enough to use as an every day harness
  • Machine washable. Line dry.
  • Multi-adjustable for the perfect fit


  • Steel buckles are not super easy to adjust, but you only need to do it once.

Final Thoughts

Positive dog training with your Golden Retriever is a lifetime activity that’s meant to be fun for both pet parent and Golden. While there’s nothing nicer than going for a calm, long walk with your Golden Retriever, the unexpected can happen! Having a well-trained Golden Retriever also means continuous daily socialization with both people and other dogs! That said, opting for positive dog training harnesses that are durable, safe and comfortable makes for the perfect walk or hike!

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