How To Stop Your German Shorthaired Pointer From Pulling on the Leash

It’s no surprise to owners everywhere that German Shorthaired Pointers are energetic and love to follow their instincts, even if they disregard directions at times while on a walk. However, with the right knowledge and skills, owners can help train their pups to thrive successfully on a leash. 

Here’s how to stop your GSP from pulling on the leash: 

  1. Use positive reinforcement training repetitively. 
  2. Incorporate loose-leash training into your GSP’s training. 
  3. Set the right environment for training.
  4. Take your time with training and have patience. 
  5. Teach your pup that you are in charge. 

The remainder of this article on German shorthaired pointers will discuss the above reasons in-depth of how you can stop your GSP from pulling on its leash. 

1. Use Positive Reinforcement Training Repetitively 

German shorthaired pointers have specific personalities, and one of the most challenging tasks to accomplish with this breed is training. Luckily, there are certain tactics like positive reinforcement that can make a world of difference for your German shorthaired pointer. 

Positive reinforcement training can help alter your GSP’s leash pulling by enforcing and enhancing positive behavior, teaching them that you are in charge and you decide what is allowed. 

Although training may take a bit of time with this breed, German shorthaired pointers are very intelligent and will listen and learn once you have captured their attention. 

German shorthaired pointers have very high energy, love independence, and have strong instincts and scents. Due to this, listening and training can be very difficult. They will easily follow along with scents that they smell and even chase after noise and other animals, which is why leash-pulling is so common. 

Individuals can set the tone, the rules, and what is allowed. When dogs follow along, owners can give them positive reinforcement in the form of petting, treats, and other things that their dogs love. 

This helps incredibly because it teaches dogs that they will be rewarded and applauded when they follow along with the rules.

2. Incorporate Loose-Leash Training Into Your GSP’s Training

There are so many forms of positive reinforcement out there that pet owners can use when training their dogs, and there are certain methods people can combine with positive reinforcement. One of those is loose-leash training. 

You can utilize loose-leash training with positive reinforcement to help your GSP understand the dynamics of proper communication, walking speeds, and what is allowed. They will also begin to enter into a routine of walking at a calm pace when on a leash, noticing what it feels like to not tug. 

Loose leash training is not necessary for leash pulling, but it can be a very helpful tip for training your GSP. It is the opposite of what your pet might do when on a walk. During this training, the leash must always remain loose between you and your dog. If mastered, this is a very effective technique that can help bond you and your dog. 

At first, owners might want to begin with slow steps. Walking one to two steps with your dog and teaching them to sit is the best starting place for training your dog. From there, you can expand it. 

3. Set the Right Environment for Training 

It is important for owners to keep all distractions out of the way and to have patience with their pups, especially German shorthaired pointers. This breed is incredibly hyper and easily distracted, as we now know. Additionally, listening and giving up independence is something they do not like to do.

Positive reinforcement training, as well as loose-leash training, are great methods to use but don’t always work, especially if the environment is full of activity. 

Individuals should find a place to train where there is privacy and limited distraction. German shorthaired pointers are known to sniff out and notice the slightest changes in their environments. Those distractions can take up a lot of their attention. 

Additionally, individuals should avoid having other animals and people nearby. Pets and people, whether they are known or unknown to your GSP, will fully capture your dog’s energy. 

You can begin to incorporate other pets and people into your training after your dog has begun to listen and train in private for a bit of time. 

4. Take Your Time With Training and Have Patience

Training is important for GSPs. However, the process does not happen quickly and can vary from dog to dog. It’s essential that owners practice patience and let the process happen as it should. 

There are wonderful training tactics out there that owners can use, but they all move slowly. Due to this, owners should only reward their pups with a treat or forward walking if their dogs obey. 

The best way to enforce training is for individuals to hold strong to the methods they are enforcing. Dogs learn best through the following: 

  • Body language. 
  • The tone of your voice. 
  • Consistency. 
  • Direction. 
  • Boundaries. 
  • Proper communication. 

On average, it takes owners eight to twelve weeks to train their pup to stop pulling their leash. However, this will depend on consistency. It is recommended that individuals train with their pup two to three times a day on a consistent schedule. 

If repetition is not followed, it can take around six months to train a German shorthaired pointer. Even after a dog understands the concept you are teaching them, owners must keep up with repetition, train their dogs often, and create challenges for it to stick in the long term.

5. Teach Your Pup That You Are in Charge

Regardless of which type of training owners utilize with their pups, what is most important is that dogs understand what is right and wrong, and who is in charge at the end of the day. 

Canines, in general, do fantastic when they are given guidance, instruction, and a master. Without this, they may not feel safe and they may act out or behave in a way that is not allowed. 

The best way to teach your pup that you’re in charge is through setting proper boundaries and guidelines for your dog to follow on a regular basis.


German shorthaired pointers are very intelligent and they can be great listeners if trained properly. Owners, however, must create a dynamic that shows their dogs how things are conducted. 

With positive reinforcement, loose-leash training, and a bit of patience, it is possible for your dog to succeed tremendously. 

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