I'm calling Fall "Take Your Hands Off The Leash and Wear Your Dog" season to emphasize the benefit of letting go of the belief that your hands on a leash is what is controlling the dog.
Ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly:
1. Does your dog react to distractions when on leash? Does Fido lunge at other dogs, chase speedy trucks, go all twisty ballistic at the sight of kids running amok!?
2. Does your dog not get to play with other dogs off leash because you fear death and destruction will ensue?
3. If your dog is allowed to play with other dogs off leash (and I hope your dog does!), does Fido romp and carouse and probably not even bark much and have so much fun?
If your answers are yes to 1, 2 or 3, you have to trust me when I tell you that the problems are created by failing to understand leash manners. If your words are saying one thing and your actions -- in this case hands on the leash -- are saying another, I assure you that the dog is responding and reacting to your behavior, not your words.
Try taking your hands OFF the leash, really letting go, and WEAR your dog. See how much things improve. If you need greater details on the process, let me know!