Dog Leash Training

Dog Leash Training: How to teach a dog to walk on a leash

All dogs, regardless of size, age, or lifestyle, should be taught to walk nicely on leash. They are not born knowing that they shouldn’t pull ahead or lag behind so it’s our job to teach them good leash manners. Dog leash training can be challenging, though, because dogs move faster than us and are excited about exploring the outdoors. Some dogs want to run around as fast as they possibly can and others want to stop, sniff and urinate on everything they pass. Like many other kinds of training, teaching a dog to walk nicely on leash will require some time and effort. But the payoff is a dog who is a pleasure to walk. You can use various methods to teach your dog to walk without pulling on leash, but no single method works for all dogs. Here are some overall guidelines and methods:

Before you start – Pick the right leash and collar

To get your dog walking on a leash you need the right equipment. Sounds like an obvious step, but there are many different types out there. Your dog needs an appropriate collar that fits properly, as well as a suitable leash. Always bring enough treats to reward your dog when you do leash training.

Basic commands for dog leash training

Before you start the leash training, there are a few basic commands your dog should know. “Stay” and “Come” are very important commands when you want to teach your dog to walk nicely on leash. “Stay” teaches your dog to stand still and stay calm for a short time while you put on the collar and leash, or when you have to wait somewhere in traffic before crossing a street. “Come” means that your dog should stop what he’s doing and return to you. “Come” is an important command when you want to prepare your dog for a walk – in case he/she is somewhere else in the house. If you want to make the command-training more fun, you can try the Tractive Pet-Remote with acoustic signals and vibration. Pet-Remote is a small device that offers a new and easy way to train your dog with your smartphone. The small device works in combination with free apps for iOS and Android and communicates with Bluetooth Smart.

pet-remote

Keep it simple & short

The first step is to get your dog familiar and accustomed to a collar. A simple way to do that is to attach the collar whenever your dog is going outside to be in the garden. You can also try to put it on when you are doing some basic training or games. If you let your dog wear the collar and leash for short periods of time during which you are playing with him/her and offering treats, you pup might end up loving “collar and leash time” because it represents food and fun. Your dog will quickly get used to the feeling of the collar and leash. But always watch out that the collar isn’t too tight that it is uncomfortable and irritating.

If you have a puppy or an adult dog who has never been leash trained, begin with simple, short sessions (maybe just around the house). As the leash-walk improves, you can make the sessions longer and more difficult. But first when your pup is ready for it!

Less energy

The dog leash training might be easier if you find a way to tire your dog out before taking him/her on a training walk. Dogs pull, in part, because they’re full of energy. So unless you can expend that energy, your dog will find it hard to control him(her)self. Before you start the leash training, it’s a good idea to play fetch in a hallway or your backyard, play a game of tug, or let your dog run free in a park.

Don’t forget rewards

Teaching a dog to walk without pulling requires plenty of rewards. Each time your dog masters the leash walk (even just for a few seconds) reward him/her with praise and by feeding a treat. It’s a good idea to bring your dog’s favorite treats to encourage the leash training. Give a treat every few steps at first and then increase the distance you walk between treats until he/she forms the habit of walking at your side without treats. In general, soft treats are best so your dog can eat them quickly and continue training.

dog leash training

Keep a gentle pressure

If your dog won’t walk with you, stop walking and apply a gentle leash pressure. The leash pressure is meant to be a reminder of your presence and to make it slightly unpleasant for him to ignore you. But never force your dog towards you! Praise, reward and release pressure once your pup begins to come towards you.

Be patient

Dog leash training requires time, patience and effort. Therefore, stay calm and be patient! Take your time and keep your cool, but be persistent in what you do to achieve the results you want. Even if the results are only a small step towards what you wish to achieve, in time, the small steps will get bigger. Very quickly you will find your dog accepting the leash and eventually he will come to walk nicely on it as well.


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7 thoughts on “Dog Leash Training: How to teach a dog to walk on a leash

  1. Good advice to keep training sessions short. I always try to keep their attention as long as I can and still end on a positive note. I have found that pets will learn much faster that way.

  2. I’m using an online training course by Doggy Dan. This is what I think. He covers lots of problems as well as teaching the basics. The site is easy to navigate and find what I need. He helps keep training upbeat and fun for me and my dog. My dog responds very well to the lessons. The lessons are short and easy to follow. Not sure if addresses are allowed but Watch This Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVvdURkTx84 is where I got my start.

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  4. There are so many different areas of training. We have trained our puppy well but the one area of concern is still the ‘Stay’ command. Indoors he is doing really well but as soon as we head outside then the distractions are too much. We dedicate loads of time to training (in short sessions), so we know that we’ll get there, but it’s certainly the one area we want to improve upon.
    leashtrainingpuppy01.blogspot.com/2016/08/doggy-dans-online-dog-trainer-leash.html

  5. The article shared by you has some really good tips and advice on how to train a dog effectively on a leash. The best advice is to keep the sessions short and being calm and patient. I suggest to take your pet to a training centre. I have started taking my Samuel to East shore dog training center at Branford, CT.

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