Walking on a leash

27 December 2018

What’s better than watching our dogs take off through an open field – happy, playing...

walking on a leash

What’s better than watching our dogs take off through an open field – happy, playing and running free? When our dogs are happy, we are happy! Sadly, our four-legged friends can’t be off-leash everywhere and we have to teach them to walk on a leash. Some dogs aren’t comfortable with leash-walking so putting on the leash can be quite a challenge. To improve your dog’s leash-behavior and the enjoyment of walks for both of you, check out these tips on training your dog walking on a leash.

First of all…

To get your dog walking on a leash you first need to find the right collar and leash. If you want that your pup enjoys walking on a leash, you have to find a collar he feels comfortable wearing. It may sound like an easy step, but there are many different types of collars and leashes. Try out a few and let your dog make the final decision. For young puppies a simple light weight leather collar and leash is ideal.

Accepting the collar and leash

In the beginning, your dog will be unfamiliar with collars and leashes and he may feel uncomfortable about having something around his neck. To get his focus away from the collar and leash, you can try to put the collar on when there are other things that will occupy his mind. A good idea is to put it on at mealtime or when you are playing to take his mind off the wearing of the collar. Don’t forget to put it on fast, but not so tight that it is uncomfortable and irritating. In the beginning, you should attach the leash a few times during the day, for example when playing outside in the garden or  in the home when you are interacting with him, that he accepts it as a normal part of the day. Very quickly he will come to accept the feeling of the collar and leash.

Practice walking on a leash

Initially, it’s a good idea to practice leash training inside the house. In the house your dog feels safe and the environment is more familiar. Once your dog is comfortable with walking on a leash inside the house, then move to the backyard and practice there. Each successful session will help to build the confidence of your pup, as well as teach him to associate leash training with being calm and safe. Keep training sessions frequent, short and fun for your dog.

Encourage your dog

When your dog is walking quietly along on a loose leash give him plenty of praise, petting and even some treats. When he stops walking or pulls the leash, stop immediately. Don’t yank him back over to you with the leash. Just call him back over to you and praise him when he comes. Don’t keep walking when your puppy is pulling on the leash as it may hurt him.

Basic commands

To teach your dog walking on a leash, there are a few basic commands he should know.“Stay” and “Come” are useful commands when you teach your dog to walk on a 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 is somewhere else in the house.

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