Step-by-Step Guide about Dog Leash Training

All dogs, regardless of size, age, or lifestyle, should be taught to walk nicely on...

23 June 2016



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:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

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!

4. Less energy

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.  Your dog is not well-trained yet and you are afraid to let him run free, worried he might get lost? With a Tractive GPS Tracker you can leave your worries at home! Tractive GPS is the perfect solution for your four-legged friend, since it allows you to always track your dog in real-time, from the convenience of your smartphone. Your dog will enjoy the freedom and you will enjoy the peace of mind.

Discover Tractive GPS

5. 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

6. 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.

7. Leash Training for Puppies

When you’re dealing with a puppy, remember to take baby steps. Before going for a walk on a leash with him, start by only attaching the leash indoors and play with your pooch to keep him occupied and distracted from the new, strange accessory. Make the leash loose enough, to avoid irritation and to ensure your puppy feels comfortable. Then practice putting your puppy on a leash in your backyard while you’re enjoying familiar surroundings. The most important thing is to slowly get your puppy familiar with leash training: indoors, while playing, while going to the local grocery just around the corner. In time, with some practice, you can increase the length of your walks with your puppy, because he won’t even notice the leash anymore.

8. 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.

Like what you’ve read? Share it with a friend!

More interesting Articles

  1. Drew

    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. Ian

    Mastering the Dog Walk is such a great feeling once done right –
    here are some more tips to help get the dog walk off to a fine art

  3. Nancy

    A few weeks ago I was looking for “how to leash training puppy”, someone recommended me :
    The result was very effective with my puppy. I hope this could helpful
    Good Luk

  4. Nancy

    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 is where I got my start.

  5. buy fifa 17 coins

    buy fifa 17 coins

    Great internet site! It looks really expert! Keep up the good work!

  6. red alma

    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.

  7. Roger Donavan

    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.

  8. michael

    Hi , check it out!
    this cool website gives you a great free dog training guide
    They explain step by step, how to deal with behavioral problems of all types of dogs or puppies. Questions like: Why does my dog dont eat? why he doesn’t play? how to get your dog to listen to you? and more… and it all happens online!
    step by step video
    how to deal with behavioral problems of
    all types of dogs or puppies. online system!
    get the free dog training guide now!

  9. John Lawrence

    I’m glad that I found this article. I’ve learned so much since it is hard for me to keep my dog’s attention to me. And I’ve learned that patience is a virtue.

    • Simone

      Hi John,

      Nice to hear that 🙂


  10. Ralph

    there are so many different training techniques to ensure you master dog walking correctly.
    Also, there are hundreds of dog training leads / leashes that can really confuse things.
    We have recently moved to a Canny Collar No Pull Lead and a fantastic Halti Harness. Ralph loves these and with the amazing dog walking tips,we now have a fantastic walk every day!!

  11. Ralph

    everyone trains there dog very differently and mastering the dog walk is no different.
    The above is fantastic and i have tried all of them and a whole lot more with our dog and our friends dogs when we have looked after them. And they all work. includes even more tips to get your dog walking experience off to a fantastic place

  12. Sarah

    Dear Ralph,

    thank you for your comment. We appriciate every bit of feedback we get.
    Have a great day.


  13. Cindy Bird

    I have a brother and sister , they are 2 years old. The girl is 5 pounds and boy is 13 pounds. My girl is very easy to get to do anything on the other hand my boy won’t do anything, I can’t even get a collar on him. What do you suggest?