DiscussionTraining tips

Teaching Your Dog loose leash Walking Challenge

Teaching Your Dog loose leash Walking is I think one of the most rewarding things to train them into. However it most certainly isn’t easy with a lot of dogs.

Does your dog pull on the lead? ignore you on walks? Lunge at other dogs. Most of these things can be stopped by Teaching Your Dog loose leash Walking as it calms your dog and usually adds focus on you. Loose leash walking can really be a challenge, but well worth the effort.

Understanding your dog

Dogs can understandably get really excited when they are out for walks with lots of fun things going on around them that they will want to explore. As dog owners we need to show them how to walk calmly on the lead to ensure that both their owner and dog is safe. This is also one of the best starting points for teaching puppies to be calm and polite when meeting new people and four-legged friends.

How do I stop my dog from pulling?

You’ll need to teach them that if they pull you stop walking, and that walking next to you with a loose lead means they get to move forward.

Teaching Your Dog loose leash Walking can be a long process.

Teaching your dog to walk with a loose lead is by no-means a quick process. It involves having a great deal of patience and time. It can often take several months, and there are no shortcuts. The better news is that the training itself is simple, although it does require a large commitment from you. You should expect walks to take a lot longer during this time. If you can stick with it though the rewards will be great walks with a calm and happy dog who no longer pulls. Some dogs though pick it up straight away.

Methods to Use While Teaching Your Dog loose leash Walking

  • The second the lead goes tight, stop walking. Simply stand still, keep quiet and don’t move forward again until the lead is slack, then walk on. Don’t jerk the lead back – just stand and wait. If your dog does not turn back to you, try walking a couple of steps in the opposite direction to get their focus back.
  • Reward your dog whenever they are walking next to you on a loose lead. Keep some treats handy but out of the way (in a treat pouch, or pocket). You’ll probably need to use lots of treats at the start, but as your dog gets better you can cut down and eventually phase treats out completely. Remember to keep walking forwards as you give your dog treats to avoid stopping and starting.
  • Initially practise in quiet areas, walking up and down with no distractions so that your dog can get the hang of it quickly. It’s much easier for your dog to learn new behaviours in quiet places where they won’t be easily distracted.
  • This also helps your dog to learn to pay attention.
Teaching Your Dog loose leash Walking
Saber Learning To Pay Attention.

Things To Keep In Mind

  • DO NOT REWARD PULLING. When your dog pulls on the lead, stand still and wait for the lead to become slack. Above all, do not move in the direction of the pull.
  • DO REWARD loose lead walking. Walk forwards with your dog and reward them when they are walking nicely by your side with tasty treats.
  • When the dog is in the right position the lead should always be hanging loose with no tension.
  • DON’T PUNISH when your dog pulls (don’t tell your dog off or tug back), positive reinforcement is much more effective.
  • Be 100% CONSISTENT each time you go out with your dog – this may take time will be well worth the effort and make walks even more enjoyable for you and your dog.

Things To Bear In MInd

Remember any time you leave the house and walk your dog on the lead you are training. If you aren’t consistent you will lose all your hard work. Make sure that every time you go on a walk you are teaching your dog to walk politely on the lead.Remember all walks are training

It’s important to use high value treats that your dog is really interested in. If they aren’t that bothered about the treats they won’t focus on what you are asking them to do. Try and find out what their favourite treat is and use it only when you are doing lead training.

Teaching your dog loose leash walking will take time use as many resources as you can to ensure success. The Battersea Way is a good resource to read and digest.

Have any tips and hints from your own experience, Let me know through the comments section.

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