Training Your Dog How to Walk Beautifully on a Leash

In a flash the dogs are on the bad guy's scent trail!  Justice will be served! Wrongs will be righted... uh... guys, that's just a leaf.
colorblindPICASO / Foter / CC BY-NC

Training dogs how to walk beautifully on a leash brings about a good relationship with them. Dogs need to be trained to get used to the leash as they were not born knowing whether they should pull or lag behind. Teaching your dog leash manners may be challenging as they naturally move fast as compared to us and always want to explore their surroundings. Leashes constrain a dog’s behaviors naturally as they do not move as freely as they normally would. There are dogs that will want to keep running around, urinate, sniff, or even stop wherever they want. Thus, it is very important to train the dog on how to behave when you are walking with them by using the leash. It is very essential to make sure that you don’t allow them to pull, as they will almost always try to do. Here are some tips on how to train your dog to walk beautifully on a leash:

Getting started- you may need a slip collar to use together with the leash in case the dog has a pulling habit. This is because he may be able to slip out of the leash. Collars are ideal to help you in training your dog to get used to walking when on a leash. This will help keep them walking loosely on the leash. This is because slip collars look like regular flat collars although they have an extra loop that pulls them tightly in case the dog pulls. This keeps them from slipping out. There are actually many different styles of collars, and you may want to experiment to see which works best for you and your dog.

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Always give the command- when you are training your dog, always make sure that you choose a phrase that makes your dog know it’s time to go. Something like, “let’s go” can be a nice phrase to get used to. Start by moving yourself as you say the words to the dog. It won’t take long for your dog to recognize this phrase.

Stop and go- in case your dog pulls at the leash, stop immediately as you wait. You should not budge or allow the dog to move forward when lunging or pulling. This will train your dog that in order to reach the destination he wants, he will need to leave some slack around the leash and not pull. When there is sufficient slack around the leash, then you can start moving. Always make sure that you are the one giving the command to move. When the dog tries to control the movement, always make sure that you stop.

Make it rewarding- when you are leaving the house, you should keep in mind that your dog will be competing with you for control of the walk. Thus make sure that you are close to your dog as much as possible. Use treats as well as praise to keep his focus on you. Whenever your dog turns and looks at you, make sure that you reward the attention that the dog has given to you. You can use a clicker to help this process; when the attention turns to you, click and treat your dog. Speak to your dog in a nice tone whenever he turns his attention to you, as well as when he obeys the command that you give about the leash. This will improve your dog’s manners, and he will know that you are the one who is commanding and not him. As long as the dog keeps walking on the leash, give him some rewards for good behavior. At the beginning, you should give him a lot of rewards, which must be reduced continuously as he goes on to learn more about how to walk on the leash.

Troubleshooting- sometimes you are unable to control the attention of your dog and his interest may be more on what is going on in the neighborhood. Your sweet talk and treats may not be good enough for him to pay attention to you. In such cases, you must stop until the dog has lost focus on the interest he has. Make sure that you don’t move until his interest is gone and the leash is loose. Give him the command and wait as you look in the opposite direction. Your dog will have no other choice but to follow your command. Remember, you are the pack leader, and it is up to you to display leadership to your dog.

Golden Retriever puppy
ccho / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND