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Leash Training: How to Train Your Dog to Walk on a Leash

Are you a new dog owner or struggling with your dog’s leash walking and you need to give him proper leash training? 

I experienced some worst behaviour from my beloved dog while walking. Sad but true you may face such a situation too. So, you need to know that if you think leash training is easy then you will suffer in the long run for sure. I would love to say that It is certainly easy if you follow strategic methods and you really care about your dog.

These days dog training is methodological and strongly based on animal science. To get the best performance from your dog, you can follow some loose-leash training techniques. 

From my first-hand experience, today I will share some systematic techniques so that you can take care of your dog by yourself. 

Dog leash training

Necessary Equipment for Leash Training

Be attentive to your dog’s comfort. Use equipment that suits your dog properly. If your dog finds tools uncomfortable he won’t perform well. Before you start a new training, prepare the tools first. Let’s take a look below:

  • Buckle Collar –  Nylon or Leather made. 
  • Martingale Collar –  Nylon made. This is best for dogs that have smaller heads, fluffy dogs or the fearful dogs that try to back out the collar. 
  • Flat Leash – Nylon or leather made. Typically 4’-7’ serves best. 
  • Standard H Harness – It can be used for the dog in injury on the neck, or the dogs that slip out of their collars 
  • Front Clip Harness – an easy tool for dogs that cannot bear a collar.  Various types are available, including Easy Walk, Freedom Harness, or Sensible harness. 
  • Head Halter or Gentle Leader – for dogs that have been trained to wear halter or leader.  
Dog leash training

How To Start Leash Training

Let’s have a look at how you can start your mission properly. Remember that you are the only one your dog relies on, so be careful and follow as below:

Use The Right Tools

Use a regular buckled collar and a seven-foot leash for the dog. Lunge lines and retractable leashes don’t give complete control; the flexi-leashes use a constant pressure on the leash, which causes it hard to teach a dog not to pull.

Before the Walk Establish the Manners

Seeing the leash, if the dog goes crazy and you attach it while he is playing around happily, it’s fun but that’s a mistake. It is like you are taking an animal on a walk who is out of control. It is not possible to expect a dog in this state to show some good manners. Instead, you can follow a different approach, command your dog to sit and stay before you tie his leash. Give a reward for sitting with a treat or verbal praising, and don’t clip on the leash until his rear is planted as you wanted. If the dog is in little excitement, that’s okay. He needs to learn certain behaviour before step outside, and your duty is to continue this approach when you get to the front gate, the gate won’t open until he follows your command to sit and stay. 

The Complete Dog Leash Training

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Self-training

You need to prepare yourself too, many trainers find it easy but later on they come to realise that they made a mistake. So, to get proper output from your dog, it’s important to commit to never pulling or jerking the dog leash or using the leash to guide him. You need to perform or maintain a relaxed lead at all times. If it is difficult for you to control, you can attach the leash to your belt or use a waist leash.

Give Your Dog a Session
Dog leash training

Before you go for the training, give your dog a vigorous ball-throwing session. Session must be short. If the dog is a little bit tired, he will be less likely to be rude on the leash. Next, start working in a comfortable environment for your dog. It can be your backyard, empty parking or even indoors. As the dog starts to understand the basics of loose-leash walking, increase the diversions until you make it his normal routine.

Be Constant

If you really decide to leash training for your dog, then be consistent. You have to be fully committed, you have to decide if you are going to be committed to that. If you do not maintain it consistently then, certainly, your goal will not meet up. 

Dog leash training

Leash-Training Techniques

There are various training methods that you can use to train your dog properly. You can train your dog by yourself. For getting the maximum result you need to prepare yourself first. You should follow a systematic way as below:

  • For the stop and go methods, When your dog is pulling the leash so hard that the leash gets tight, then just stop in your tracks. At some point, the dog will look back at you to check why you are not moving, and the leash will loosen slightly. 
  • If he does this then praise your dog by clicker or some certain words, offer a reward and continue your walk. Repeat the same process as often as needed make sure that your dog does the same whenever you stop.  
Dog leash training
  • If your dog is pulling to get something specific, use the environmental reward methods.
  • It is very important to continue offering positive reinforcement.
  • Avoid having a certain destination for your walk. Let your dog lead the way in a calm environment.
  • Don't tempt your dog with the gifts during the walk. Instead, reinforce good behaviour
  • If your dog looks nervous, just bend at him and take care of him and try to give him some reward.
  • Walk with your dog frequently, maybe multiple times in a day, it will help the dog to understand what you want him to do.
  • Do not reward or appreciate any bad behaviour, ignore him when he performs undesirable, to teach him that you don't like it.
  • Stay calm and concerned for your dog, not just use your phone during the session.
  • Be attentive for selecting the walking equipment, make sure that all tools are working well and comfortable for your dog.
  • When you give your dog a reward, give it right next to your thigh on the prefered side that you want your dog to walk on.
  • You need to have patience and be steady, because it may take some times to teach your dog a perfect lesson.

Troubleshooting Common Leash Problems

One of the common problems you may encounter, when your dog pulls, rather than normally standing, turn around and just walk the different way. Don’t yell at your dog, don’t talk and wait for him. It is his necessity to find you out, and whenever he comes back to you, give him a warm reward, eventually he will learn what you want. 

If your dog is not responding to any of your training methods, maybe he needs different equipment for a while to provide you with better control. It can be the result of your inadvertent encouragement to pull by pushing along with your dog. It will be best if you take an obedience class from an expert instructor. 

When your dog steps back and forth or runs around you, attract him beside you with a treat. When he moved back to the right place, praise him, appreciate him with words or rewards. keep doing this one until your dog learns what he should do. 

Some trainers find loose-leash training easy, but for numerous, this is not that easy to deal with. However, When it is all about your beloved dog, just be attentive and be an expert to guide your dog.

The Complete Dog Leash Training

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September 4, 2020

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