It’s not like a dog instinctively knows the proper way to walk on a leash. Instead, it’s a skill they eventually learn through proper training. So in this article, you will get to know how to train a dog to walk on a leash.
This is a training exercise you simply can’t skip because if you do, you’re going to have an overexcited puppy stumbling all over your legs when you want to take your dog on a nice little walk.
For the safety of both you and your dog, it’s important that you learn how to train a dog to walk on a leash without pulling it.
Introduction To The Leash
First, your dog should get a proper introduction to such accessories like harness or collar you will have wrapped around their neck or body and the leash you would be directing them with.
It needs to first get comfortable with the feeling of the collar and the leash. Every day, for a short amount of time, make it wear the collar while you are engaged in some activity with him such as playing or feeding your dog its favorite treats.
This way, your puppy will come to associate the leash with play-time and food.
Work On A Cue
Decide on a sound you want your puppy to take as a cue to indicate that food is here. Some people making clicking noises while others do a tongue click. Some people simply use a word such as ‘yes’ to alert their pets. Whatever you settle on, you have to follow the same method.
Take your puppy to an area where it’s quiet and there isn’t any kind of distraction to take their attention away from you and then make the cue sound. Remember, your puppy should be wearing the collar and the leash.
The moment your puppy looks at you, gift it with a treat. If you keep on repeating this, you will notice that your puppy doesn’t only look at you when you make the sound, but it automatically makes its way to you to get the treat.
Make Your Puppy Follow You
When you see your puppy is making his way to you while wearing the collar and the leash to get the treat, back up a few steps. After that, when he gets to you, reward him.
Continue this way for a while before you make the cue sound Your puppy will not only stand in front of you but also start walking with you for a few more steps.
Puppies usually don’t have a good attention span, so your sessions should be in short bursts. End the session when your puppy still has the energy and eagerness to please instead of when they appear exhausted and bored with the repetitive nature of the situation.
Once your puppy understands the process that they should come up to you on cue, it’s time to take these short sessions to a place with some distractions.
Your dog will face more of a challenge when it is in a place where other sounds or visual mediums are available and yet has to follow the cue sound to come to you without getting distracted.
The more your puppy gets used to coming up to you, despite the distraction the more you should shower him with treats and praises. Of course, this should happen when he has the leash on.
Think you have trained your puppy enough inside the safety of your house? Now, it’s time to test whether your puppy is ready to tackle the great outdoors. This step will bring with it a fresh round of challenges.
Your puppy will be greeted with sound and smell it has never encountered before and will see things it has never seen before. These things are bound to intrigue him and make him curious enough to try to run off on its own to inspect the subject of its attention.
You have to be patient with your puppy. It’s also best that for the first few walks outside, you keep it limited to a short period of time. Once you are out on the walk, you have to keep a close eye on your pet.
Then, when you notice that it seems like your puppy is on the verge of reaching for something afar or is about to get distracted, it’s time for you to make your cue sound. Then, step back a little. When your puppy comes to you, reward it with a treat.
Some Troubleshooting Tips For Leash Training
At first, your progress with your puppy and the leash might be smooth. Your pet might eventually get used to the outside world but that doesn’t mean you won’t run into new problems from time to time.
Some unexpected situations can crop up as your puppy ages, sets its paws on a new place, or finds new distractions. You might want to opt for a loose leash walking technique, as it provides much more flexibility for the owner and the puppy.
We have also prepared some tips that will be helpful to you when you experience hiccups in your leash training.
1. What To Do If Your Dog Starts Pulling You?
When you see your dog starts trying to take you in another direction, you should opt for the tree method. That is, you basically start acting like a tree. Stand where you are and stay very still. Don’t move from your spot until your dog gives up and voluntarily comes back to your side.
You will have to seriously reign in your temper during those times. You can’t do something like pull right back at the leash or yank it another way. Don’t try to force your dog to go with you by dragging him by the leash either.
Not only will you be hurting your dog and yourself this way, but you might also make him lose his trust in you if you act carelessly.
You can also find some training tools in the market made for dogs who have a tendency to pull such as head halters and harnesses with front hooks.
2. What Do You Do If Your Dog Makes An Attempt To Lung?
If your dog has a tendency to lung at other objects, such as another puppy or a running car or even a random bush, while on a walk you have to make a quick decision and be ready.
Before your dog even gets around to lunging at an unsuspecting victim, surprise him with a treat. At the same time, try widening the distance between your dog and the target of his curiosity.
You have to be very alert during those times. You have to have your treats and the direction you want your dog to follow ready before he has the chance of coming in contact with the target.
Commonly, this type of behavior in a dog is seen in herding breeds. In general, though, they are overly active and alert creatures and can easily be startled if they are faced with something new or something they find charming.
3. What To Do If Your Dog Starts Barking When On A Walk?
There are some dogs that have a tendency to bark at other dogs they come across when they are out on a pleasant walk. Mostly, this behavior is the result of some flaw in exercise.
You have to personally make sure that your dog grows up with the right kind of stimulation that is needed for its physical and mental health and it is provided to him according to the age and breed it belongs to.
However, if the problem persists despite training, you will have to resort to the previous trick. That is, the one used when your dog lunges at something.
Maintain some distance between your pet and the dog it is barking at and present your dog with a treat. This way, he will eventually automatically turn to you when he sees a dog instead of barking at them.
Find Out How To Train A Dog To Walk On A Leash Today!
We know what you’re thinking. Aren’t you offering your dog treats far too often for every little problem? Won’t he eventually become too spoiled this way?
Well, as long as your problems with how to train a dog to walk on a leash are solved one by one, you will be able to reduce the number of treats you provide them.
After all, once your dog starts learning to not act a certain way, those situations won’t arise in the first place where you have to bring out a treat for him.
However, it’s still a good idea to always have some treats ready in your pocket. This way, even if things are going well every day when you are on a walk, you can reinforce some of the leash-walking training by randomly whipping out a treat. Since your dog is not expecting it, he will be even happier!
We hope you have learnt how to train a dog to walk on a leash!