Training your dog to walk properly on a leash can be a rewarding experience for both of you. It ensures safety, comfort, and convenience during your walks together. Here’s a quick guide to help you train your dog to walk on a leash.
Introduce the Leash and Collar
Begin by introducing your dog to its collar or harness and the leash. Allow your dog to wear the collar or harness around the house, making it a positive experience with treats and praise. Attach the leash and let your dog drag it around under your supervision, so they get used to the weight.
Start the actual training indoors or in a familiar, low-distraction environment. Stand next to your dog holding the loose leash. If your dog stands still or looks at you, reward it with a treat and praise. This encourages calm behaviour while the leash is on.
Teach your dog basic commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘come’. Use these commands during the leash training process. Reward your dog for successfully following a command, especially if it results in good leash behaviour.
Taking the First Steps
Start walking with your dog in a controlled environment. If the leash remains slack and your dog stays near you, give lots of praise and a treat. If your dog pulls, stop in place and call it back to you. Resume walking once the leash is slack again.
Gradually increase the complexity of the environment as your dog gets comfortable. This could mean going from indoors to your garden, then around your quiet neighbourhood, and eventually to busier areas.
Dealing with Distractions
Your dog will inevitably be tempted by distractions. Try to reinforce good behaviour and gently correct unwanted behaviour. If your dog tries to run after something, stop, call your dog back, and reward it when it returns to you and the leash is slack.
Consistency is Key
Consistency is the secret ingredient in all dog training, including leash training. Practice regularly, be patient, and keep your commands consistent. All members of the household should also be on the same page about rules and commands, otherwise, the dog will get confused.
Seeking Professional Help
If you’re really struggling with leash training, don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional dog trainer. They can provide valuable insights and techniques tailored to your dog’s specific needs.
Remember, every dog learns at its own pace. With time, patience, and consistent training, your dog will eventually learn to walk on a leash, making your walks together an enjoyable experience for you both.
For help with dog training, follow this proven system for creating an incredibly well-behaved, intelligent dog who follows your every command!
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