Friday, November 20, 2009

Leash Training Your Dog - 3 Simple Steps to Teach Your Dog to Walk on a Loose Leash

Does your dog pull when out on a walk? Are you embarrassed walking through your neighborhood? Do your arms and shoulders hurt after a walk? Training a dog to walk on a loose leash can be frustrating, especially if you have adopted an adult dog who has never been trained. It is not, however, impossible.
Before starting to train your dog you will need a collar and leash. The collar should be flat, rolled leather, a martingale or a head collar, and the leash leather or webbing. Avoid retractable leashes, chain and rolled nylon leashes as they will hurt your hands when your dog pulls.
For most dogs the following method works well.
1. Attach your leash to your dog's collar, have them sit on your left hand side, and wait until they are relaxed and the leash is slack. Hold the leash in both hands with some slack between your hands.
2. Have a command to tell your dog that you are going to start walking (lets go, come on). Say it once and then begin walking.
3. When your dog starts to pull, let go of the slack in the leash, stop, turn, and walk in a different direction. When your dog turns and walks in the same direction as you praise them and give a treat, but ONLY when the leash is slack. If your dog keeps pulling, modify this technique. When they pull, stop walking and wait until they come towards you and the leash slackens. When this happens, praise, give a treat, and again start walking in a different direction.
Repeat as necessary. Remember that training a dog to walk on a loose leash takes time and your first few walks will likely be a very short distance only, although you will cover a significant distance as you turn numerous times. Remember to keep the leash loose whenever you are moving.
For puppies, or dogs that are shy, nervous or have never had a leash on, you need to go more slowly and be low key. Attach the leash to their collar, and use treats, a favorite toy and your voice to encourage them to walk with you. Give lots of praise, keeping everything upbeat and positive. You want walking on a leash to be an enjoyable experience for your puppy, not something to be feared.
Leash training your dog will take time, especially if they are used to pulling. The key is to be consistent and persistent, eventually they will learn and you will be able to go on long walks together that you both will enjoy.
Want to learn more about leash training your dog?
Visit for more tips and advice on effectively training your dog.
Katie Mills enjoys sharing resources about dog training. In doing so she has created relationships with certain experts and in recommending their products may receive compensation for doing so.
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