Are you tired of being pulled down the street by your furry friend every time you try to take a walk? Leash training your dog is a must for any dog owner who wants to enjoy leisurely strolls with their four-legged companion. Here are five simple steps to help you leash train your dog, so you can both enjoy the great outdoors without any fuss or frustration.
Step 1: Choose the Right Equipment & Motivation
Before you begin leash training your dog, it’s important to make sure you have the right equipment. You’ll need a sturdy leash, a comfortable collar or harness, and some tasty treats to reward your dog for good behaviour. Finding your dog isn’t super food motivated? Don’t fret! Do a little more research into what really motivates your dog – is it their favourite squeaky toy, or simply affection from you? Whatever their motivation, ensure you’ve got lots of it and they’ll be eager to please!
Step 2: Start Indoors
It’s best to start leash training your dog indoors, where there are fewer distractions. Attach the leash to your dog’s collar or harness and let them get used to wearing it around the house. Some dogs may immediately think this means walk time and go a little bit bananas at first. Ensure you reward them with treats for calm behaviour and for not pulling on the leash.
Step 3: Practice Walking
Once your dog is comfortable wearing the leash inside the home, it’s time to start practicing walking. Start by walking your dog around the house or in a quiet room. Encourage your dog to walk beside you by rewarding them with the motivator you picked out in step 1. Give extra rewards every time they check in with you (i.e. look at you) and stay in sync with your speed and movements.
Step 4: Add Distractions
As your dog gets better at walking on the leash, it’s time to start adding in distractions. Take your dog outside and walk them in an area that’s somewhat familiar to them, such as around the yard or down your street. If your dog starts to pull on the leash, stop walking and wait for them to calm down and check in with you before continuing, or try the ‘heel’ technique by turning and walking in another direction. The guidance and pressure of the lead will direct them back to you, and you can reward them when they follow the instruction.
Step 5: Keep Practicing
Leash training your dog is an ongoing process. Even after your dog is comfortable walking on the leash, it’s important to keep practicing and reinforcing good behaviour. Take your dog for walks regularly and continue to reward them for walking calmly beside you.
With these five simple steps, you can leash train your dog and enjoy stress-free walks with your furry friend. Remember to be patient, consistent, and to have fun!
Need some help putting these steps into practice? Let an expert show you how!
Our Dog Trainer can help take your dog’s walking from ruff to refined in no time! Find out more about our Dog Trainer services and help unleash your dog’s inner superstar today.