Learning how to train a dog to walk on a leash is important because your dog must have regular exercise (and so should you) and it has been proven that dogs who are walked every day are better behaved and happier than those who are left alone in the yard or in the house. A daily walk is enjoyable and stimulating for both you and your dog.
But, nothing is more annoying than trying to walk a dog that is constantly pulling at the leash. You need to train your dog from the start that pulling is not acceptable behavior. This does require some patience and persistence but your walks will be a lot more pleasurable once your dog is trained to walk beside you properly.
How To Train A Dog To Walk On A Leash
1. Put your dog’s collar on and attach the leash. Pick up your end of the leash and encourage your dog to walk nicely at your side in a straight line. It’s a lot easier to walk briskly during this phase of training.
2. Once your dog has walked beside you without pulling, drop the leash and praise her.
3. Repeat this over and over. Try going in a circle and turning around. Be sure to make the sessions short but do them every day and, of course, give your dog tons of praise and treats when she exhibits the wanted behavior.
If Your Dog Tugs On The Leash
Learning how to train a dog to walk on a leash is easy if your dog walks nicely beside you by nature, but what if they pull every which way? Here’s what you should do if your dog is a “puller.”
1. Start walking and encourage your dog to walk with her head level to your leg, if she hangs back, slap your thigh to bring her up.
2. Be sure to give her lots of praise and encouragement and when her head is in the right position, give her a treat and some praise. It’s critical that you only reward her when her head is level with your leg (i.e. she is walking right beside you and her head is not forward of your leg, but right beside it)
3. If her attention starts to wander, regain it by calling her name or giving the “look” command (if she already knows it).
4. When she starts to pull on the leash, stop walking. When she looks at you to see why you stopped, pat your leg so that she knows to come back level to it. You might want to give a command “come” or “close” so she starts to associate a command with coming next to your leg.
5. Repeat this process every time your dog starts to pull and don’t forget to heap on the praise when she walks nicely beside you!
Walking your dog is one of the great pleasures in live so even though learning how to train a dog to walk on a leash takes time and patience; it certainly is well worth it!