How to leash train your dog-Tips (some may not agree with this)

trained dog on a leash

Dog leash training will not always go smoothly.

When you are training your dog you not only teach him new tricks and commands but it also helps you and your pooch to build a better bond.

Teaching a dog that wants to run to walk slowly is not a walk in the park. It is a daunting task that requires you to have the right tricks to do it.

You also need to be very patient and consistent with the training.

Many dog lovers struggle with this part of training a lot.

However, when you are doing it right it becomes much easier and better for you and your doggo.

In this guide, we have prepared some leach walking dog tips and tricks that you can use to making walking your dog much easier.

Some dog lovers and owners may not agree to what we are going to look at today, but if you follow the leash training techniques you are going to see results.

So, let us dive right into it. 

Dog leash training

What is dog leash training?

Dogs and hoomans do not walk at the same speed because they have more energy and pace.

So, when you are taking your dog for a walk on a leash he ends up pulling and exerting tension in the leash. They do not do this willingly but it is their instincts.

Some doggos may get distracted by moving objects such as squirrels and cars and stop as they plan their next move.

This is why you need to leash train your pooch to walk next to without pulling. It one of the most important parts of training.

Some of the techniques may not work out for all dogs because they are all different and you may be required to be creative and adjust the training according to your dog’s traits and energy.

Walk-Your-Dog-on a leash

Here are some of the things that you may need;

It sounds obvious but when you are preparing to train your dog how to loosely walk on a leash you may need to pick the right equipment. There are different equipment out there suited for different dogs.

  • A treat pooch with a variety of treats.
  • Have a non-retractable leash(4 to 6 feet long)
  • A harness or a collar. But I would recommend a harness over a collar especially for smaller dogs to prevent tracheal collapse.

Get some of the dog’s energy out

Burning out your dog’s energy makes it much easier for him/her to pay attention.

You can start by using a short play session such as playing fetch tire him out a bit. He does not have to be perfect at the game that you play as long as it burns out that extra energy.

You want your dog to be panting a bit before you begin the dog leash training sessions and that way you can his attentions easily.

What this does is that it relieves some of that leash tension that maybe there when you are leash walking.

Controlling your dog and leash training him is much easier if he does not have that much energy.

Walk-Your-Dog-on a leash

Teach your dog basic commands before dog leash training

Before you begin to teach your pup how to loosely walk on a leash he first needs to learn some basic commands.

Commands such as “stay,” “come,” and “wait” come in very handy when you are walking any dog no matter the age.

The come command teaches you doggo to stop what he doing and return to you. Stay train your dog to be calm and stay still and can be helpful when you are putting a leash on.

The “Wait” command training

Before you start dog leash training, I would recommend you teach him this command. It is one of the most effective commands when walking any doggie.

What this command does it that it tells your dog when he needs control himself and also helps him to focus more.

This is a neat and effective command that also makes your canine friend look more obedient to onlookers.

Here is how you can do it; 

1. Take a seat and make your puppy sit in front of you.

2. Once your doggo has sat and is relaxed, show him a treat and tell him to wait.

3. As your pup watches you, place the treat on your knee slowly. If he/she tries to reach for the treat take it away and tell him to sit and wait.

4. Repeat the first two steps and many times as you can always using the word “wait” until you can place the treat on your knee without your dog taking it.

5. Soon enough and gradually, your dog will learn to sit and wait, avoiding any temptations to take the treat.

6. When you are sure that he will not take the treat without your permission, you can then allow him to “take it.

It will take time for your pooch to learn this command, so, start by asking him to wait for a few seconds then proceed to make him wait for long.

Soon you will have made enough progress and you will not need the treat to make him wait.

This command will come in handy in most of your training sessions as your dog learns to control himself and focus.

DogWalking training

Introduce your dog to a harness/collar and leash

Your dog needs to get used to wearing a collar or a harness and a leash.

This is very important because you cannot leash walk your pooch if he does not have a leash on.

When you are playing in the house with him let him get used to having his collar on. You should start without a leash then slowly introduce the leash as you reward him.

Rewarding your dog when you put his collar and leash on make him associate with a positive experience and does not get uncomfortable.

training your dog to walk on a leash

Start the dog leash training inside the house

Now that your puppy is comfortable having his collar and leash on you can progress to the next step.

The inside of a house has very minimal distractions when compared to being outside.

You need to choose a room that has little distraction where the only challenge is him feeling the collar and leash around him.

Make the puppy come to you. Call your puppy while holding a lure such as a treat and when he starts approaching you back up a few steps.

Once he gets to you reward him.

When he gets you, pick up his leash and begin walking him slowly on the side that you like but left is the preferred side.

Make sure that the leash is always loose and be sure to use the “wait” or “stay” command when he starts to increase speed.

But you need to remember that pups are very curios and keep these sessions short and end them when he still wants to do more.

Take the dog leash training outside

Once you are confident enough that your pup can walk with a loose leash on from inside the house it is now time to introduce some distractions and make things a bit more difficult.

Here things get more interesting because your dog is exciting over all the noise, smells and moving objects.

To start, you need to make sure that you stick to short sessions and practice patience.

Keep your eyes at the up at all times for you to notice when he is about to lunge off to something he just noticed. Use a clicker to get his attention back and move away from the distraction.

If he follows you slowly reward him.

Puppy_Leash training
Basset Hound puppy on a leash outdoors.

What is a clicker/cue?

A cue is a command or a word that is used to get your dog to take certain actions. It can be a physical or verbal signal for your up to act.

When you are training your dog to walk on a leash loosely commands like “waits” or words like “yes” can be used as cues.

Some dog lovers prefer to click and reward their pups while some also cluck their tongues.

Use the cue, whichever you choose, to get your pup’s attention and focus back to you and reward him.

When you use a cue not only do you regain your puppy’s focus but you also get him to come closer to you.

Teach your Pup to walk loosely on a leash

First thing first, you need to make sure that you fill your pouch with treats.

After you decide which side you are going to walk your pooch, hold some treats to that side of your body. If you prefer the right side, hold the treats on the right side.

Hold the leash on the opposite side to the one you are walking him on. For example, if you will be walking your dog on the right side, you should hold the leash using your left hand letting it hang loosely.

Take a step or two then stop and while you are holding your treat close to your pants reward your dog. This helps to position the doggo closer to the heel position.

Repeat this process of taking a step and stopping.

Once your dog is looking up for you to give him a treat take 2 or 3 more steps before giving him a treat.

If your canine friend pulls ahead of you, stop walking and recall him using a lure in your hand. However, you should not reward him just yet, take 3 more steps forward then reward. You want him to learn that if he walks close to you without pulling his leash he is going to be rewarded.

As you progress slowly increase the number of steps you take before treating him.

You could name your walk to make your furry friend know when you are about to go for a walk.

trained dog on a leash

Dog leash training troubleshooting steps

Although you may be having progress with your dog leash training, you may still run into some challenges along the way.

This may happen when you go to a new place, when there are new distractions and when he gets older.

Here is what to do;

If your puppy lunges: S, if your doggo decides to run after something when you are walking him, you should try and redirect his focus towards you. You should do this the moment you notice he is about to lunge then increase the distance between him and the target. This commonly happens on dogs that have a high prey drive.

If your doggo is pulling his leash: Immediately he starts to pull stop till he comes back to you. Do not jerk or yank the leash and do not drag your dog.

When your canine friend barks: Create a distance between him and the thing that is making him bark. For example, if he wants to bark at a certain dog increase the space between then and give him a treat. By doing this, he gets to looks at you for a treat when he sees another dog. Some dogs also bark due to lack of enough physical and mental stimulation. Make sure you are giving you doggie enough exercise.

As you continue, you will need fewer treats and little troubleshooting when you are walking your dog.

Final take

Dog leash training can be made easier than you think if you follow the right steps on how you are supposed to do it.

You should not yank or drag your puppy if he walks ahead of you or if he is going in the opposite direction to where you are.

Choosing the right collar or harness and a leash of the right size depending on where you are in training is important.

Take charge of where your doggo is going and that way you will better control him when you are walking him.

So, did you find this guide to be helpful?

You can leave us your feedback in the comments section below.

There you go WOOF!

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