dog training leash

Heel! A Dog Owners Guide to Leash Training

Whether you’re welcoming a new pup or trying to train your dog to behave, leash training can be tough.

If your dog pulls on the leash every time you go for a walk, it can be frustrating. Sometimes you wish your furry friend would stop when you tell him or walk with ease by your side.

Well, giving your dog some simple leash training could help make it all change.

How to Start Leash Training Your Dog

All dogs whether they’re puppies or wise old souls need to learn basic leash training. Taking your dog for a walk can be very frustrating if your dog is pulling and stopping at every turn.

Good leash training will also help keep your dog safe when on a walk too. Here are a few ways you can make your dog walking experience much more enjoyable.

Treats Are Your Friend

When you’re out on a walk, the best way to get your dog to start behaving is by using treats.

Whenever you want your dog to walk close by or at a slower pace, feed them a treat.

This teaches your pup that staying close to you and walking slower will result in a reward.

Start off by using treats your dog likes the most. As time goes on and they learn to behave well on a leash, make the treats less special.

You don’t want to ruin your dog’s appetite or feed them too many treats every single walk. The best way is to feed your dog dried biscuits with or instead of wet dog food. You can use these dried foods as treats on walks instead.

Over time, you can phase out the treats altogether. Then you’ll be able to walk your dog without having to feed them along the way to obey you!

Keep The Leash Short!

long leash

long leash! photo credit @m_maaris via unsplash

A common mistake people make when leash training their dog is keeping the leash tight and close to them. While this may seem like the best way to keep the dog close, it doesn’t do anything but encourage your dog to pull more.

If you use an extendable leash it will be more difficult to communicate with your pup and they may roam further. Even so, it’s important to keep the dog leash loose.

Whenever the dog walks where the leash goes loose, make sure to give him a reward. He’ll associate that pace as a positive one and continue to do it!

Get the Right Equipment

The accessories you use when walking can make a big difference in training your dog.

It has to be sturdy enough that it won’t break if the dog tugs on it. It must fit your hand well too.

Don’t get a thin leash that’s easy to slip away from your hands if your dog pulls.

A retractable leash can be good for controlling the length to ensure your dog doesn’t wander too far. But retractible leashes aren’t great for training. They make it harder for your to communicate with your pup on a walk and they may not be as strong if your dog pulls a lot.

A standard leash is usually the cheapest and most common leash used by dog walkers. It’s either a rope or a flat band of material like nylon or leather. They’re strong, sturdy and allow you do wrap the leash to make it as short as you want.

A back harness or halter leash could be great if your dog pulls so much he chokes himself.

Choosing between the two can be tricky, so you can learn more here to make the right decision.

Have the Right Attitude

When you’re training your dog, it’s important to make sure you have the right attitude.

You need to have the right tone and body language to show your dog you’re the leader. Don’t yell at them, but make sure you use an authoritative tone and show that you’re in charge.

Keep your head up and your shoulders back. Have a positive attitude about it, and don’t get mad at your dog when it disobeys.

Take Your Dog On Frequent Walks

dog on leash

Photo credit: @jamesmgillespie via Unsplash

Right now, the thought of going on a lot of walks may seem inconvenient. If your dog pulls non-stop or stops to sniff at every corner, you’re not going to be very enthusiastic about it.

But, the only way to train them to walk on their leash is to do it a lot. As they say, practice makes perfect. The more you go on walks, the more the dog will remember how to behave and he’ll get better on the leash much faster.

Celebrate every successful moment with a treat and show your dog how pleased you are with him. If the walk doesn’t go well, don’t let it get you down. Chalk it up to experience and keep trying.

Before you know it, your dog will be so well behaved on a leash, you won’t remember the bad times! Not to mention, there are a lot of health benefits to frequent dog walks too!

Leash Training: It’s Not Rocket Science

Getting your dog to behave on the leash may seem impossible right now, but we promise it’s not. Leash training is very effective and if you stick with it, you’ll have a well-trained pup in no time.

Make sure you get the right collar and leash since they can make a real difference. Bring treats along, have a good attitude and keep trying.

Looking to take your dog on an adventure? Check out our blog post on hiking with your dog for the best experience.