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All canines should be taught the basics of walking on a leash regardless of age, breed, or temperament. It is because proper leash training is necessary to take your pup with you on a walk. Additionally, the ability to control your dog when he or she is on a leash is also essential for ensuring both your own and your dog’s safety.

5 Ways to Train Your Dog to Walk on a Leash

Training your dog to walk on a leash is an important part of responsible pet ownership. Not only is it safer for your dog, but it also allows them to enjoy the many benefits of being able to explore the world around them. There are several methods you can use to train your dog to walk on a leash, including positive reinforcement, clicker training, and leash training with a professional trainer. No matter which method you choose, it’s important to be patient and consistent in your training efforts and to reward your dog for good behavior. With the right approach, you can teach your dog to walk happily and safely on a leash.

Choose the appropriate collar and leash and get a head start in the proper age

best dog collar and leash

If you want to immediately start leash training for your canine companion, you first need a sturdy leash and the appropriate collar.

Combining a buckle collar with a retractable leash is the ideal choice. You don’t have to start out by doing something too complicated.

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Making sure the dog is comfortable is another thing that has to be looked after. You will eventually be able to upgrade it to a more sophisticated version. If you are just getting started, choose one that appears to be simple and is also one that the dog can wear comfortably.

Dog age is a significant consideration in any kind of training. When compared to adult dogs, puppies have a much quicker learning rate. Training with a leash will be a much simpler chore when begun at a younger age. Most experts think two months is the ideal age to begin training a new puppy.

Choose a designated area

right training collar

It is best to teach leash training to your pup in a confined area that is free of distractions. When they are restricted to one location and not exposed to many stimulating distractions, it is much simpler to begin teaching a dog how to walk on a leash.

The Training Part

  • At the very start, fill your pockets with good quality treats.
  • Hold a few meaty treats on the side of your body opposite from the one you want the dog to travel on. If you want your dog to walk on your left side, you should hold treats in your left hand.
  • Keep the leash in the other hand that is not next to the dog. For instance, if your dog is standing on your left, you should use your right hand to grip the end of the leash.
  • After that, take a step, pause, and give the treat. Continue doing it gradually.
  • When the dog is excitedly gazing up at you for additional treats, take two steps rather than one before pausing and serving the dog. The dog will appreciate the extra effort.
  • If the dog starts to pull ahead, you should immediately stop walking. You can call your dog over to you, or you can use the treats you have in your hand to entice the dog to return to your side; however, you should wait to feed him until you have moved two or three steps ahead before doing so. 
  • Increase the number of steps you take between each reward as you progress. You can keep your dog’s focus on you by talking to him and playing with him.
  • Give a name to this sort of walk when the pup is walking well on a loose leash, and you do it. It may be “heel,” “join me,” “let’s go,” or another word or phrase of your choosing altogether.

Make sure you have fun!

Keep in mind that puppies have a small attention span, so try to limit your sessions short. Also, stop training sessions when your puppy is mentally weary from the previous activities.

Call your dog’s name

Whenever your dog is not listening to you or acts like a stubborn dog, try to stop the training, call your dog by its name, and pat them by offering some treats. Encourage them and then move on.

7 Steps to Teaching Your Dog to Enjoy Walking on Leash 

Teaching Your Dog to Enjoy Walking on Leash

Teach a Marker

A marker is a signal, such as a noise or a hand gesture, indicating when your dog has completed an activity that has resulted in a reward (a treat). For instance, a clicker is a type of marker.  If you don’t have a clicker, a constant “yeah,” “excellent,” or thumbs-up gesture will do. The key is to commit to only one. Make a note of the action the instant you notice it. As your ability to mark quickly and accurately improves, so will your ability to instruct.

Build a Positive Association 

Try to build a positive association with your furry buddy while teaching him leash training. This will encourage your pup to learn more and more in a short time.

Teach Your Dog to Give Attention

It may seem like the best course of action is simply to begin walking with your dog, but you should check to verify that he is paying attention first. Be patient and wait for your puppy to provide you with even a little moment of eye contact or gaze at you, and then instantly mark and reward the behavior with positive reinforcement. Repeat this process regularly, so your dog learns that gazing at you will result in a treat. You can also include a “cue” to get your dog’s attention. 

Start Moving by Backing Up

Even though it might not make sense at first, beginning your walk with your dog by taking backward steps is an excellent technique to get him going without inciting him to pull. Mark, reinforce, and reward your dog as he follows you.

Practice With “Come”

Insist that the puppy approaches you. You should take a few steps back when he approaches you, and then you should treat him when he arrives at your location. Carry on with the sequence until the point where your puppy, upon hearing the “Come” command, returns to you and takes a few steps with you.

Practice Taking a Few Steps on the Leash Outside

At last, you and your new puppy are prepared to put their abilities to the test in the outdoor environment.  Your puppy will find everything of the sights, sounds, and scents that he experiences at this stage to be fascinating and unexpected. This will present some new obstacles for you to work through. When you are out for a walk with your puppy if he appears to be about to charge toward something or is about to become distracted, make the sound that serves as your cue (such as come) and moves a few steps away from him. This will prevent him from getting hurt or becoming distracted. Then you should give him a treat as a reward for following you.

Gradually Increase the Distance

Start making your way out of your house and into the neighborhood gradually. Start by walking the distance of just one or two houses, and as your dog gets better at the skill, progressively increase your travel distance. Always note your dog’s progress and provide positive reinforcement so that he can get better at this set of commands!

Benefits of Walking Your Dog

dog leash for your pooch

Good Behavior

The benefits of taking your dog for walks include reducing the likelihood of boredom in dogs and fostering better behavior in them. It’s possible that your dog is bored if they whine, growl, scream, chews, or damages things in the house while you’re not there. Their boredom can be alleviated, and their excellent behavior can be encouraged by walking with them regularly.

Overall Health

Walking your furry pal daily will help them maintain healthy body weight, reduce their risk of developing obesity, and ultimately improve the health of their heart and joints. In addition, making regular walks with your dog a part of their daily routine can assist in regulating their digestive tract, which will assist in the prevention of urinary infections and diarrhea. Your dog’s age and breed will determine the appropriate length of a walk, but generally, a walk of twenty to thirty minutes per day is probably all your dog requires to maintain their physical fitness.

Socialization

Your dog will have more opportunities to socialize with people and/or other animals in your area if you take him or her on walks regularly.  

If you find that you cannot take your dog on lengthier walks daily, you should consider hiring a professional dog walker. This helps to guarantee that your pup can go for long walks regularly, even on the days when you cannot be there personally.

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