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How To Train A Dog To Walk On A Leash?

How To Train A Dog To Walk On A Leash

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It’s always nice to see a well-trained dog obeying and listening to its owner. However, the training process is not easy and quick, not even for the most basic skills. The dog owner needs to have enough time, patience, and will to properly train his dog. Of course, for those that don’t have time, will, or patience, there is always an option of a professional dog trainer. On the other hand, for those that are willing to teach their dogs new skills and tricks or don’t have deep enough pocket for a professional trainer, please continue reading. Today we will learn how to train a dog to walk on a leash.

What You Need

Before you start with the training, make sure you have:

How To Train A Dog To Walk On A Leash?

Train A Dog To Move Freely Without Pulling The Leash

If you want your dog to move freely, changing sides, sniffing around but without pulling, follow these steps.

  1. Let your dog walk until he pulls the leash.
  2. The moment your dog pulls the leash, stop walking and just stand.
  3. The dog will eventually stop pulling or turn and look at what you are doing.
  4. The moment the leash goes slack again, reward your dog with praise and treats.
  5. If the dog is walking completely normally without any pulling, reward him occasionally to reinforce such behavior.

The most important thing in these steps is that you show your dog who is the boss and who controls the pace of the walk. Your dog needs to understand that pulling the leash won’t make you go faster. Therefore, occasionally reward the good-behaving dog and stop walking instantly when the dog pulls the leash.

Teach A Dog To Walk By Your Side

Naturally, you want to teach a dog to walk on one side of you. If a dog is constantly switching the sides, you can trip and injure your dog or yourself.

Therefore, pick the side you want your dog to walk on. Generally, the dogs walk on the owner’s left side. However, you can pick whichever side suits you best. If you choose the right side, hold the treats in the right arm. The same applies to the left side choice.

The leash should be in the hand opposite the side dogs walk on. For example, if your dog walks on your right side, hold the leash in your left hand.

Follow these steps to teach a dog to walk by your side:

  1. Keep the leash short to set the dog into the wanted position. However, watch that the leash isn’t too short so that you don’t drag your dog.
  2. Lure the dog into the wanted position with treats.
  3. Repeat this step couple of times.
  4. Stop luring your dog, but reward him if he stays by your side.
  5. Start walking and reward your dog every few steps he stays by your side.
  6. Gradually increase the walking distance before giving a treat
  7. Eventually, the dog will learn to walk by your side without the treats.

Troubleshooting

Of course, training will not go smoothly all the time, and some dogs may learn at a slower pace. These are the most common situations you can experience while trying to train a dog to walk on a leash. 

The dog simply won’t stop pulling

Your dog just keeps pulling, not paying attention to what you do. Instead of stoping, turn around and walk in opposite direction. Don’t wait for your dog, talk to him or yank him, simply walk away. 

When the dog realizes what’s happening and runs to you, show that you are excited and reward him for being close to you.

The dog doesn’t respond to training at all

For some reason, your dog simply doesn’t behave and continues to pull the leash. The best solution, in this case, is to take an obedience class or try few training lessons with a professional instructor. Pick the side you want your dog to walk on. Generally, the dogs are taught to walk on the owner’s left side. However, you can pick whichever side suits you best. If you choose the right side, hold the treats in the right arm. The same applies to the left side choice.

The leash should be in the hand opposite the side dogs walk on. For example, if your dog walks on your right side, hold the leash in your left hand.

The dog keeps running around you

Lure the dog with the treats to stay by your side. When he gets to the place, praise and reward him with treats. You can also shorten your leash to prevent him from running around you.

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