Teaching a dog to walk on a leash requires patience before the dog gets used to the exercise of walking.
A puppy will be much easier to walk on a leash than an adult dog, especially if the animal weighs a certain amount or is large. You may find yourself being walked by your dog rather than the other way around.
This funny situation should not take over: how to teach your dog to walk on a leash? Follow the guide, step by step, to educate your dog and make your walks as pleasant for him as for you.
Your dog’s ideal place is on your left
According to dog shows, your dog should walk on the left side, which frees your right hand to push a gate, greet a person as he passes, make a phone call, etc. Of course, because of a handicap or if you are left-handed, you will have to swap directions.
The road safety standards show that you should always walk on the left side of the road, facing the vehicles for a better visibility of them. This way, your dog will move safely on the side of the ditch, rather than on the road side.
This consistent exercise will be easily learned on a daily basis by your dog, provided you follow the rule every time to teach him this cue.
Before going for a walk, remember to get a few well-chosen treats to reward your dog when he does not pull on his leash. Of course, you’ll have to be careful about the amount of treats you give your dog and not give in. Be aware that your dog’s instinct is to want to go further and faster by pulling on his leash.
Walking on a leash should be a shared pleasure and should not cause stress, headaches or screaming, as this is counterproductive. Your dog should not be frustrated: you should also let go of the leash to allow him to smell a flowerbed or to urinate at a post or a tree. If the situation lends itself to it, you can alternate between tethered and untethered walks to let him stretch his legs in a meadow at his leisure. However, he should immediately return to your feet on your command. Again, don’t forget to praise him.
Steps to learn to walk your dog on a leash
For good results, it is advisable to repeat these 5 learning phases every day for ½ hour. There is no need to rush through the steps and start walking for long hours, but walk regularly in a pleasant way.
- At the beginning, test the exercise together at home, in your garden and on a rural road where there is not much traffic. You will immediately notice the difficulties you have to face, or on the contrary, the achievements of your dog.
- Then, you will apply the golden rule of walking, namely, your dog on the left, you on his right. If your pet pulls on the leash, stop the walk. If the leash is loose, reward your dog and respond in the affirmative. This process may take time depending on the situation, but it is effective.
- The leash should not be taut, nor should you pull hard on the leash to make him obey. It’s all in the voice and attitude and the look you exchange with your pet. You may want to seek advice from a dog trainer.
- If he changes direction, call him, without pulling on the leash. You stop and wait for him to return to his proper place. You must absolutely draw his attention to you by calling him with the sound of your voice, not by jerking the leash.
- To further teach your dog, you can alternate the speed of your walk: slow steps or fast steps.
Accessories for walking your dog on a leash
Many dog tack tools exist on the pet market. You can find different types of dog harnesses, the classic leash, the adapted collar, the retractable leash.
The training harness, leashes and collars are essential and simple to use. The choke collar or the spiked collar are to be avoided, because they are not very respectful of the animal.
Indeed, the harness is the strong point of training your dog. It will provide all the security and comfort your pet needs. It is particularly recommended in the case of canine education, to correct a behavior or to adapt to its morphology.
The purpose of a harness is to reduce the pull on your dog and to allow him a great freedom of movement. The tension points are perfectly balanced on the animal’s body. The risk of choking or strangulation is no longer an issue, as the harness straps act on the chest and front legs. This tool is ideal for training your puppy to walk on a leash or your dog who has a tendency to pull on his leash constantly.
There are also specific harnesses for sports such as canicross. Padded and lightweight, you can run with your dog while cushioning his pulls.
Depending on the type of walks or outings you are planning, you should choose a dog harness adapted to your needs and the size of your dog, without neglecting its essential comfort.
Harnesses are ergonomic, versatile, and resistant to any challenge, with the main objective of successfully educating your dog. For example, the Julius K9 Power Harness for dogs is perfectly adapted.
In conclusion, teaching your dog not to pull on the leash at an early age will help you control him more quickly and enjoy pleasant walks. Teaching a dog to walk on a leash is accessible to everyone. Follow our advice and your worries should not continue. If you feel overwhelmed, you can contact a dog trainer in your area.