10 Steps to Teach a Dog to Walk on a Leash

June 19, 2023
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Walking your dog is one of the best ways to keep them physically active and provides a bonding opportunity between pet and owner. However, not all dogs are well-behaved when it comes to walking on a leash, which is why it’s essential to teach your dog to walk on a leash correctly. In this guide, we will provide comprehensive 10 steps on how to develop this skill in your furry friend.

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Table of Contents

Step 1: Choose the Right Leash

Before starting the training process, it’s crucial to choose the right leash that meets both your dog’s needs and yours. Here are some types of leashes to consider:

  • Standard Leash – This leash is the most common, and it comes in several different lengths, widths, and materials.
  • Retractable Leash – This leash allows your dog more freedom to roam but requires extra training to use correctly.
  • Harness Leash – This leash attaches to a harness instead of a collar, which is helpful for dogs prone to choking.

Step 2: Teach Your Dog to Accept the Leash

Introducing the leash to your pet is the first step in training them how to walk on a leash correctly. Here’s how to do it:

  • Let your dog sniff and inspect the leash before attaching it to its collar.
  • Attach the leash and allow your dog to drag it around indoors while supervised.
  • Gradually increase the leash’s length and encourage your dog to walk alongside you.

Step 3: Practice the Come Command

Before leash training, it’s crucial to practice the “come” command to ensure control over your dog during the training process. Here’s how to do it:

  • Call your dog’s name in a pleasant tone.
  • Say “come” in a firm but friendly tone and encourage your dog to come to you.
  • Reward your dog with treats or praise.

Step 4: Proper Collar Fit

The collar is the most crucial component of walking a dog on a leash, and a proper fit is necessary for your pet’s safety and comfort. Here’s how to ensure a perfect fit:

  • Measure your dog’s neck, leaving enough space for two fingers to fit between the collar and their skin.
  • Adjust the collar for a comfortable fit, ensuring your dog cannot slip out of it.

Step 5: Begin Leash Training

Once your dog accepts the leash, it’s time to initiate the dog walking training process. Here’s what to keep in mind when starting:

  • Start slow and easy, gradually increasing walking distance as your dog progresses.
  • Use positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, to encourage good behaviour.
  • Be patient and consistent in your training efforts.

Step 6: Explore Outdoors

To accomplish leash training correctly, you need to choose the right location for the training process. Here’s how to do it:

  • Choose a quiet, secure location away from distractions.
  • Ensure your dog can focus on learning and not be overwhelmed by noise or other pets.

Step 7: Teaching the Heel Command

Teaching the heel command is crucial in training your dog to walk on a leash correctly. Here’s how to do it:

  • Attach the leash to your dog’s collar and stand alongside them.
  • Hold the leash in your left hand and treats in your right.
  • Use the treats to encourage your dog to walk alongside you on your left side.

Step 8: Encourage Good Leash Behavior

It’s essential to encourage good leash manners in your dog so that they enjoy walking on a leash with you. Here’s how to do it:

  • Use positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, for good behaviour.
  • Train your dog to walk with a relaxed leash, avoiding tension or pulling.

Step 9: Deal with Distractions

Distractions can be a significant obstacle when leash training your dog. Here’s how to manage them:

  • Keep training sessions short and manageable, avoiding distractions initially.
  • Gradually introduce distractions and use positive reinforcement to reinforce good behaviour.

Step 10: Practice Regularly

Consistency is critical in leash training and helps your dog develop their walking skills. Here’s how to incorporate it into your routine:

  • Set aside at least 30 minutes per day to train your dog on the leash.
  • Be patient and consistent, using positive reinforcement and plenty of praise.

Conclusion

Ensuring your dog develops good leash manners requires patience, consistency, and a lot of positive reinforcement. Following these ten steps will help train your dog to walk on a leash correctly and make the process more enjoyable for both you and your furry friend. Ready to simplify your dog walking experience? Check out our Uber for Dog Walking solution and make your walks even more convenient and enjoyable.

Frequently Asked Questions

The type of leash you choose depends on your dog’s needs and preferences. The standard leash is the most versatile and commonly used leash, but a retractable leash or harness leash may benefit certain types of dogs.

No, it’s best to avoid crowded areas until your dog has mastered the leash training basics.

Consult with a professional dog trainer to identify the issue and address it appropriately.

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    Gauri Pandian

    Gauri Pandian is a seasoned Business Development Manager with 9 years of experience in sales and client relations. Currently, she is responsible for business growth and client acquisition as a BD Manager at Zipprr, a leading custom software development firm. Prior to this, she has worked with Early-stage startups helping them scale through strategic partnerships. Gauri has a crack for understanding customer pain points and unlocking new opportunities.