How to Teach Your Dog to Fix Their Leash Leash Training a Dog

Tired of bending over to untangle your puppies from their leash every time you go for a walk? You can teach your dog to “Fix It” themselves with these steps!

Have you ever bent over to help your puppy untangle a front leg from his leash, and then you drop everything you are carrying? Well, there is a command to “Fix It”!

Command #20 – "Fix It"

“Fix It” means your dog must untangle the leash from their legs.

When to use: When the dog has tangled their leg in the leash.

Teaching Method:

Step 1:

Create an environment for success by ensuring your puppy is in a quiet space, with minimal distractions, on a leash, and that you have plenty of small yummy treats easily accessible.


If possible, have your puppy sitting on a raised object, such as a training box. If you do not have a training box, you can sit on the floor.

Step 2:

Tell Flower to “Sit.” Be sure to praise, “Yes! Good Sit.”

Step 3:

Place the leash behind your puppy’s front leg (only one leg!) down by the paw.

Step 4:

Gently and steadily pull the leash with both hands. Pull with one hand on each side of her leg, directly towards you (not up) while you give the command, “Flower, Fix It.”

Step 5:

When the leash slips from under her paw or Flower raises her leg to release the leash, praise, “Yes! Good Fix It,” and give her a treat.

Step 6:

Again, command, “Flower Sit,” and repeat Steps 3 through 5 above.

Step 7:

Once Flower has gotten to the point of raising her leg to release the leash out from behind it, raise the leash behind her leg slightly (but not all the way to under her armpit), and repeat Steps 3 through 5 above.

Step 8:

Always remember to praise, “Yes! Good Fix It,” until Flower is raising her leg consistently to release the leash. At that point, you can switch to just using a “Yes!”

Step 9:

When your puppy is doing a good “Fix It,” it is time to make the command a little harder by trying with you standing up and Flower still sitting.

Step 10:

Position the leash behind her front leg, and using only your end of the leash, steadily and gently pull on the leash while commanding “Flower, Fix It.” Be sure you are not pulling up on the leash--pull outwards instead.

Step 11:

When your puppy raises her leg to release the leash, praise, “Yes!” and give her a treat.

Step 12:

To make the command even harder once Flower is consistently releasing the leash, you can have her stand and then try it while walking.

After you have taught Flower to become a pro at fixing her leash with her front leg, teach her to “Fix It” with a back leg by using the steps above! 

Teaching Your Dog to Bow

Before you teach your dog to bow, the animal must be compliant with the “sit” and “lie down” commands. Once your dog learns to bow, the trick will get it (and you) a large number of admirers. This trick wows a lot of people!

Basic commands first

The first step is to make sure the dog remembers how to come when called, sit down and lie on the ground or on the surface when you command it. The dog must know its name and respond when that name is called. If the animal is not adept in doing these things, you must teach your dog these commands first.

Once you are sure that your dog can follow all the basic commands, it is now time to teach it how to bow. Order the dog to stand in such a way that the animal faces you. The distance between the dog and you must be approximately two feet. Take its favorite treat and hold it in such a way that your dog can see it. Do not give the treat right now. If you think it is necessary, wave the treat to make sure the dog pays attention.

Hand signaling method

Hold the treat in hand and wave it downward. You can even drop the product on the floor. It is important the dog must lower its eyes and keep both of them on that treat. Immediately praise the dog and pet it. Allow the animal to take the treat and take yet another one to be ready for the next step. If you use a clicker, click a little before to give the dog its treat. Repeat the sequence for multiple times so that the cat gets used to the movement and the subsequent reward. There is no need to worry if the dog stands up. It will learn to link the treat (also clicker if using) with this movement post repetition. It is now time to add verbal cues. First, you add any appropriate phrase, like "bow." Pronounce the word as the animal gets into position. Take your hand and do the action of putting it down on the floor to indicate to the dog to do the same with his head. Once your dog does this, give it the treat. If you use a clicker, just click before you give the treat. Repeat the action multiple times. Continue with your verbal cue and also move the hand towards the ground. Switch to pretend treat. When you open your hand while on the floor, the hand must be empty. Give the dog its treat, but with your other hand. Repeat this multiple times. Try giving your "bow" command without you moving your signaling hand. Reinforce this action.

Good luck!

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All training tips in this series are from ECAD (Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities), a non-profit organization dedicated to training service dogs for veterans with disabilities. Learn more about ECAD.

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