How to Train Dogs to Walk With the Leash On?

By August 02 | See Comments

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Energetic leash walks are one of the joys of being a pet owner, but if your dog has a habit of pulling on the leash, it can become a demanding and uncomfortable chore. Here are a few tips to help your dog stay close to you when you take a stroll.

Getting started

Make sure the equipment is something that both Fido and you are comfortable with before you begin. The flat collar must fit your dog snugly and the leash must be of the right length.

Standard leashes

are around four to six feet long, which gives your dog plenty of room to roam about without getting into danger. If it is shorter than four feet, it is just going to make it difficult for him to explore his immediate surroundings without dragging you with him. The leash’s weight is something to be taken into account as well. Heavy leashes will be uncomfortable for the smaller dogs. Also think about getting a leash clasp, and if you must, use a

harness

instead of a caller. Brachycephalic breeds and small dogs must be harnessed, as it can damage their trachea if they pull on it for a long time, and most of these dogs are prone to a tracheal collapse when they grow old.Apart from the collar and leash, it is important to take a lot of tasty treats before you set out for a walk. The idea is to use the treats as reward when your dog walks close to you without tugging on the rope. Go for high quality treats that are meaty, moist and aromatic. The treat must be attractive enough to keep your dog away from environmental distractions, like other dogs and squirrels.

Leash training

The foundations of a good leash walk are simple – your dog should keep loose on the leash, walk close by and check in with you often. If your dog is jumpy and pushy when you are about to set out, put down the leash, walk away and wait till your dog is calm and quiet. This will teach your dog that improper behavior is not going to get him anywhere. Repeat this process till your dog learns to be patient.Since there are going to be a lot of environmental distractions, use a marker to let Fido know that he is in the right spot next to you. Use a clicker to tell your dog when he is in the correct position. With time, he’ll begin to understand that he gets a reward when he hears the noise. Treat him in the same spot every time, on the same side of your body so that your dog learns that there is a specific, profitable hot spot right next to you. Go easy with the training during the early stages. If he walks without any tension, it is enough to warrant a treat. Also, reward him whenever he looks at you while walking. If he pays attention to you in a distracting environment, it is a big compliment. Let Fido know how much you appreciate that with a tasty treat.Over time, make him work harder to get a treat. For instance, get him to walk beside you for longer before you reward him. Gradually, wean away the treats until he only gets an occasional reward on your walks.

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