Walking your dog every day is important not only for your dog to do their business, but for their health and well-being as well. Dogs need daily exercise, and they also need you to spend time with them. The walk will be way easier for you if you learn how to walk a dog the right way, specifically how to train your dog to walk with a leash.
Learning this is worth it. Dogs are much better behaved if they get daily exercise! In this article, I’ll give you some tips to get the walk off to a good start, then provide access to tons of free tips and training about all aspects of leash training.
I’m going to give you information about lots of leash training later in this post, but I first wanted to let you know that Professional Dog Trainer and Behavioral Specialist, Doggy Dan, has a fantastic, free tutorial called, Doggy Dan’s Guide to Loose-Leash Training and Lovely Dog Walks that covers all aspects of leash training. You’ll definitely want to check it out!
How to Teach Your Dog to Walk on a Leash
First things first. Take a few minutes to establish how the walk is going to be.
Help them control their excitement. For most dogs, being taken for a walk is one of the best parts of their day, so it’s natural for them to get excited when they see you grab the leash. To get control of this, try putting your sneakers on, put the dog’s collar on, but don’t put the leash on them yet. Just sit down and relax for a few minutes. Wait until the dog’s excitement has disappeared before you actually get up and take them for the walk. This will help your dog to control his excitement at walk time.
Set a calm example for your dog. Most dogs are followers, not leaders. They’ll look to you for guidance on how to react and behave. Stay calm and don’t let them drag you out the door and down the sidewalk. Your following the first step of not putting the leash on them until they’re calm already sets the tone for the walk and establishes you as the one in charge. If you’re calm, they’ll be more inclined to be calm too.
Don’t get your dog excited. As fun as it is to spend time with your dog and make them happy, try to refrain from excitedly saying things like, “Let’s go for a walkie!” LOL Getting them riled up right before you go is the wrong way to begin the walk. After your dog gets the hang of walking nicely on a leash, then you can engage in some “Let’s go for a walkie!” silliness. LOL
Try using a harness instead of a collar. My vet suggested this to me several years ago. I have to say I found it way easier to control my dog with a harness and it’s more comfortable for the dog. I highly recommend this. You can see these HERE.
Ok, now you’ve prepared for the walk correctly. Now here’s some help for after you walk out the door.
When you see another dog. If you’re concerned about how your dog behaves when you see other dogs on the walk, please read my article (includes video), Introducing Dogs to Each Other. It gives step-by-step instructions on how to introduce dogs calmly.
If your dog is downright aggressive toward other dogs, please go to this page, How to Stop Dog-On-Dog Aggression to get a free training from Professional Dog Trainer and Behavioral Specialist, Doggy Dan, called Solving Dog-On-Dog Aggression. You’ll also see links on that page for more information about dog aggression in general. You don’t want walking your dog to become dangerous – please watch the free training.
Does your dog chew on the leash? If your dog keeps chewing on leash, watch this short video from Doggy Dan about how to solve this in 30 seconds. Seriously.
I want to give you three resources for step-by-step instructions on how to stop your dog from pulling. One is my article (includes video), How to Stop Your Dog from Pulling. Another is Doggy Dan’s podcast specifically about dogs pulling on the leash. It’s linked in the image on the right, and also HERE.
And don’t forget to check out the free tutorial, Doggy Dan’s Guide to Loose-Leash Training and Lovely Dog Walks that covers all aspects of leash training.
You should know that leash training takes time. It’s not something your dog can learn right away or in just one or two walks. It’s about setting up the walk calmly, then educating yourself on exactly what to do as situations arise on the walk. I’m happy to provide you with links to the free trainings from Doggy Dan. He’s owner of the dog training website, TheOnlineDogTrainer.com.
I hope you’ll take advantage of all of Doggy Dan’s free training so walking your dog will become an enjoyable experience for you and your dog for years to come. If you have dog training issues other than leash training, visit Doggy Dan’s website for help.
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