Dog leashes, such as the ones that you see here forthefurry.com/collections/dog-leashes, are essential when training your dog to walk with you. A leash will make you and your dog feel more secure whenever you exit the home and go out into the world. You also have to make sure that the leash fits just right and that you are holding on to it firmly, just in case your pooch suddenly tries to run after a squirrel or another dog.
If you are a new dog owner, you’ll likely realize that your pet does not take too well to being on a leash for the first time. Your dog might pull on the leash, claw at it, bark or lunge. Walking on a leash is one of the first and very practical skills that you should teach your dog. Here’s how to train your dog to walk with you while on a leash.
Introduce Your Dog to the Leash
Start by letting your dog wear the collar for short periods whenever you are supervising it or during its playtime. Give it treats and praise it for good behavior while having the collar on. This will instill in your dog that wearing collar is fun.
Build up the time that it is wearing it gradually until it gets used to the collar and leash. You can do this same kind of introduction with a harness for those who prefer it to dog collars.
One important training tool technique is using sound cues. Sound cues are repeatable sounds, such that of a pet training clicker that tells the dog that it’ll soon get a food treat. To teach your pet to respond to sound cues, make a sound such as the click of your tongue. The moment that the dog looks at you, give it a treat. Train it to respond to the sound cue in a quiet area without any distractions and, most importantly, while wearing the leash.
Have It Come Over
With your dog still wearing the leash, move farther back and then give it the sound cue. As it is making its way to you, move back several steps and then give it the treat once it reaches you. Repeat the exercise until your dog comes and walks several steps with you. If you have a younger dog, keep the training sessions short.
Once your dog understands how to come and walk with you for longer paces, keep on practicing with your dog with the leash on. Practice indoors with little distraction, always praising and rewarding your dog with treats each time it does a good job. Once your pet has gotten adept with the skill indoors, take it a step further by practicing outdoors. This will pose a challenge for your dog, so you need to be patient. Stay focused on your dog and use the cue sound whenever its body language tells you that it is about to get distracted. Don’t forget to reward your dog with praises and treats if it is following you and for not pulling on the leash.
You’ll likely encounter some problems while leash training your dog. Here’s how to correct them:
- Leash pulling: If your dog starts to pull on the leash, stand still and don’t move until it comes back to you. Don’t pull on the leash violently or drag your dog as you move.
- Lunging: It isn’t uncommon for dogs to attempt to lunge at something while out on a walk. Keep your eye on your dog for any signs that it is about to lunge. Grab its focus with its usual treat before it lunges, and then stand between it and whatever it was that distracted it.
- Barking: Barking is often a sign that your dog isn’t getting much exercise. This isespecially true for high energy working breeds. To keep the barking down, give it enough exercise and stimulation regularly to burn off its pent up energy before leash training.
Leash training your dog will take time and plenty of patience. Whenever you feel like frustration is creeping up on you during your training sessions, take a moment and give your dog a hug. You’ll find the experience all the more rewarding the moment that you see your little pooch finally get what you are trying to teach it.