Walking your dog can be pure pleasure or an absolute nightmare depending on how well-behaved your hound is. There are those who manage to train their dogs very well that walking is such a pleasant activity for both the pet parent and his or her dog. There are also those who feel frustrated every time they take their dog out for a walk. They know it’s going to be a tug-of-war again with their furry friends. It doesn’t have to be this way. You can always teach your dog to walk at your pace and in a calm manner. Are you wondering how you can accomplish this? Here are 5 tips on how to train a dog to walk on a leash so you’ll have better control of your pet.
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Choose the Right Leash and Dog Restraint System
When it comes to controlling your dog during a walk, it is best to use a short leash. This is one of the most important considerations in dog leash training. A shorter leash allows you to take better control of your pet’s movements. You also get to give the appropriate correction in an instant.
When compared with an extra-long or retractable dog training leash, it will be quite impossible to control the very movements of your dog. These dog leashes may be ideal for training your pet. However, during the initial stages of its training, you should always use a shorter leash for better control. When your dog is already well-trained, then you can use longer leashes.
It is also important to consider the placement of the dog leash. If you want to control your dog on a leash, it’s best to use a harness or a collar with the leash attachment point in the front. These no-pull harnesses prevent the execution of the dog’s opposition reflex. This discourages pulling and allows you to exert better control of your dog.
Help Your Dog to Like Its Leash
Before you learn how to leash train a puppy, it is imperative to introduce your puppy or dog to the tools that you’re going to use for its walk. This means you should already have the ideal canine restraint system for your pet.
The first time you show the leash and collar to your dog, don’t put it on your dog yet. Let Fido satisfy its curiosity about this “strange” object. It will sniff it or lick it. Put the dog leash and collar near its other items so that your dog will “consider” them as part of its “belongings”.
Depending on your dog, it may take no time at all for it to accept its leash and collar. Others, however, may require a few days before they learn to like it.
Over time, you can start putting these on your dog. Don’t walk them out yet. Let them have a feel for what it’s like to use a dog collar or a harness. Once they are “accustomed” to the feel, you can then start walking them using the leash.
Exercise Your Dog before the Walk
Walking your dog is one of the easiest and most practical ways to exercise your pet. So why would you want to exercise your pet first before the walk?
What we mean here is to warm-up your dog first. It is best to put it into a calmer and more relaxed state before the walk. You can play with it for about 5 minutes prior to the walk. This should help it feel more relaxed afterwards. It would also have already spent some of its energy during the play. This can help minimize undesirable behaviors during the walk such as pulling.
In effect, you are reducing their energy which they can otherwise use for pulling on their leash. This leads to better control of your dog.
Be More Interesting than Anything or Anybody Else
One of the reasons why some dogs are very difficult to control during a walk is because they get distracted by something more interesting than the person holding the leash. As such, you should be more interesting than anything or anyone else that your dog may see during the walk.
You can keep your dog’s attention to you if you provide it with yummy treats. Now, some pet parents don’t have any luck with the use of treats in controlling their dog on a leash. The problem may be in the choice of the treat. For this to work, the treat should be something very special. It should not be the typical snack that your dog can get any time of day. If you want it to focus its attention on you, then you should do more in choosing the right treat.
We consider a treat as something that is rewarding. If you eat the same food every day, do you think it is some form of a reward? If you eat something that you only get once in a blue moon, then that is a treat. That’s the same thing with dogs. They will focus on you because they know you have very delicious treats in your pocket.
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Observe the “Dead Halt” Technique
Do you want to know the secret to how to leash train a dog? You can try the “dead halt” technique. This is easy.
When walking your dog, you have to pay attention to the tension on the leash. The moment your dog starts pulling on the leash, stop walking. This will make your dog come to a dead halt. Stand your ground. Don’t walk towards your dog if it stops walking. Instead, show your dog its treat to make it come back to you. Wait for your dog until it calms down. Only then can you resume walking.
Be consistent when it comes to using this technique. Sooner or later your dog will realize that you are more interesting than pulling on its leash.
Controlling your dog on a leash requires patience and consistency on your part. It starts with choosing the right tools for the job, including the use of yummy treats to keep your dog interested in you.
- Pulling on the Leash, Positively