Walking a dog that constantly pulls is not enjoyable. The constant struggle to get the dog next to or even close to the desired spot can result in an unhappy relationship between the owner and dog.
The Importance of Leash Training
Ending the pulling is the most common reason to leash train, but there are also other great reasons to have a well-behaved dog while on a leash.
- It’s the law. Not having a dog on a leash can result in fines.
- The dog will not run onto another people’s property.
- No fear of the dog jumping onto other people.
- Both owner and dog will have a stronger bond.
There are many benefits, like receiving appreciation from the community, that make leash training not just something to consider, but something that should be done.
Choosing the correct leash for training is crucial. Considered the size of the dog and the amount of force being used to pull when deciding. The leash should also not make it easy for the owner to be lazy, so retractable leashes are out. When the owner has to give a tug on the leash to gain attention it needs to be felt sternly without harming the dog. Harnesses lower the amount of pressure a dog feels when a pull is used making the command easy to ignore.
A leash around 6 Ft attached to a collar is a common choice. A harness can be used after training is complete. A pet store employee can help choose but be honest about the dog’s behavior and ask questions.
Beginning the Training
Start in the backyard or another place that it is familiar and has very few distractions. An awards system using the dog’s favorite treat and positive response will let them know when they are performing the correct behavior.
First, the dog must learn to stand by the owner’s side. Standing a few steps away the owner should call the dog to come to stand by their side. If they do the reward should be given. If they do not gain their attention with a slight tug and call again. Repeat until the correct response is consistently given.
Next, walk around the yard for a couple of minutes and stop. If the dog stops give them a reward. If they keep going call them like in step one.
After the dog seems to understand take them out for a real walk that has some distractions and use the call and rewards system. If the walk is not a success do more practice.
Remember that dogs need breaks too. Use the same tactics to let them know when the appropriate time to use the bathroom or when it is free explore.
The amount of time it takes for a dog to learn how to walk on a leash depends on their personality and previous behavior they were used to doing. Owners should not expect immediate results and continue with the lessons until they are learned and soon every walk will be enjoyable for both of them.