Leash Training Your Dog

Leash training your dog can be easy if you follow some simple dog training tips. Most often, it is not just your dog that needs to get into new habits, it’s also you. Dogs don’t pull on their leash unless you are holding the leash, so both you and your dog must learn the secrets behind leash training your dog. Leashes are like seatbelts. They are safety devices that you must learn to use correctly.



Continuing with this analogy, you should understand that just as seatbelts are not used to drive a car, leashes are not used to drive a dog. They are there to protect us and our dogs in emergencies and to maintain safety and control. You must be careful when leash training your dog, because we don’t want to hurt your dog by walking him without having control. Walking a dog on a leash when he is not leash trained can be just as dangerous as not having a leash at all.

Obstacles During Dog Leash Training

The number one problem most people have with their dogs when trying to start leash training is the dog pulling on the lead. Your dog pulls, putting too much tension on the leash when you walk. Dogs often pull because they believe they are in control or because they are overly excited. Dogs pull because they know that if they do, they get to car or to the other dogs or to the elderly lady down the street who offers treats more quickly. You must learn to put yourself in control.

The number one problem most people have with their dogs when trying to start leash training is the dog pulling on the lead. Your dog pulls, putting too much tension on the leash when you walk. Dogs often pull because they believe they are in control or because they are overly excited. Dogs pull because they know that if they do, they get to car or to the other dogs or to the elderly lady down the street who offers treats more quickly. You must learn to put yourself in control.

puppy on leash leash trainin

It is important to understand that your poorly behaved dog is anxious to go on her walk. Most dogs enjoy going on walks, therefore they hate leashes and just want to get started on the walk. This is a bad way for your dog to think. Since it is illegal in most places to walk without a leash, you have to get your dog to like his or her leash.

Other problems you may encounter when leash training a dog include problems with your dog’s collar or harness. It is important to find the right equipment for your dog’s size and breed.

Equipment Needed for Leash Training Your Dog

To walk your dog properly, you should get a leash and a comfortable collar. You can get a harness, but most dogs I know don’t find them comfortable. You will need to take time to figure out what is the best fit for your dog. Dog harnesses are good for dogs that pull too much when walking, for small dogs, and for dogs with breathing problems. Dog collars are otherwise the best choice for most dogs and their owners.

For dogs that are very difficult to leash train, there are training harnesses and head collars designed to make pulling on the lead mildly uncomfortable for your dog. The harnesses put tension across your dog’s shoulders and the head collars turn your dog’s nose away from the direction he is trying to pull. Both work well to help you gain control, but there are easy steps you should try before buying these more expensive dog training tools.

Leash Training Your Dog:
Start INSIDE Your House

Dogs are naturally afraid of things put around their neck, so you must make your dog become comfortable with a collar or harness and having his leash on. Most dogs will respond well to leash training. Some will respond rather badly.

Start by getting your dog used to her leash in the safety of your home. Allow her to get used to having a leash attached to her collar or harness by letting her walk around, supervised, with it on. Then, after she seems more comfortable, practice holding the leash so she gets used to feeling the tension of the lead.

When you are ready to try taking your dog outside on the leash, he will likely become very excited. You need to make it clear to your dog that you will not go on a walk until he is calm. Reward your dog with dog training treats if he is calm and, if he isn’t, take the leash off and go sit down. Leash training your dog is easy most of time if you follow these dog training ideas to get your dog comfortable with the way a leash works and what it means.

Leash Training Your Dog:
Going on a Walk Outside

Dog leash training is not hard if taught properly. This is very easy to teach, if you follow one simple rule:

NEVER WALK WHEN YOUR DOG PUTS TENSION ON THE LEASH.
puppy pulling on a leas

When outside, if your dog has been pulling on his dog leash, stop walking and stay very still. When she turns to looks at you, get her to sit next to you. When she sits, give praise, give treats, and reward her for watching you. If you do, you will make your dog want to be there next to you. This is part of establishing control, by helping your dog understand that being by your side is a good thing.

If your dog does not begin to catch on after several days of practicing this and developing a walking route, you can then try making him turn around. Dogs are very smart. Your dog will know that, by pulling on the leash, he has to back track instead of continuing to the destination he wants. When he pulls, stop walking, say “no pull,” and turn around abruptly and begin to walk the direction you came. When he calms down, you can turn around and continue your route. You may need to do this many times when leash training your dog, but eventually she will understand.

Once your dog understands that you are in control and that she will not get to go where she likes to if she pulls on her leash, she will become easier to take on walks. And walking your dog is important for your dog’s health and yours too, as you can read about on my Leash Training Health Benefits page, so don’t give up! Practice and persistence pays off when leash training a dog.





Click here to read about the Health Benefits of Leash Training Your Dog

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