Leash training.

Obedience training is great for helping your dog figure out his place in your home, but it also brings many other benefits to improve his life. Learning to follow commands like “stay,” “come,” and “leave it” can prevent dogs from chasing prey, running into traffic, or encountering wildlife. But one of the greatest assets of obedience training is leash training. When dogs know your expectations, you can both enjoy walks or runs together even more.

How to Begin

When it comes to leash training, the place to start is with the gear. Your dog should have a 6-foot leash and a snug-fitting collar around the neck. Martingale collars can work well for dogs developing their leash training skills. 

Many breeds benefit from harnesses, too; especially ones that allow you to clip on the front to minimize pulling and straining.

Introducing Commands

Hopefully, your dog is enrolled in our upcoming training classes. In addition to mental stimulation, socialization, and physical exercise, they will learn basic commands from professional dog trainer Victoria Buhler

When you go for walks together, talk to your dog before, during, and after the activity. They should demonstrate a grasp of certain keywords, such as heel, stop, or stay with me to help them meet a certain expectation. 

Use this word (or words) when you want to walk. The goal is for them to walk in step with you at your side. 

Troubleshooting Leash Training

Do not allow your dog to run ahead, lunge, or pull on the leash. Stop walking and command them to sit and stay with you if they start to do it. Only when they follow your directions should you give the proper keyword for “let’s get moving.” 

Continue in this way until they meet your standards for a pull-free walk. It will take time, but eventually, they’ll figure out that they won’t be going anywhere if they pull on the leash.

Rewards Are So… Rewarding

Dogs are pretty distracted when outside. In order to gain and keep their attention, always have high-value treats at the ready. Offer praise, a happy tone of voice, and a few scratches to reinforce your point of view.

When you address your dog, and they look at you, reward them. Do not give treats when they aren’t giving you the results you want. After some time, your dog will know what you want, and you can begin to phase out their rewards or give them less frequently to keep them on their toes.

Successful Leash Training

Training your pet how to walk on a leash is one of the best things you can do as a responsible pet owner. Not only is it great for weight control, but going for runs together (or simple walkabouts through the park) strengthens the special bond you have.

The key is always consistency, and the pet experts at Springbrook Animal Care Center are always happy to address any of your questions or concerns.