I think we all know someone with expert-leash walking expertise. You know, the ones that aren't constantly dragged across the street or encircled by trees—the ones who can easily take their dog for a walk on a beautiful afternoon. So you may be wondering: what went wrong? If you're tired of being dragged along, nows your chance to get your leash training on track and start enjoying those afternoon walks with your pet again.
Before You Start
- Remove any distractions – train somewhere where it will be easy for your dog to focus, whether in the backyard or even indoors.
- Short, sweet training sessions are optimal. Keep the training anywhere between 5-10 minutes a day, so both you and your pup don't get frustrated.
- Reward your pup with treats each time they co-operate with you.
8 Top Tips For Calm Leash Walking
- For your dog to learn they need to stay on one side of you when walking, ask your dog to sit next to your left leg (or right), with their shoulder in line with you.
- Hold a treat in your hand to get your dog's attention.
- Step off with your left leg while saying 'heel.'
- As soon as he takes off ahead, turn around and start walking in the opposite direction.
- As soon as your dog catches up and reaches the correct position next to your left leg, say 'heel' and get his attention with a treat.
- Repeat then turn around each time your dog surges ahead and correct him by saying 'heel.'
- Initially, reward them each time they are in the heel position and walking by your side (this will also teach them to look to you for direction). As your puppy progresses, get them to walk for a more extended period beside you before they reach the treat.
Take your dog for a pleasant stroll and continue to entice him with wonderful treats or play when he pays attention and walks beside you. Rewards may take the form of snacks, fun, or simply saying "good boy/girl" when your dog performs the right thing.