Dog training

Dog training: walking on a leash – DogTime


Make sure you train your dog to walk well. (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

Getting ahead is the biggest problem when walking teenage dogs on a leash. Dogs pull on a leash for a variety of reasons. Many adolescent dogs pull on their leashes because they were allowed to pull as puppies.

Once the leash is tight, your dog no longer has to pay attention to you as he has a telegraph wire stretched through which he can feel your every move and even your intentions, freeing his nose, ears and ears. eyes’ hood.

Additionally, it appears that pulling on a leash is inherently enjoyable and self-reinforcing for many dogs. It’s as if these dogs considered a trip to mail a letter to Shattuck and Vine as a training session for the Iditarod.

Whatever the reason, pulling on a leash is generally unacceptable and often dangerous. Once the leash is tight, you can no longer control your dog, this is only elementary physics! Here are some tips for controlling leash behavior.

Start early childhood training

It’s considerably easier and smarter to practice all of your gait training exercises with a young puppy on a leash inside first. Also, have a simple rule that no one, i.e. anybody, is allowed to walk the puppy on a leash outside, not even a single step, unless he can walk the puppy without pulling.

It is completely unfair to let a puppy develop the habit of pulling on a leash, knowing full well that he will be punished for the same habit as a teenager. It’s so much easier to establish an acceptable status quo from the start.

Remember, the dog’s weight record is around 10,000 pounds, so in just a few months your average dog can have the power to push back the entire Cowboys’ defensive line.

From the start, never allow pulling on a leash to move around.

Keep calm don’t jerk off

laboratory walking on a leash

(Photo credit: Shutterstock)

Use of a leash to walk the puppy is necessary for safety, and the dog’s leash is mandatory when leash laws are in effect.

However, once a novice parent and teenage dog are connected with a leash, the dog will pull. And to prevent the dog from pulling, usually (but not always) the human backs up, that is to say, he pulls the leash. Most dog lovers find this distasteful, and it is also not very fun for dogs.

Since we don’t want the dog to associate walking and kicking with a lot of physical leash corrections, we first need to make sure the dog can stay on the leash calmly before further arousing him by. moving.

Before you start, make yourself comfortable

First of all, before you even consider leash training, make sure your puppy can follow you around the house and yard, and that he’ll be happy to sit in front of you for a full 30 seconds.

You might want to check that your puppy is feeling good by following and staying close before physically restricting his activity with a leash. After all, pulling on a leash announces that your dog wants to get away from you.

So give your dog a reason to stay. Brighten up, brighten up, and maybe give the dog a nice word every now and then, a pat or a treat.

Beginners should start indoors

A cute young Chocolate Labrador puppy lying on the hardwood floor with a white baseboard and a green wall in the background, looking at the camera while wearing a red nylon collar with a red bone shaped ID tag with it a red nylon leash and a yellow tennis ball on the ground, waiting to be walked on.

(Photo credit: cmannphoto / Getty Images)

Second, before we go anywhere, let’s make sure your dog knows how to stay on a leash without pulling.

First, let’s practice indoors because:

  • 1) You can start training long before your puppy has finished injecting
  • 2) There are fewer distractions
  • 3) He avoids the embarrassment of performing in the street

Red light Green light

Put your puppy on a leash. Firmly grasp the end loop with both hands held close to your body. Stand perfectly still and give your puppy absolute attention, but ignore any frolics on the other end of the leash. Eventually your puppy will sit or lie down. Yes, they will. Just be patient and wait and see.

When they do, immediately say “Good dog”, offer a treat, say “Let’s go”, step forward, then stay still. Be ready; taking a single step will energize your puppy and he will rush for revenge. Again, ignore the puppy’s antics and wait for him to sit down again. Then reward your dog, take it one step further, and stay still.

With successive tries, have your dog sit for longer and longer periods of time before praising him and taking a step closer. Once it is possible to alternate simple steps with stops without the puppy pulling, try taking two steps at a time before standing still. Then try three steps, four steps and so on.

As with off-leash tailgating, think of it in short sequences. Once the streaks expand to six or seven steps, you now walk your puppy on a leash without pulling it, and it will automatically sit by your side whenever you stop. If your puppy squeezes the leash when you walk, stop immediately and wait for him to sit down before continuing.

Basically, this technique is a variation of ‘red-green light’, and like all effective training methods, you’ve tricked your puppy into thinking he’s training you. Maybe your canine companion is thinking, “My humans are so easy to train. Barely tighten the leash and they stay upright. Sit down and they move on. Your dog is happy, and so are you.

Walking sequences

Midsection of senior woman standing with dog at yard

(Photo credit: Maskot / Getty Images)

Practice walking your puppy on a leash around the house and garden, interspersed with plenty of stops. Say “Rover, let’s go” or “Come along” each time before walking (again, the exact words don’t matter – you choose) and ask the puppy to “Sit” at every time you stop.

When your puppy is big enough to walk the sidewalks, try walking the hallway with the front door open first, then practice getting out and entering the house.

Dogs generally tend to sneak past doors, so this deserves a little more special practice. Leave and come back several times in a row, and soon your puppy will be perfect.

Sit your puppy down before and after entering the door. Then, go back and forth in front of the house. Walk and stop in sequences, and repeat the sequences over and over again.

Remember, this is always the first time you try. If the dog pulls, say “Steady” and stay still. Once the puppy is seated, go back and repeat the sequence. It will be much easier next time.

Go outside

Now you are ready for several laps around the block. Much like horses, dogs tend to forge themselves on leaving home but fall behind on their return. If the puppy pulls on the way out, say “Steady,” on or about the turn, and bring the puppy home and start again.

The first round of the block can take a long time, but the second and third rounds get easier and easier, and after that it’s a cinch.

Stay in control

Low section view of person with dog in lawn

(Photo credit: Esther Visser / EyeEm / Getty Images)

Basically, dogs shoot because:

  • 1) Pulling is nice
  • 2) The human lets the dog pull
  • 3) Human follows

The same basic principles of teaching dogs to follow off a leash can be used to teach a dog to walk on a leash.

Hold the leash with both hands near the left side of your body, so that the puppy has a few inches of slack, then start walking and keep walking. Whatever the puppy does to improvise on your direction, do the opposite.

If the pup throws himself forward, just make a smooth U-turn and go in the opposite direction. If the puppy pulls left, turn right – if the puppy is drifting right behind you, turn left – if the puppy is drifting right in front of you, speed up to cut the puppy, then turn left in front of them.

When the puppy slows down to sniff or pee, that’s fine – that’s usually why we walk the dog – slow down and wait for the puppy.

Of course, if you want your puppy to come with you, say “Come” and / or “Hustle” and off you go. This method works well when done at home with young puppies or in the park with older puppies, adolescent dogs and adults.

Shoot on command

Some pet parents might consider allowing the dog to pull when it is convenient for them. Listen, if the dog has a bee in his cap for pulling, if pulling on a leash is such a pleasure, why be a killjoy? Why not let the draft dog pull at acceptable times? Only, of course, when the human agrees – “Rover, shoot”, “Mush”, “Hike” or whatever.

Personally, I enjoy my dog ​​Phoenix’s tractor beam on the steps of Rose Walk, and the “Pull” command is a godsend when we hitch him to our sled in the Sierra: “Phoenie, Pull! “Whoooshhhhh. Yeah! Path to follow!

Do you have any tips for teaching a dog to walk properly on a leash? Have you trained your own dog to behave on walks? Let us know in the comments below!

Extracted and editorially reformatted from How to teach a new dog old tricks, by Ian Dunbar.

Ian Dunbar is a veterinarian and animal behaviorist, founder of the Association of Companion Dog Trainers, and author and star of numerous books and videos on dog behavior and training. He lives with his wife, trainer Kelly Dunbar, and their dogs. The Dunbars are contributors to DogTime.