Walking the dog is one of many pleasures about dog ownership. We see how happy our dog is to be outside exploring many new environments, meeting other people walking and jogging, and of course meeting other dogs being walked. But what if this fun adventure is one you avoid because your dog is out of control while on a leash? Then we tend to avoid this much need form of exercise for both the dog and ourselves because of the constant pulling and our struggles just to keep up with the dog. The following leash training tips are going to help put an end to this dog vs. man struggle!
Begin to gain control over your dog by practicing in your yard where the dog is already familiar with the sights, smells, and sounds. He or she is less likely to put up a struggle, darting this way and that like when in an unfamiliar environment. Schedule a time when you can do this with as little outside disturbances as possible. Start walking with the dog on a short leash, and use the command “Heel” when you start out. I have found it useful to pat the side of my leg at the same time. If the dog tries to wander, repeat the command and tug lightly on the leash to show the dog what you want. The first few times, just go a few steps and stop, commanding the dog to “Sit”, again patting your leg.
Use treats and praise as the dog begins to walk calmly alongside you, and gradually eliminate the treats using only positive reinforcement praise. Once the dog is properly trained, he/she will stay with its head alongside your knee position, and automatically sit when you stop.
Another of our leash training tips is use a good collar that does not choke the dog. I would recommend a walking harness in the initial phase of this training, as these do not put strain on the dog’s neck and throat. Plus it is easier to control the dog when he or she is wearing a harness. Avoid the extendable leashes as they allow the dog to keep a constant tension against you, and purchase a quality leather dog leash of six feet in length.
Stay patient and constant with your training. Soon you and Teddy will be strolling through the park in style after using these simple dog leash training tips!
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