How To Teach Your Dog To Walk On A Lead

How To Teach Your Dog To Walk On A Lead
Walking your dog provides mental stimulation, physical exercise, chances for socialisation and opportunities for behavioural training - but best of all it gets both of you out and about all while helping to grow the bond you have. 

Walking on a leash is something every dog should know how to do. Not only does it allow them to go on adventures with you, their favourite human, but it also keeps them safe and helps you protect them. 

Leash training can help you achieve enjoyable and stress-free walks, it builds your relationship with your dog, facilitates good dog behaviour and can leave you with a feeling of pride and fulfilment! 

How to get started:
  1. Fill your pocket or treat pouch with treats.

  2. Decide what side you’d like the dog to walk on and hold a few treats on that side of your body.

  3. Hold your leash in the hand opposite your dog (if your dog is on your left, hold the end of the leash in your right hand). Let the rest of it hang loosely in a ‘J’ shape.

  4. Take a step, then stop. It’s okay if your dog doesn’t stay in ‘heel’ position. Feed your dog some treats from your hand, in line with the seam of your pants. This will help you position your dog.

  5. Repeat. Take a step, stop, feed a treat at your side along the seam of your pants.

  6. When your dog is looking up at you eagerly for more treats, take two steps instead of one before stopping and feeding your dog.

  7. If your dog pulls ahead, stop walking immediately. Call your dog back to you, or use the treats in your hand to lure your dog back to your side, take two to three steps forward before feeding. This is to avoid teaching the sequence: “I pull ahead, I come back, I eat.” We want them to learn walking alongside you on a loose leash makes treats happen, not pulling.

  8. Gradually take more steps between each treat. You can talk to your dog to help keep their attention on you.

  9. When your dog walks well on a loose leash, give this kind of walk a name. It could be “heel”, “with me”, “let’s walk”, or another word or phrase of your choice.

  10. Release your dog (“all done”, “okay”, “that’ll do”, etc.) when they no longer need to walk in “heel” position.

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