This post is part 3 of a 3-part series on dog behavior.
In the first post of this series we gave you some simple tips to help you stop your dog from barking excessively. In part 2 we looked at the most common reasons for paw chewing and some of the warning signs your pup may need a trip to the veterinarian.
In this final post in the series, we'll share some simple tips to help you teach your dog to walk on a leash.
Let's face it. It can be pretty frustrating if your dog yanks and pulls on his leash every time you take him out for a walk.
But dogs are not born knowing how to walk on a leash calmly. And they need proper training and encouragement to learn this important skill.
Are your dog's leash manners lacking? Then keep reading for our top tips for teaching your dog to walk on a leash.
Choose a Suitable Collar and Leash
It's important to choose the right collar and leash to keep your dog safe and secure on walks.
A standard flat collar is suitable for most dogs, but a back harness is often a better choice for smaller breeds and short-nosed dogs that can be easily choked by traditional collars.
Sighthound breeds like Greyhounds and Whippets often have necks that are larger than their heads, so they may be able to slip out of a standard flat collar. For these breeds, a double looped Martingale collar is a good option.
A standard 6-foot leash constructed from strong, durable material is the best choice for dogs that aren't yet fully leash trained.
Practice Walking Inside
So, your collar and leash are at the ready. But don't rush to take your dog outside for a walk just yet – first take some time to practice walking him inside the house.
This will help your pooch get used to his collar and leash in a safe environment away from distractions.
Put on your dog's collar and let him run around inside the house. When he's used to the collar it's time to clip on the leash.
Praise your dog and reward him with treats when he walks around without pulling on the leash. This is a great way to help your dog feel comfortable with his collar and leash before heading out into the great outdoors.
Begin Leash Training Outside
When your dog is used to his collar and leash it's time to head outdoors. But don't expect him to be on his best behavior to begin with.
The outdoor environment is full of unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells, and it's important to stay patient when your dog's attention is diverted.
Keep walks short to begin with and reinforce the leash training you practiced indoors by stopping immediately when your dog starts pulling. When he stops, reward him with praise and a treat for good behavior.
Teaching your dog to walk on leash can take some time, but most dogs respond very well to consistent training.
It's perfectly normal for dogs that are not yet fully leash trained to lunge, pull, or become distracted when walking on-leash.
Don't pull back on the leash if this happens as it can be painful for your dog. Instead, stop walking and remain still until your pup stops pulling. As soon as there's some slack in the leash, reward your dog and continue walking.
Consistency is key when teaching your dog how to walk on a leash. That's why we recommend repeating the simple steps in this post until your dog understands what's required of him.
And remember, dogs respond to positive reinforcement, so make sure to praise, encourage, and reward your dog for good behavior during his leash training.
That's a wrap. We hope you enjoyed this post and found these tips useful.
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