Tips for Teaching Your Dog to Walk on a Leash

Whether your dog is a warm, soft puppy or a seasoned old-timer, getting them to walk on a leash without issue is one of the many struggles dog owners experience. While it may seem natural to you that your dog should be able to walk with you on a leash, it’s completely unnatural to your rambunctious pooch. Let’s look at a few tips you can try when teaching your dog to walk on a leash.


Let Your Pup Get Used to the Collar

Dog on a leash

One of the common mistakes you can make as a dog owner when teaching your dog to walk on a leash is expecting them to immediately be comfortable.  For puppies and even some older dogs, wearing a collar is an entirely new, and somewhat uncomfortable, experience. Let your dog wear the collar around the house at first, and give them much love, playtime and treats so they associate harness time with positivity and fun.

If the dog is pulling too much while using the collar, you may want to try a harness.  This sometimes make going for a walk easier and a much more pleasant experience.  In some instances, pups are less likely to slip out of the harness if they are pulling or lunging which could also be harmful to their neck. In addition, the harness can give you greater control over your pup’s movements and can make the training process easier.


Teaching Your Dog to Walk on a Leash Indoors

Once your pup is more used to the harness, clip on the leash and take your dog for a walk around the house. You’ll know your pooch is more accustomed to the harness when they stop trying to wiggle out of it or chew on it. You can discourage these behaviors by distracting them with their favorite toy, and you can use this same method of distraction to prevent them from chewing on their leash. Guide your dog around the house for short periods of time, and provide them with lots of treats when they walk beside you without chewing on the leash.


Your Pup’s First Outdoor Walk

Finally, it’s time to introduce your furry friend to the great outdoors. The most important part of taking your dog outside is to be vigilant! Always keep your eyes on your pup to make sure they aren’t getting into something nasty, and keep an eye on your surroundings to make sure no stray dogs or other dangers are lurking nearby. Limit your first few walks to short distances, and give your dog lots of attention and treats when they walk beside you.



Discouraging Negative Behaviors

While it might be frustrating when your dog lunges at oncoming cars or wraps their leash around your legs and pulls you down the driveway, resist the temptation to yell or yank back on their leash. Instead, when your dog appears he’s about to lunge at something, redirect his focus with attention or a treat. Try to eliminate the behavior before they get a chance to act on their impulses.
Sidewalker leash trainer
If your pup has difficulty walking in a straight line by your side a
nd would rather run in a zigzag formation or just pull you along like a tug-boat, just think like a tree. Stop walking, and stand still until your dog stops misbehaving. Remember that your dog isn’t aware yet that what they are doing is bad; they are just doing what comes naturally to them. If you stop walking and don’t offer any attention or treats whenever your pup tries to pull on the leash and resume walking and giving treats when they settle down and walk with you,  they’ll catch on to the idea that walking beside you is the right thing to do.

Consider Safe, Invisible Fences from Dogwatch

Teaching your dog to walk on a leash is a vital step for every dog owner, as it creates a bond between you and your pup and teaches them how to behave when you go on walks in public places. Every dog deserves to be able to run free sometimes, though, and this is where Dogwatch can help. Our hidden fences are safe, invisible and allow your pooch to roam free around your yard. Look at our hidden fences and other great canine products today.