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How to Get a Dog to Walk on a Leash the Right Way

Does your dog pull too much when on a leash or refuse to walk at all? This guide will teach you how to get a dog to walk on a leash.

If there's something dogs love, it's going on walks. The problem is that sometimes, this enthusiasm can be a problem. This is especially the case with untrained dogs, whether young or old.

Your dog might not listen or get easily distracted and could even scare or hurt people. The last thing you want is your dog running off and getting into trouble. Therefore, learning how to get a dog to walk on a leash is crucial.

It's your responsibility as an owner to make sure your dog is safe and happy. You want to start them when they're young and be patient with them. Understanding their needs and how they react will also give you clues.

Using positive reinforcements is also a valid strategy, and if all else fails, go with the pros. For a breakdown of how to get a dog to walk on a lease the right way, read on.

Early Start

The success rates of how to get a dog to walk on a leash depend on how early on you train them. Getting a puppy to learn this is as essential as potty training. Having good leash etiquette reduces stress for you and your dog during walks.

It also helps ensure their safety from busy streets, unexpected road hazards, other dogs, and even themselves. What's great about starting them early is that this behavior is more likely to stick sooner. Puppies, like young children, are sponges - they're eager to learn and please.

Training them during this period may be challenging and even time-consuming. This is because they will need a lot of direction and repetition. The last thing you want is to give up, or worse, give in to their whims when it feels a bit too frustrating.

Doing so will only reinforce their negative behavior and attitudes. That said, you can still teach an old(er) dog new tricks. However, you'll need to put in extra effort and work to combat their stubbornness.

Taking the Lead

The benefits of walking a dog are numerous - not only is it enjoyable and enriching for them but for you too. Not many know it, but there are wrong ways to walk a dog. This is why it's essential to always look into their behavior and take the lead.

This goes both ways - one is doing enough research on how your pup feels about their daily walks. Knowing how and why they react, pull, or even refuse to go out, is important. This will help you spot their body language and any triggers that may cause them to misbehave.

The second aspect is knowing which lead (and collar) would work best with them. Depending on the issues you encounter, having the right equipment goes a long way. Whether it's the standard lead, a harness-type, a bungee or extending one, or a slip lead, all matters.

Don't buy a lead or collar because it looks nice or for convenience. This can contribute or even result in other problems. Knowing your dog and their tendencies play a huge role in the best lead for them.

Paw-sitive Reinforcement

It's important to know that not all dogs are the same. What works for one may or may not work for another. The same goes with the training style they need.

Some dogs are very food-motivated; others are happier when rewarded with affectionate pets, praise, or play. Leash training, in particular, is easier when your pup loves and enjoys food. It's easier to have a bag of treats and reward them for listening and showing progress.

If your dog isn't food motivated, this type of positive reinforcement may not be as effective. This means you have to get creative and start slow. Do this by making sure that the dog isn't distracted, and try to get them to focus first.

An environment that's just you and your dog is a good start.

Once you get them to focus on you and the desired leash etiquette, reward them. For this, timing is the key; let your dog know they did well within the right window of the action performed. Depending on the dog's retention, you may have to do this multiple times.

Teaming Up

Taking a dog for a walk shouldn't be stressful. Though for pup parents with untrained dogs, this is often not the case. If you feel like you've exhausted all your options in training your dog, then it may be time to look into professional help.

This is where dog training institutions come in. Most of these reputable dog schools can offer courses or camps best suited for your dog. These can be anything from behavior and obedience classes to agility courses.

They can get to the bottom of why your dog won't walk, pulls while walking, or gets distracted. In turn, the instructor can address any further issues better than a first-time dog-parent can.

However, enrolling your dog in these schools or camps doesn't mean you no longer have to put in any effort.

Think of it as supplementary lessons and teaming up with the pros. Make sure you always check in your dog's progress and needs and what you can do to keep them on the right path. The last thing you want is to undo progress and hard work.

Stay Consistent and Dedicated

Last but not least is your consistency and dedication. A dog learns best through repetition rather than correction. This means if you keep changing things up too soon or too often, they may not retain things and get confused.

Once your dog has learned things one way, changing routines can get difficult. Know that this works both ways; this is why nipping problems in the bud is your best bet. That said, consistent positive reinforcement for good behavior is your key to success.

How to Get a Dog to Walk on a Leash

Knowing how to get a dog to walk on a leash while feeling comfortable is a necessary exercise. Start training your dog early and always pay close attention to their reactions and needs.

Rewarding them for listening and playing by the rules will help enforce good behavior.

If you feel you've run out of options and worry about your dog's behavior while walking, then a professional could help. At K-9 Culture, every dog can be a good dog with a bit of hard work and training. Contact us today or check out our site, and together let's help your furry friend be the best they can be.

Go Have Fun With Your Dog!

K-9 Culture Dog Training

Serving North Texas


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