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How to Teach a Dog to Walk on a Leash – Step by Step Guide

One of the essential skills to teach your dog is how to walk on a leash. Walking on a leash will not come to dogs innately and has to be trained. You can either choose a dog trainer or train your dog yourself but be patient and consistent with the training for successful results. As dogs have short attention spans, keep the training session short and fun.

How Long Will It Take To Teach Your Dog To Walk On a Leash?

The time taken depends on the particular dog, as each dog will have a different learning capacity. You can start training your puppy when it is around 4 to 6 weeks old. It is never too late to teach an adult dog, and you can start right away.

Equipment Needed To Teach A Dog to Walk On A Leash

  • Collar/Harness

Step By Step Guide To Teach A Dog To Walk On A Leash

Step 1: Choose a collar/harness and a leash and introduce it to your dog. Let the dog wear the collar or harness with the leash inside the house to get used to it. You can play with the dog or give it treats to associate the collar/ harness and leash with positive things.

Step 2: Pick a verbal cue, such as ‘Yes’ and ‘Come’, or you can also use a clicker. Say the cue or use the clicker in a distraction-free environment and reward the dog when it responds to the sound.

Step 3: Hold your dog on the leash and walk a few steps at a slow pace. When your dog comes to you hearing the cue or clicker and follows you, reward it with a treat.

Step 4: Keep the leash short, and repeat the training by moving a few steps back when the dog comes to you. Give your dog treats after it comes to you and walks with you.

Step 5: Repeat the sessions with other distractions, new environments, with people around, and make sure your dog walks on the leash.

Step 6: Only after the dog masters Step-5 can you take it for a walk outside.

Step 7: When you take the dog out for a walk, allot time for it to do it’s business.

Step 8: Maintain a regular pace that is comfortable for both you and the dog to walk. The pace should be neither too slow nor too fast.

Pro Tips:

  • Front-hook harnesses are a better option for dogs with a tendency to pull.
  • Dogs will learn quickly if the training is done when the dog is eager.

What To Do If General Training Tips Don’t Work?

  • If your dog pulls, stand still without moving. Do not pull, drag or yank the leash, and the dog will eventually come to you.
  • If your dog is proactive or chasing after something, distract the dog’s attention with treats before it lunges and create enough space between the triggering object and your dog.
  • Stimulate your dog both physically and mentally to avoid barking on walks.

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