Leash Training Your Dog: Tips & Tricks

Leash training your dog will make walking more enjoyable for you both. Prolonged pulling on a leash can cause your dog to gag or cough from pressure on their trachea and neck. Whereas, for you, your dog lunging forward on the end of the leash will make your arm feel like it’s going to fall off. Training your dog to walk on a leash properly will give them the freedom to explore while still following your lead (and preserving your biceps.)

leash training your dog

Getting The Right Equipment

Before you can begin leash training your dog, you need to have the correct leash and collar. Choke chains and prong collars can cause your dog serious injury, according to the Humane Society. There is no way to control how much a choke chain tightens, risking injury to your dog’s trachea and esophagus. Prong collars pinch your dog’s loose skin and cause pain.

It is far better to use more humane collars; flat collars, head collars, and martingale collars are all excellent options. You will also need a 6-foot leash and a few treats to reward good behavior during leash training.

Choose A Cue Phrase

Pick a phrase that will signal to your dog how to behave while on a leash. For example, “with me” or “let’s go” indicate it’s time to get walking! When you are beginning your walk, have your dog at your side before giving the cue. This repetition helps your dog understand your expectations during leash training.

Be Persistent While Leash Training

When your dog tugs at their leash to keep going forward, immediately stop walking and refuse to move. You should not allow them to keep walking when they keep pulling, as this only encourages bad behavior. As soon as your dog creates slack in the leash again, give them the cue phrase and continue walking. This training method  deters tugging by using walking as a reward for good behavior.

Give Encouragement

The outside world provides a lot of distractions for a dog. After all, there are so many unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells to explore! So, you will need to make leash training more entertaining than these distractions. When your dog turns to look at you, give them praise. This will encourage your dog to pay attention to you rather than keep pulling at their leash.

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