How to Train a Dog to Walk on a Leash

There are a number of great benefits to walking a dog. First of all, is the exercise that both, you and your dog will get, keeping you both healthier and in good shape. Another advantage to walking your dog is the mental stimulation that it provides. When your dog is able to get out on a regular basis for a good walk, it reduces boredom, which is known to lead to destructive behaviour.

Benefits of Walking a Well-Behaved Dog

How to Train a Dog to Walk on a LeashThe benefits of walking a dog are increased exponentially if that dog is well-behaved. When you have to constantly scold and correct your dog, walking him can become quite the chore. On the other hand, if your dog is well trained to walk on a leash and behaves on your walks together, you will both have a much more pleasurable experience.

There is nothing more embarrassing and uncomfortable than putting your dog on a leash and having him take you for a walk. It is no fun being dragged behind a runaway dog. Nor is it any fun to walk a dog that wants to go in a different direction. Training your dog properly on a leash is the best way to keep both of you safe and free from injury during your walks.

In addition, if your dog is well-trained to walk on a leash, you will be able to hold onto him when necessary. When another dog in the park tries to start trouble or the neighbour’s cat runs out of the bushes, you will be able to control your dog much easier if he has been properly leash trained.

Tips for Training Your Dog to Walk on a Leash

Dogs are not born knowing the proper way to walk on a leash; they must be taught. You can use a number of different methods on how to train a dog to walk on a leash without pulling. Keep in mind: however, that no one method is going to work for all dogs. Following here is a simple and proven method for teaching your dog to walk well on a leash.

  • Begin by walking slightly ahead of your dog, keeping him on your left side. This asserts your position as the leader of the pack. If your dog is in front of you, he assumes the role of leader, and he will control the walk.
  • You will have more control if you use a short leash, allowing easier communication, guidance and correction.  I prefer to attach the leash to a half check collar. With these collars, there is no way the dog can put on the brakes and back out of the collar.
  • Keep his favourite treats in your left hand, right in front of his nose within about an inch or so.
  • Step off on your left foot and give the command “Heel” and walk in the direction that you want your dog to go.
  • Every so often, give him a treat and praise for keeping up the pace.
  • If your dog tries to pull ahead of you, stop walking immediately. Call your dog by name to get his attention and ask him to sit. When he does this, praise him and give him a treat.
  • Then put the handful of treats back in your left hand in front of his nose and continue walking.

Go a little farther each time and remember to be consistent. Daily leash training is the quickest way to enjoyable walks with your dog.

By Kerry Lea

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