How To Train Your Dog To Walk On A Leash

Welcoming a puppy or dog into your home is an exciting time. One of the first tasks to take care of is teaching your new furry friend how to walk wearing a collar and leash. 

Let's look at how you can train your pooch to behave properly when you go outside for a walk.

How To Teach Your Dog To Walk 

First, you will need to buy the basic dog walking accessories including a quality collar and leash and don't forget a dog treat pouch bag. Let your pet wear the collar at home to get used to the feel of it. Once it seems happy, add the leash.

When your dog is used to the collar and leash you can venture out. The first walk should be short and in an area that is safe and not too noisy. Hopefully a walk around the block will be a suitable place.

Teach your dog short, simple cues such as “stop”, “heel” and “sit.” Give a gentle, but firm tug on the leash at the same time. Follow up with a treat as a reward and lots of praise.

Give your dog lots of encouragement as it learns to walk with the leash on.

Gradually go out for longer walks so your dog can experience walking with different sights, smells and sounds. Expose your dog to as many walking situations as you can such as visiting friends and family, walking in the city, walking in the countryside and of course in parks and around your neighborhood. 

Sometimes your dog will pull on the leash and try to go in another direction. Give a firm tug on the leash and say, "no" in a low tone. Always follow up with a reward or praise. Never pull too hard or violently on the leash. A firm tug to signal control is enough.

Your dog might try to take off when it sees another dog or animal, or even people. Be ready with the obedience orders as you keep your dog under control out in the public. 

Try to take your dog for a regular walk, every day if possible.

A daily walk is good for both you and your dog. With my Beagles I try and bring them for a walk twice a day  in the morning and early evening. They quickly get to know when it is walk time and will come to you with pitiful eyes and patiently wait for you to get the leas and scoop bag for walk time. I recommend a good quality dog walking coat. The coat keeps the dog dry and mostly clean. After the walk, you will spend less time getting your dog house ready. I personally have a dog treat bag, waterproof coat if needed and a good pair of waterproof boots just for dog walking.

Rules to remember

  • Stay in front of your dog when you are walking so you are viewed as the dominant leader
  • Use a short leash to maintain control of your dog
  • Reward your dog with a treat, praise and a pat when it is well-behaved

Why it's Important your Dog is Trained to walk well

For safety reasons, your dog should always be on a leash when out in public. In many places it is law. Your dog will be protected from any dangers such as traffic and also your dog won't be able to chase people or animals or jump up on anyone. 

Walks are essential for a dog's physical health and mental well-being and helps it learn to be socialised.

There might be a time when you get really busy and need to hire a dog walker. It will help greatly if you can say your dog already has the skills to walk on a leash. Although a professional dog walker will be able to help with training, they do prefer dogs that are already trained so that they can walk several dogs at one time.

Make sure your dog walker has insurance and experience. Even if your pooch is perfectly trained, you want to make sure it is in the best hands possible. Dog walkers earn a decent salary, so they have no excuse for not providing a range of dog walking accessories such as dog car seats dog car ramps and so forth. Some are also providing dog prams for older dogs or for dogs with bone problems.

Puppies are the easiest dogs to train. If you have bought or adopted an older dog, training is a little more difficult, but achievable with some patience and perseverance. Practice makes perfect!

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