Dog training is one of the best – and most effective – ways to ensure that walks on the leash are stress-free for you and your pet.
Whether you have a new puppy who’s new to the concept of using a leash or an older pooch who never learned how to walk nicely instead of pulling you along, getting your dog to understand how to act on the leash may not be all that easy. Hopefully, the following dog training guide will help.
Start with the Right Gear
You likely already have a leash, but you may want to consider purchasing a body harness to reduce the strain your dog’s neck and prevent choking. Some experts recommend back-attaching harnesses instead of leashes that attach to the collar.
Make sure you have plenty of treats, too – and you might want to keep them in a shoulder bag or fanny pack to free up your hands while walking. Free up some time every day to commit to dog training, and you’ll be ready to get going.
Begin Leash Training Indoors
Clipping on the leash and heading right outside may not be the best approach – that’s like having someone who has never driven a car get behind the wheel and get on the road.
Instead, start off the dog training inside your home. At first, show your furry friend a treat while you attach the leash, then offer the treat and verbal praise once they’re secured. Walk around the house, keeping the leash relatively short. Stop walking and turn around if your pooch pulls, giving the leash a gentle tug. Hold up a treat, and when your dog turns toward you, offer the reward. With practice, you’ll soon be ready to move on to the next step.
Train Outdoors Using Better Treats
Find a calm, quiet outside space – like your backyard – and switch from everyday treats to something your pooch really enjoys but rarely gets. String cheese or boiled chicken can be good options, but use your judgement and choose a treat your dog will love.
The idea here is to reward your four-legged friend with the canine equivalent of a $100 bill when tasks get more challenging. And there’s no doubt about it, learning to walk on a leash outside without pulling can be difficult for a dog. But if you use the same dog training method as you did when walking inside your home – keeping the leash short, giving the leash a gentle tug when your pooch pulls and offering a treat when they stop – you can be successful in teaching them the proper behavior.
If you need expert help with dog training and leash walking, the experienced professional trainers at The Driven Dog are standing by. We’ve been working with pet owners in the greater southern California area for more than ten years, and we achieve results by using clear communication and positive reinforcement.
For information on our dog training programs, reach out to our office in Long Beach, CA, today.