Over the past few month, we have noticed an increase in the number of people asking for tips on how to walk their dog on a leash. Some dog breeds are more difficult than others to leash train no matter what you try. In this article, we take a look at how to get your dog walking on a leash.
Anyone should be able to implement these dog leash training tips with any dog breed. Just remember that this is a process and takes time! Some dogs may take a week, others may take a month or two. The key is consistency and being happy with marginal gains throughout the process.
How To Get Your Dog Walking On A Leash
As we already mentioned, teaching your dog to walk on a leash is a process, not an overnight activity. Be patient with your dog and offer plenty of positive verbal and physical reinforcement during training.
The majority of dogs will be fine with your attaching its leash and taking it for a walk. If your dog is nervous or a rescue dog then it may not be a fan of having a leash attached to it. We highly recommend that you get high-quality dog treats to reward your dog throughout this process. These steps are how we recommend you get your dog walking on a leash:-
- Ensure you have a high-quality leash and a comfortable collar for the process.
- Introduce your dog to its new collar and leash. Be sure that the collar is loose and comfortable for your dog. Try and leave the collar on for at least an hour initially to see how your dog adjusts.
- Once your dog is used to having its collar then start to attach its leash. Similar to getting your dog used to its collar, start with a goal of one hour initially. Rather than trying to lead your dog on the leash, initially leave your dog to wander around dragging the leash as it pleases.
- Once your dog is used to having its leash attached you can begin to initially lead it around the house. As it is already familiar with these surroundings your dog should be fine with you leading it.
- The next step is to take your dog outside while on the leash. Initially, let your dog lead you on the walk and only correct its path if it is in danger. The last thing you want to do is add additional stress to the process if you have a nervous dog.
- After a few short initial walks leaving your dog to lead the walk and set the pace, slowly start to take control.
There is no set time period for this process, different dog breeds, mentalities and histories all come into play.
Loose Leash Walking Games
Loose leash walking games can be an excellent way to get your dog used to being on the leash. Not only does it act as fun bonding activity between you and your dog but it also helps get it comfortable with the leash.
The below video shows two of the most popular loose leash walking games that have proven successful.
How To Walk A Dog That Pulls
Another common question we see asked is “How to train a dog to walk on a leash without pulling“? Although there are multiple solutions for dogs pulling on their lead we recommend a canny collar.
Canny collars are one of the leading anti-pull dog leads on the market with an excellent reputation. They work by having an additional loop that fits to your dog’s snout. If your dog pulls on the lead, light pressure is applied pulling the dog’s snout down. This is a pain-free way to discourage pulling while also training your dog to walk with you.
The video below shows you the advantages of using a canny collar on your dog.
How To Leash Train A Dog That Won’t Walk
Another common question we see is “How to get a stubborn dog to walk on a leash“? Some dogs won’t walk on a leash and decide to lie down in protest to your attempts of walking. Unfortunately, there can be a number of different reasons for this.
Some dog breeds such as huskies are notorious for not doing something unless there is something in it for them. If this could be your case then you can try using dog treats or toys to encourage your dog to go walking.
Other dogs may just be nervous and not feel confident on the leash. If you think that this could be the case then use the steps we advised above to get your dog to walk on a leash.
The final main reason for dogs to lie down to prevent walk time is medical issues. If your dog is not eating or drinking as much as usual or has changed in behavior seek advice from your local veterinarian.
How To Train An Older Dog To Walk On A Leash
The common saying, you cant teach an old dog new tricks is widespread but is usually wrong. Old dogs are just as capable of learning new things as puppies. The main thing that changes is their motivation and energy levels. Whereas a puppy maybe hyper and full of energy and excited by everything, older dogs have more of a been there done that attitude.
The trick is usually to work out how to motivate your older dog. Use the same steps as we advised earlier in the article to help get your dog to walk on a leash. Bear in mind that it will probably take longer as your dog has developed its own habits and routine. Library use dog treats to encourage desired behavior as and when required.
You should be aware that senior dogs may have medical issues that prevent them wanting to walk. Things such as hip dysplasia are very common in some dog breeds meaning they may be in pain when walking. Unfortunately, most of these medical conditions are not treatable and your dog simply has to live with it.