Leash Training Dogs

For some, leash training  dogs is very simple. Their pet picks up on it very quickly and no special training is required. For others, it can take a little longer and the use of some special training techniques may be needed. 

Leash training a dog is important even for those who do not regularly take their dogs for walks or to dog parks.  Even if the dog normally plays within your own fenced yard, leash training is still an important skill because you never know when you may need to take your dog out. Even if only going to the vet, a dog that is trained to use a leash is going to make life a whole lot easier.

Sit

When the dog sees the leash, the excitement begins.  She knows she is going to go for a walk or to some other special place.  Instead of feeding into this frenzy by wrestling with her to get the leash on, simply refuse to go any further until the dog sits.  Only when the dog is sitting calmly should you put the leash on.

Stop Walking

The most common problem reported by those leash training  dogs is that the dog pulls on the leash.  While this is annoying when the dog is small, it can be downright dangerous if the dog is large or more powerful than the owner. 

To train your dog to stop this behavior, simply stop walking anytime he pulls. When your dog pulls on the leash, say “NO” in a firm voice.  If he stops, give the command to sit. Only when the dog is sitting calmly will you continue the walk. 

Understand that, at least at first, you might be stopping every two steps, but soon your dog will learn that if he wants to walk, he can’t pull on the leash.

Keep it Loose

When leash training  a puppy or dog, a good general rule of thumb is that the leash should always be slack. Don’t even give your dog a chance to start pulling on the leash.  As soon as he starts to run, issue the “no” and “sit” commands.  Another technique is to turn around and walk in the other direction.  This will force your dog to slow down and come back to your side.

Harnesses and Gentle Leaders

Choke chains and spike collars might be an effective method of leash training dogs and teaching him not to pull, but there are other methods that do not involve torturing your dog and causing him to be unable to breathe.   Instead of using what many consider to be inhumane methods, try a harness or gentle leader if you’re having trouble training with a traditional collar and leash.

A harness gives you control over the dog’s entire body instead of just his neck.  A gentle leader trains your dog not to pull by causing the dog’s head to go up if he pulls.  While this is uncomfortable for your dog, it is not painful. 

If you take a dog in public that does not have good leash manners and that is large or stronger than you are, it is necessary that you use either a harness or a gentle leader when taking him out.

If you still have trouble leash training your dog, consider signing him up for classes or one-on-one training with a professional. 

Leash training dogs is not difficult, but it does take time and patience. The reward will be a well-behaved pet that you can take almost anywhere.

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