Leash training with your dog
Regardless of breed, size, or personality, all dogs must be taught to walk on a leash. It’s a responsibility that falls on the shoulders of all human companions. Whether you’re a first-time fur parent or an experienced dog owner, this basic obedience training is essential for the safety of both you and your pup. In this article we will explain how to be successful when leash training with your dog.
The Essence of Leash Training
Have you ever wondered why it’s required to buy a collar and leash when you adopt a dog for the first time? Well, that’s because all dogs don’t have the ability to control the urge to run or walk away when they’re outdoors. A leash will help keep your dog by your side while also preventing them from running into danger or getting lost.
In addition to keeping your dog safe, leash training is also a great way to establish a bond between you and your furry friend. It’ll allow you to teach them basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “come.”
Leash training with your dog is challenging – no one will argue with that, especially if you have an energetic or naughty dog. But like all other forms of training, it requires patience, consistency, and commitment. So, if you’re feeling a little daunted by the task ahead, don’t worry! We’re here to help.
Making Things Comfortable
The first and arguably most critical aspect of teaching your canine buddy how to walk on a leash is getting them comfortable with wearing a collar and leash. It’s a no-brainer, yet some dogs resist having anything around their necks. If your dog is one of them, you’ll need to take things slow and steady.
Pro Tip: Pick a collar that’s not too tight or loose for starters. It should be just snug enough to fit two fingers underneath it.
You probably think all leashes are the same, but that’s not true. There are several different types of leashes available in the market, including:
•Retractable leash: These are popular among dog owners because they offer a lot of freedom to dogs. However, they’re not recommended for leash training because they make it difficult for owners to maintain control.
•Standard leash: Also called a fixed-length leash, this is the most commonly used type of leash. It’s available in different lengths to choose one based on your training preference.
•Headcollar: Also known as a head halter, this type of leash attaches around your dog’s muzzle or chin instead of their neck. It gives you more control over your dog’s movements, making it a good choice for leash training.
• Body harness: This type of leash attaches around your dog’s torso instead of its neck. It helps distribute the force evenly, making it a comfortable option for dogs who pull on their leash.
Your choice of a leash will also be determined by the type of activity you’ll do with your dog. For example, if you plan to take them for a run or hike, then a standard leash might not be long enough. In such cases, a retractable leash would be a better option.
Now that you’ve got the right collar and leash, it’s time to start the training. The best way to do this is to make things as fun and positive as possible for your dog. Remember, you want them to associate walking on a leash with something good – not something that’s forced upon them.
To get started, put your dog’s collar on and let them wear it around the house for a few minutes at a time. Let them get used to the feel of it before attaching the leash. Once they’re comfortable, take them outside and let them walk around without the leash first. The purpose is for them to get used to the sensation of something following them around.
Proceed by attaching the leash and start walking around with them. Go slowly at first and praise them frequently for walking calmly by your side. If they start to pull, stop walking and stand still until they relax. Once they’ve calmed down, you can start walking again.
Reward-Based Training Works
Remember to carry on with reward-based training. It doesn’t have to be always about treats; you can also praise them with words or pet them whenever they walk by your side without pulling.
Pro Tip: Keep your training sessions short at the beginning – no more than ten minutes at a time. You don’t want to overdo it and end up frustrating your dog.
Also, don’t forget to call your dog’s name. It’ll help them focus on you and not get distracted by their surroundings. They get distracted all the time, especially in public places. It’s your job to keep their attention on you.
When you’re out and about, be prepared to stop frequently. Dogs like to sniff around and explore their surroundings, so it’s only natural for them to stop and smell things from time to time. Let them have their moments as long as they’re not pulling on the leash.
As your dog gets better at walking on a leash, you can start to increase the length of your training sessions. You can also add in distractions, such as other people or animals. The key is to go slowly and not overwhelm them.
Common Mistakes in Leash Training
One of the most common mistakes people make when leash training their dogs is jerking on the leash or pulling them along. It does nothing but frustrates your dog and make them resistant to walking on a leash.
Another mistake is not being consistent with the rules. If you allow your dog to pull on the leash sometimes, they’ll think it’s okay all the time. Ensure that you’re consistent with your commands and only reward them when they walk by your side without pulling.
It’s never a good idea to punish your dog for pulling on the leash. It is ineffective, and it will also make your dog scared of being on a leash and resent you.
It’s up to you to make leash training fun and rewarding for your dog. But if you follow our tips above, you’ll have your furry friend walking calmly by your side in no time.