There’s nothing like going for a walk with your dog when it’s nice outside. Unless that is, your dog tries walking you. Walking your dog is a great way for you and your pup to bond while both getting some exercise, but when they pull, tug, and go all over the place when on-leash it can make going for walks less than enjoyable.
Tips For Leash Training For Your Dog
Dogs pull on their leash because they have places they want to go and things they want
to smell, and the fact of the matter is, you’re just not going quite fast enough for them. Having a pull-happy pup can make walks not only aggravating but exhausting — both physically and mentally — as well. Luckily, there are different ways that can help you teach a dog to stop pulling on a leash, making your walks and adventures much more pleasant and enjoyable. Here are some helpful leash training tips for your dog to keep in mind.
Tip #1: Get The Right Equipment
In order to be effective in leash training, it is important that you have the right equipment for training your dog before trying to adjust your walking and leashing habits. With the right dog training equipment, you’ll be better prepared to properly educate or re-educate your dog. Let’s start with some of the basics.
Collars are an essential component to properly leashing your dog. Get one that doesn’t fit properly, and your dog could easily back out of the collar and run free. There are a variety of different types available to choose from, so finding the best dog collar may be difficult. Of course, the type of collar you need is dependent on the dog you have. Here are some of the options you have to choose from:
- Standard Dog Collars. These are the collars you see just about everywhere, including Big Box pet stores. For some dog breeds and sizes, these collars will do the trick. Dogs that have smaller heads and necks, such as whippets, may be able to back out of these collars with ease.
- Martingale Dog Collars. A martingale collar is, in many dog owners’ opinions, the best dog collar for training — especially dogs that have a bad habit of pulling. Unlike choke chain collars, martingale collars tighten when needed but have a unique limited closure to prevent it from becoming too tight, making it a much safer alternative.
There aren’t nearly as many choices as collars when it comes to leashes, but there are different types of leashes that are effective in your training efforts. Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind about a dog leash is that it needs to be strong enough that it won’t break if your dog pulls on it — believe us, it happens! It also is important for the leash to be comfortable in your hand. You don’t want a skimpy leash that easily slips through your hands if you aren’t paying attention. Depending on the size and strength of your dog, here are some different leash types that may be worth checking out.
- Standard Dog Leashes. These are your typical leashes. You’ll most likely see these leashes made of nylon, but there are some rope and flat band styles. Similar to standard dog collars, these leashes will get the job done, especially when made from high-quality materials.
- The Ultimate Leash. If you want a versatile, multifunction leash, you got it in The Ultimate Leash. With 11 uses in 1, this is one of the best dog leashes for training! One of the benefits of The Ultimate Leash is that it can be adjusted between four different lengths. You’ll be able to easily find the length that works for you while leash training your dog. The various uses of this multifunctional leash make leash training your dog easier.
Once you have the equipment, take the time to get your pup used to the collar and leash for training you have selected. Introduce your dog to the collar by letting them sniff it. Then, put the collar on your dog and let him or her run around in it for a bit — even better if you join in on the fun with a game of fetch. After your dog becomes used to the collar, add the leash. If your pup seems uncomfortable or fights the equipment at first, use treats and praise to help them get used to the leash and collar.
Tip #2: Start Small
Leash training your dog doesn’t necessarily need to begin outdoors. In fact, chances are you have a great training space inside your home. You just need a small space (roughly a 4×4 area), so part of your living room, bedroom, or any other small, open space will do. It is important to make sure this area has no distractions, so try to avoid using a space with toys, detracting noises. Use this area to work on keeping your dog at your side, when walking a few short steps and turning. Training treats can be helpful in helping your dog focus and be rewarded for good, proper behavior.
Tip #3: Practice Outside
After getting some work in indoors, you can finally move to a new training location — your yard. Ideally, before going outside your dog should have an idea that they will be rewarded for staying at your side. Even if they have that locked down, it’s important to understand that they still may not be ready to go on your typical walk. If you thought there were distractions indoors, you’ll be surprised at how many of them are outside of your home. When going outside, you’ll want to continue taking a few steps and turning, making sure your dog is walking near your side. This is something that should be done multiple times before hitting the sidewalk. Stretching training like this will give your pup some structure to help them realize they need to remain close to your side.
Tip #4: Go On The Big Walk
When you feel that your dog is ready for their first post-training walk, make sure you have all of the equipment you need, including a few treats. This doesn’t have to be an expedition, but maybe a brief trip to your friend who lives a couple streets over. Walk your dog at your side the same way you did during training. After your dog stays by your side after multiple steps, feel free to praise them and reward them with a treat to show them they are behaving properly. Keep in mind, there are times when you will be walking with your pup and they will need to go to the bathroom. While they may pull a little, this behavior is normal and is something they shouldn’t be scolded for. Once they finish and you clean up, encourage your dog to come back to your side, giving praise and pets when they do.
Leash Training Your Dog Takes Time
Whether you’re trying to leash train a puppy or need to retain a dog that has been pull-happy for as long as you can remember, it takes some time to get your dog to walk alongside you. However, that does not mean leash training needs to be a chore. Leash training and walking your dog can be a great bonding experience for you and your pup — as long as you stay persistent and make sure your furry companion is still excited to learn, you’ll be able to walk side-by-side in no time.
Before you start leash training your dog, make sure you visit TheUltimateLeash.com for the best dog collars and leashes! With standard, cotton, and leather dog collars and leashes, plus other types and styles, you’ll find the equipment you need for leash training. For more effective leash training, we suggest checking out The Ultimate Leash and Martingale Dog Collars.