Walking your dog should be an enjoyable time for both of you to get some exercise and fresh air. Unfortunately, many walks turn into someone being dragged down the street. How do we teach our pups to walk beside us on a loose leash?
It is often easiest to start teaching leash walking inside. An area without new smells and sights will help your dog pay attention to what you are doing. Start walking with your dog beside you. If they begin to pull ahead, turn around and walk the other way. When your dog feels the leash suddenly get tense, help encourage her back to your side, then reward her with some petting or their favorite treat. Repeat this process until your dog is consistently staying at your side without pulling ahead, adding in different speeds and turns as well. When you can walk nicely inside, start to practice outside in environments with lower distractions (quiet park, back/front yard, etc.). Remember to make things a bit easier at first since this will be a more distracting environment. Use lots of rewards and praise when your dog does the right thing. Slowly fade out the frequency of rewards over time as your dog improves. After a bit of practice, you will be on your way to a leisurely stroll that you can both enjoy. At KC Dawgz, loose leash walking is one of the most requested areas of focus for dog training.