This article, Dog Walking, outlines a simple method for training your dog to walk on a lead.
Dog walking is one of the simple pleasures of dog ownership, and training your dog to walk on a lead is one of the most basic of all commands. After all, if you’re going to be giving your dog his two walks daily (you are, aren’t you?!), you want the dog to be under control, not dragging you around the neighborhood.
Here’s a simple method for training your dog to walk calmly on the lead. This method teaches walking to heel, so you’ll want to have your puppy used to the collar and lead before attempting it. (This article explains how to)
Dog Walking Training Method
- Stand on the right side of the dog and attach the lead to his collar. Hold the hand grip of the lead in your right hand and the middle of the lead in your left, leaving a loop in between
- The dog should be on your left side. Align your left thigh with his shoulder. Do not put any tension on the lead.
- Say the dog’s name and begin walking, keeping him close to your leg. If he tries to pull ahead, correct him by pulling back gently on the lead and saying “Heel!” Give praise if he walks correctly.
- When turning left you should walk the dog when making a right turn he should walk around you.
- As you stop walking command the dog to sit. At first you may have to push down on his rump, but eventually, he’ll sit automatically when you stop. Praise him for a job well done.
Dog Walking: Using a Check chain
In most cases, a check chain should not be necessary, but it can be a useful training tool for a particularly boisterous dog. The check chain works by applying tension when the dog pulls and releasing it when he relaxes. Be sure to put the chain on properly or it will not release after it has checked the dog.
Be aware that certain breeds have fragile windpipes, never use a check chain on these dogs. You should also never use a check chain on a dog that has a respiratory condition.
Dog Walking Training Tips
As with all dog training, some general rules apply that will make your leash training a lot easier.
- Start training from an early age so your puppy learns to accept the collar and lead.
- Limit training sessions to 15 minutes, 4 times a day.
- Choose a quiet place, with no distractions or interruptions.
- Do not lose patience. If your dog is not succeeding with the commands end the session with a simple command you know he can do – like a Sit!
- Most dogs enjoy training but reinforce this by finishing the session with the reward of a game.
Daily walks are essential for all dogs and a core responsibility of dog ownership. Follow these dog walking tips and the daily walk will look forward to the walk as much as your dog does.