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How To Leash Train A Dog

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Unless your dog is a hostage, you should leash train it to enter uncharted territories. It is a mandatory skill that your companion should acquire to walk around, for avoiding accidents, for exercise, and to train overall obedience.

GEAR UP!

Training your dog on a leash is not a luxury, it’s a responsibility.

If your dog is a puller, then a 4 - 6 feet short leash is ideal. However, no-pull harnesses are great as well.

Avoid:

 

  • Retractable dog leashes.
  • Choker chains.
  • Prong collars.

 

 1. Leash Orientation

Familiarize your dog with the leash, collar, and harness. Let them wear these from time to time at home while bribing them with treats.

This way the dog will understand that a leash equals loads of fun and food.

 

 2. Keep a calm environment

If your dog still freaks out when it sees the leash, it will bark, whine, or spin. If this is the case, take the leash in your hand and stand for a while till it calms down.

 

 3. Your dog needs a cue

Without a proper sign, your dog won't come to you. Let it know that food is ready by saying "yes", or clicking your tongue, etc.

Do this when the dog is wearing the leash.

Treat your dog when it looks or comes at you. Eventually, the dog will immediately come to you when you command.

 

 4. Make the dog follow you

After assigning a cue, it will come near you upon command.

When it is approaching you, take a step back and lure him further. When it reaches you, offer the treat.

When you do this for a couple of times, your companion will know it's time to come near you and follow you after the cue.

Make sure not to over train the dog, till it becomes mentally exhausted.

 

 5. Practice

Follow this regime every single day at home until your dog becomes a leash pro.

Likewise, don't expect it to be a good boy at an off-leash dog park, if it doesn't have etiquette while indoors.

 

 6. Take your dog outside

When the big day finally arrives, prepare treats such as small pieces of cheese, hot dog chunks, etc.

Don't choose bigger treats, as it would be a lunch rather than a walk.

Keep the initial walk brief because your dog is just breaking the ice here.

Although you had plenty of time training at home, your dog can easily freak out by foreign smells, sounds, sights, etc. once it’s outside.

If the dog seems scared out of its wits, take a break, bend down before it and pet it.

 

If you’re worried about losing your dog, consider putting a GPS dog collar on it. They are beneficial in case the trouble maker runs away, and especially if it is deaf. You can easily locate it before it gets into trouble with this type of collar.

 

7. Don’t encourage bad behavior

You shouldn’t overlook your pet’s bad behavior. Instead, you should address them then and there.

 

  • When the dog playfully pulls the leash, stay put, and let it know that it ain’t going anywhere but to you. Avoid yanking and jerking the leash.
  • When the dog resists walking, by laying or sitting down, use the cue, and offer a treat. This will happen frequently, so keep your cool and repeat the process.
  • When your dog is distracted with another dog, human or a vehicle, be quick and divert its attention by offering a treat.
  • Barking at other dogs while on walks originates with the lack of mental and physical activity. Keeping your distance and offering a treat usually does the trick.

Doing so, the dog will understand coming back to you, instead of going in another direction.

 

 8. Build your dog’s obedience when on the leash

Frequent walks will rewrite the memory of your dog and help it become more obedient.

Gradually shorten the leash till it can walk beside or behind you. 

However, initially, you should take the lead to convince the dog that you are the alpha.

 

Summing up

Be constantly vigilant about the surroundings as your dog is still learning and might get into trouble. Patience is the key to fruitful leash training.

So, stay still, keep your distance, be calm, reward, walk, and repeat.

 

References

  1. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/teach-puppy-walk-leash/
  2. https://www.wikihow.pet/Leash-Train-a-Puppy
  3. https://www.dogtipper.com/tip/2019/10/gps-dog-collar.html

Photo 1 -  by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

Photo 2 -  by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash

Photo 3 -  by Joseph Pearson on Unsplash

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