Teaching Your Dog to Walk Nicely on a Leash; Every dog should be taught at least minimal leash skills even if he is not walked with one on a regular basis. The reason for this is that you never know when this skill might be needed and a pet that is not leash trained is a major drag not to mention a potential danger. This is especially true if your pet moves from one side to the other in front of you or tends to run circles around you. Either of these actions can pose a safety hazard for you as they can cause falls and possibly serious injury. In addition to this such actions can pose a choking hazard to your pet as well.
When leash training your dog it is important that they have a collar that fits well in addition to a leash that is of an appropriate length. A leash should be of a length that allows your pet to walk by your side without getting too far away from you. A leash should also not be so short that there is no room for slack. You should also have treats readily available to offer to your pet when he executes the desired behavior as well. This will help him to learn what is expected of him and give him an incentive to perform that behavior.
When you have a pet that continuously pulls on their leash, weaves back and forth in front of you or attempts to run circles around you it can become quite frustrating. It is for this reason that you don’t want a leash that is too long. The shorter the leash the less likely they will be able to trip you up by running back and forth in front of you. It is important that you pick one side or the other to walk your pet so that they learn that they are expected to remain on one side. Each time this behavior is exhibited it should be rewarded. This will help your dog to know that he is doing what you want him to do. It should also be rewarded when he walks without pulling the leash tight. When your pet begins pulling on the leash stop so that he must also stop. This will help to show him that this is undesirable behavior. Don’t begin walking again until your pet returns to your side and allows slack in the leash. Once this happens reward the behavior. It may take a lot of stopping and going but eventually your pet will get the message and begin to walk nicely on a leash. The best way to do this initially is to begin with short walks and gradually work your way up to longer walks.
Teaching your pet to walk nicely on a leash doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience for either you or your dog. With a little patience, some positive reinforcement and a fair amount of time you can have a pet that walks well on a leash in a fairly short period of time. Even for pets that have large yards with plenty of room this is a beneficial skill to have.