Leash training

Loose-leash dog training: the best way to train your dog – Part 2

When you put a leash on your puppy, can you go for a pleasant walk around the block, or is it more of a drag? Walks do not have to turn into a tug-of-war with your puppy. Train your little friend loose-leash skills by using these expert techniques.

Polite vs. free walk

The reason loose-leash walking is so difficult for the average dog owner to master is because they don’t understand the absolute necessity of 100 percent consistency. When you’re busy or distracted, it’s too easy to forget and just let the dog pull. These intermittent lapses cause training setbacks because they reinforce pulling. If the dog discovers that pulling works some of the time, it will keep testing to see if it works every time.

Dogs that have an established pulling habit often start lunging ahead as soon as you clip the leash on. To retrain dedicated pullers that start out unable to take more than one step without lunging would require super-human patience and pre-planning for every outing. It’s especially difficult for people who don’t have a fenced yard and must walk the dog several times a day.

For dogs like this, it’s best that the owner use two different sets of equipment – one for training polite walking, and one for just controlling the dog when you’re too rushed or tired to train. Use a flat buckle collar for training, and a no-pull harness or head halter for free walking  – when you don’t have time to train.

When the free-walking equipment is used, the dog is allowed to walk the same way it’s always walked, but when you use the training equipment, you must be 100 percent consistent about not allowing pulling. The dog must not even get 1 inch closer to whatever it’s pulling toward. As the dog gets better on the flat collar, the free-walking equipment eventually won’t be needed.

The simplest & quickest technique ever created

This is one of the most popular positive methods for teaching polite leash walking. It’s especially good with puppies just learning to walk on-leash. It’s simple, but you must be consistent. It’s called the Stop-n-Go, or the Tree Method, and here’s how it works:

Whenever the dog puts tension on the leash, you must stop and stand still. When it quits pulling, you walk again. That’s it! Simple, isn’t it? The dog is rewarded for walking on a loose leash when you walk forward again. This method teaches the dog that pulling on the leash doesn’t work. It takes longer to get anywhere when the puppy tries to hurry you by pulling.