The sight of a person walking a dog using a leash is graceful. However, dogs do not naturally learn to move about with a leash; rather, they have to be trained and taught leash manners. What makes this a difficult is that dogs usually walk faster than us.
You might have seen owners calling out their dog when their dog goes ahead of them. In other cases, they may start moving around an object they find to be fascinating and start to sniff. The worst, however, is when they begin urinating—and cause a lot of discomfort and inconvenience to the owner.
Fortunately for us, dogs are quick learners, and with the right dog leash training, you can ensure they walk behind you and move when you say so. If you want to be able to take a brisk walk with your dog with a dog leash, here are a few tips you should you know about dog leash training.
- Always Walk Ahead Of Your Dog
Dogs may not be born with dog leash manners, however, by appealing to their instincts, you can teach them a lot about respecting the owner. Always make a habit of walking ahead of your dog. Doing so will enable you to be seen as a leader of the pack and someone who needs to be obeyed and admired. On the other hand, if you let him walk in front of you, you allow it to take control.
This means that whenever you step outside your front house door or enter through it, your dog should come after you. While walking, make sure that your dog is either behind you or at least beside you so that may be seen as the pack leader.
- Make Sure the Dog Leash Is Short
Another technique you should use as part of dog leash training is never to use a long dog leash. A long leash makes it difficult for you to have control. No matter how well you train, your dog is bound to start sniffing to keep itself entertained. In this case, having a shorter dog leash will be useful for pulling your dog to stay with you as you walk.
However, the leash should not be too short; it needs to be at a medium length so it is easy for the dog to keep up with you and turn around and about.
At the same time, it is important to point out that pulling the dog leash should not cause any harm to your dog. This is why it is recommended that you get a comfortable dog collar and attach it to the leash. Always ensure the safety of your dog while walking or dog leash training.
- Make the training as convenient as possible
Be aware of being hasty about giving your dog proper dog leash training and making him miserable. Dogs, like humans, need time to process new behavior patterns. Instead of going for an hour-long walks expecting your dog not to sniff or urinate, make the duration shorter. Limiting your dog’s need to sniff is akin to cutting all social contact of a human being; in other words, they can’t live without it. The trick is to train them to sniff only at breaks or when you are not walking with them.
More importantly, dog leash training should be fun and not harsh. Make it as entertaining from time to time using toys and games.
- Reward them properly
Dogs, like many other animals, do not learn new behaviour patterns, unless they are given good treats. Be sure to keep spare snack so that you can reward them after a successful dog leash training session. Or, you can just reward them with a proper meal. Food or snacks should be easy to digest; the quicker the dog can consume a snack, the better it will be as a reward mechanism.
Also, you can allow them to sniff or urinate after showing the right mindset and behavior. Giving treats or rewards after every successful session will make it easier for them to adopt new behaviors and eventually will walk as expected of them.
However, just be sure that the duration of the reward is less than that of the walk itself. Otherwise, they will not consider the walk to be very important; discipline is everything in dog leash training.
- Train them not to pull the leash
It may be that your dog has a habit of pulling the leash whenever it wants to sniff or urinate. This is not a habit your dog should have and thus it is vital that you train him out of it. You need to remember that dogs can behave just as little children do. They can get very excited and distracted by something interesting and immediately run up to it. When you ask them to walk with you, they may refuse and start pulling the leash instead.
A good tactic is to let them have a few runs before walking. In other words, the less excited they are, the more likely that they will walk behind or beside you and obey you. Make sure you allow them to play beforehand or engage in any kind of aerobic exercise prior to each dog leash lesson. You will be surprised how easier it will be for your dog to walk with you afterwards.
- Make a habit of leading
It is important for you to get in the habit of leading outside of dog leash training sessions. Always have your dog wait for you to remove your shoes or his leash. This will send a strong signal to your dog that you are the leader of the pact at all times and needs to be obeyed.