How to Leash Train a Dog Using Positive Reinforcement

dog training on leash

How to leash train a dog can be done in a number of ways, and the most effective, correct way to do it will depend on your dog and what technique they respond to the best. Training a dog to walk on a leash isn’t just about preventing them from pulling or dragging you. The correct way to walk your dog is to have them at your side, with the leash loose, meaning no tension. A dog that walks in front of its owner thinks that it’s in charge and may not respond well to your commands during a walk or even at home.

How to Leash Train a Dog Starting at HomeHow to leash train a dog can be one of the hardest parts of basic obedience training for any breed of dog. Loose leash walking involves the leash remaining slack and your dog focusing on you rather than animals or people nearby. This technique requires a lot of discipline from both you and your dog and it won’t happen overnight. Commonly, most people walk their dogs with the dog in the lead. However, this type of behaviour can give your pup the idea that they’re in charge and they can also become distracted by cats, squirrels or other dogs in the area. It’s important to teach your dog how to loose leash walk at your side and focus only on you, in order to keep them safe while also establishing that you’re the pack leader.

To do this you can practice loose leash training using treats and a clicker. Start off by putting the leash on your pup while you’re at home. Hold a clicker in one hand and a treat and the leash in the other. Press the clicker and set the treat down on the ground, slightly behind you. Walk with your dog and again, stop, press the clicker and set the treat down on the ground.

When Your Pup is Ready for Leash Training Outdoors

After you have practised the clicker treat technique several times a day for a week or so, it’s time to try it outdoors. Walk with your dog slowly, pressing the clicker and placing a treat slightly behind you on the ground. This will keep your dog close by you, in hopes of getting another treat. The goal will be for you to increase the amount of distance travelled before giving a treat. Eventually, you’ll be able to go your entire walk without needing to give your dog a treat in order to remain at your side. Clicker and treat training is a great way to teach your dog using positive reinforcement. Never attempt to train your dog by yelling or hitting. This will just result in a dog that’s disobedient and mistrustful of you. A dog should never fear their owner.

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Hayley Mae


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