Teaching the dog leash walking

This part of the dog training videos hub covers how to teach your dog to walk on a leash nice and properly. Taking your dog on walks is a huge part of both of your lives, but if the dog is pulling the leash and refusing to walk in the same direction as you, this will quickly become tiresome instead of pleasant. See how professional dog trainers teach dogs to walk on a leash in these well-explained videos with demonstrations of the various exercises needed to get a companion that behaves well on your walks. Getting the collar and harness on before heading out can be a challenge as well, so that is the part we are starting out with

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Dog leash walking trainingDog leash walking training

Dogs do not know how to walk politely on a leash by nature, it is a skill that needs to be learned, just like anything else you want them to do properly. The first step in teaching your dog leash walking is getting them comfortable wearing their collar or harness. Let the dog wear it inside while you play with it and give it treats, making the dog associate the collar or harness with a positive and rewarding experience. You can start practicing leash walking inside in a room without any distractions that draw the focus away, letting the dog get used to the look and feel of wearing the leash before you head on out to practice more outdoors

If you setting out to leash training a puppy, don’t expect much until it is at least 4 months old, even then it’s still early for a puppy to be able to walk on a leash without pulling and exploring the world around it. Puppies are not very bright and have a short attention span, you should instead spend time training the puppy to pay attention to you until it gets older and is more receptive to leash training. This will in return make training easier when the dog is ready

Getting your dog used to the harness

Getting the harness or collar on can be a challenge itself, dog trainer Sarah Walsh teaches how to get your dog accustomed to the harness. The same principle goes for collars, but harnesses are safer to use for dogs that tend to pull while leash walking as they don’t put a strain on the dog’s neck. The method used for getting the dog to not shy away from the harness is food luring, if you have problems getting the harness on, take some time to watch both of these videos

The second video is this old but still relevant one from Dog Training by Kikopup, here she demonstrates how to get a different type of harness on the dog that requires more touching. The method is the same as the one above, using treats to get the dog to associate the harness with a reward. If your dog doesn’t like the harness, you can also touch its body with it, then give it praise and a treat each time until the dog gets comfortable putting the harness completely on

Choosing the right collar or harness

When training your furry buddy, it’s best to use a collar as it takes less force than a harness to move the dog around, and it’s easier to steer the dog in the right direction. Choosing the right collar for your dog can make a big impact on how well the training goes. In this video, Ken Steepe from McCann Dog Training takes a look at 3 different types of collars for dog training, which obviously also can be used for taking walks, although harnesses are more comfortable for walking

There are several different types of dog harnesses to choose from in two main categories, front-hook harnesses, and body harnesses. Ian Stone from Simpawtico Dog Training guides you through the cons and pros of the most common types in this video. If you haven’t gotten a harness for your dog yet, you might want to take a look at this video to see what suits your needs the most. Front-hook harnesses for example is used for dogs that leash-pull, but they do have their cons

Putting on collars and harnessess

Putting on the dog’s collar should be pretty straightforward if you have gotten your dog accustomed to it, if not, scroll up and watch the videos about getting your dog used to the harness, which also applies to collars. Steve from McCann Dog Training shows how collars should be positioned and adjusted in this video

Some harnesses can be a bit confusing at first glance, this video from Pet Circle guides you through the 5 most common types of dog harnesses and how to put them on and adjust them. This is a smart video to watch if you are unsure what harness to get for your dog, or if you cant figure out the one you already have

How to teach a dog to walk on a leash

How to teach a dog to walk on a leash

Now that the collar and harness information is out of the way, it’s time to start on the how to teach a dog to walk on a leash part, and doing so properly without pulling the leash and chasing distractions. This section covers the basic leash walking training with videos from different professional dog trainers so that you get some different perspectives on how to train your dog to walk on a leash. As with all dog training, leash training takes time and patience, if you encounter any issues with your leash training that isn’t covered here, you can always do a search on YouTube or Google to see if you find any solutions to your problem

The first video you should check out before trying to teach your dog leash walking is this one from McCann Dog Training. Ken Steepe shows you some tips and tricks on how to start your leash training in a distraction-free area, and when to reward the dog with treats. Also demonstrated in this video is what to do when passing distractions, like other dogs. The way Ken does it is being proactive instead of reactive, feeding the dog high-value treats as the dogs pass each other, thus teaching the dog that paying attention to the handler is rewarding. If your dog gets so excited about distractions that it doesn’t pay attention to the food, practicing in a stationary mode from a distance can be helpful, if it’s still excited and ignoring the food, increase the distance until you get its attention back

The second video you should watch on leash training is also from McCann Dog Training. In this video, instructor Carol demonstrates some simple strategies to stop your dog from pulling the leash, and how to avoid it from rushing out the front door before you head out for a walk. Once they’re outdoors, Carol starts by practicing getting the dog’s attention using the dog’s name and the occasional treat before the actual walk starts, making it easier to regain the attention when required. If the distractions get too big and the dog continues to pull the leash, the solution to that problem is also demonstrated and well-explained here

Joel Beckman from Beckmans Dog Training trains an 8-month old Golden Retriever puppy that pulls and easily gets distracted how to walk on a leash properly, using treats as a reward when the dog is calm and following commands. Minor corrections are used when the dog gets distracted or pulls the leash, followed by the occasional treat when acting correctly. As he mentions in the video, the younger the dog is, the more patience you need to have during the leash training. Puppies are not that smart, they will explore everything around them, run into walls, jump off things, so don’t expect too much while training young puppies

Another video on teaching dogs leash walking is this one from Zak George where he works on a Bernese Mountain Dog that pulls when walking on a leash. Here he explains and demonstrates how to get the dog to ignore distractions and pay attention to the handler instead. His method is to motivate the dog to walk nicely by rewarding good behavior with lots of treats, something that is super important in the early stages of training the dog to walk on a leash properly. This video also demonstrates what to do when the distractions are too big for the dog to pay attention to you, like when encountering other dogs or animals 

The last video to get you started with leash walking is another one from Beckmans Dog Training. This video applies more to older dogs that pull the leash. Joel demonstrates how using a Gentle Leader gets the dog to leash walk properly. A Gentle Leader is a collar that goes around the neck and the face and gently leads the dog’s head and body back to you when it pulls the leash. If your dog is a fanatic puller, watch this video and consider investing in a Gentle Leader collar

Common mistakes while leash training

Before wrapping things up, you should also watch these 2 videos from McCann Dog Training about common mistakes people do when trying to teach a puppy to leash walk, explained by dog trainer Ken Steepe. Knowing about the common mistakes before you start training your dog will potentially save you a lot of time

Dog leash training resources

Dog leash training resources

When you are done watching these leash training videos, you should be ready to start practicing with your four-legged companion. Just remember, all training takes time and practice, especially if you are trying to leash train a puppy under 8 months of age. As mentioned before, if you encounter any problems with your dog during leash walking that isn’t covered here, do a search on YouTube or Google and see what pops up. If you are still unable to control your dog, it might be time to seek professional help from a dog trainer. Check also out the sections teaching dogs basic commands and the top 10 dog training channels

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