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Walking on a leash

Many people think dogs know how to walk politely on a leash, but this is untrue. They pull, jerk forward and backward, and do not have a good time while walking. This skill is something different, and the pet needs to be trained. When your pet is trained correctly, he will walk steadily and confidently. Fortunately, teaching your pet how to walk on a leash is one of the best skills. Training your pet to do this may require time and effort, but the result will be rewarding. We have years of experience in this field at Larry Benoit Dog Trainer. We have taught many dogs and puppies how to walk correctly on a leash, and they have confidently walked.

Teaching a dog or puppy to walk nicely on a leash is essential for safe and enjoyable outings. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you train your dog or puppy to walk on a leash without pulling:

 1. **Choose the Right Equipment**
Select a comfortable collar and a suitable leash. For many dogs, a front-clip harness can help discourage pulling. Ensure that the collar fits well, not too tight or too loose.

 2. **Introduce the Leash and Collar**
Let your puppy or dog wear the collar around the house. Allow them to get used to it by having short sessions where they wear it during playtime or while getting treats. Gradually introduce the leash by attaching it and letting them walk around the house.

 3. **Create Positive Associations**
Pair the collar and leash on your dog with something positive (like treats or play) to associate the leash with good things.

4. **Start with Short Sessions**
Begin leash training in a familiar, low-distraction environment like your home or yard. Walk a few steps while holding the leash. If your puppy or dog follows along and doesn’t pull, reward them with treats and praise.

5. **Teach to Follow a Cue**
Hold treats in your hand near your side. Use a cue like “Let’s go” and step forward. As your dog follows, reward them with a treat. Continue this practice, gradually increasing the number of steps between treats.


 6. **Practice Inside and Gradually Move Outside**
Move to a quiet outdoor area once your dog is comfortable walking on a leash inside. This will help your dog learn to handle distractions and still obey cues.

 7. **Use Short, Frequent Walks**
Dogs learn better with short, frequent training sessions. Initially, keep walks short but frequent, gradually increasing the duration as your dog becomes more adept at walking calmly on a leash.

8. **Implement Gentle Corrections**
If your dog begins to pull, stop walking immediately and don’t move until the leash is slack again. This teaches your dog that pulling won’t get them anywhere. Once the leash is slack, you can start walking again. Alternatively, you can change direction to regain their attention.

 9. **Reward Good Behavior**
Always reward your dog for walking nicely at your side. This could be with treats, praise, or the opportunity to sniff around or play.

 10. **Be Patient and Consistent**
Leash training can take time, primarily if your dog is not used to a leash or is particularly energetic. Consistency is key. Train regularly and always use the same commands and rewards.

11. **Consider Professional Help**
If you encounter persistent issues, such as aggressive pulling or reactivity to other dogs and distractions, consider consulting a professional dog trainer for more tailored guidance.

By following these steps, you should see progress in your dog’s leash-walking behavior, leading to more enjoyable walks for both of you.

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