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How to Get Your Dog to Walk Nicely on Leash

Updated: Jun 11, 2023

Walking our dogs can be one of our favorite activities- but it can also be a pain! Some dogs pull hard on their leashes, dragging their owners around. It doesn't have to be that way!

If you're in Austin, check out one of our Leash Walking classes!

Loose Leash Walking

We rarely teach a formal "heel" cue with our dogs. Instead, we focus on "Loose Leash Walking"- basically, walking without pulling!

Dogs don't naturally know how to walk on leashes, so we have to help them understand what we want (and make it worth it for them!)

Training Loose Leash Walking

Step 1:

Starting at home, without distractions! Put your dog's leash on, and reward for them coming to look at you (what are you doing, human?!). Start to move around, clicking and treating for them being by your side.

*Pro tip: I usually imagine a hula hoop by my side. If the dog is within that hula hoop area, they get treats! If they go too far, I can call them back toward me. But the hula hoop range is where they get rewarded!

Step 2:

Start to practice these skills in some other easy environments. This might be a different part of the house, in the back yard, in a garage, etc! Do this when there aren't any other distractions. Make sure you're rewarding for your dog being by your side or checking in with you.

Step 3:

Practice out in the world! For this one, we recommend starting with some extra special treats, since you're in a more difficult and distracting environment.

If you're in Austin, check out one of our Leash Walking classes!

And remember, if you need help with your dog's leash walking, our trainers are happy to help you with private training sessions.


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