“It’s as easy as walking a dog.”
If you are currently trying to leash train your new (maybe even re-train an old) pup, you know the pains and tribulations that leash training can cause for both you and your pet! Despite the pains it causes you, do not give up simply for the sake of making the walks easier. Proper dog walking and proper leash training are very important for your pup’s safety, as well as the future of your pet’s training. By taking the time and the using proper tools to leash train your dog, you will save yourself grief later on. Walking and exercise is good for the mental state of your pup. These tips may seem menial; however, if you walk your dog correctly for two weeks, you should notice a great change in behavior.
1. Expend excess energy first
It is important before leash training to expend any pent up energy your pup may have from being cooped up all day. It’s not fair to expect proper behavior and no pulling on the leash when all he wants to do is run! So get out in the backyard, throw the ball, let him run around and then take him on a training walk. Only then will your pup be able to maintain focus.
2. Walk in front
Walking in front of your dog allows you to be seen as the pack leader. Conversely, if your dog controls the walk, he will tend to think he is walking you. Try to walk with your dog at the same pace, with him beside you, or you in front of him.
3. Use a short leash
This simply allows for more control. Attaching the leash to the top of your dog’s neck can help you more easily communicate, guide and correct any excited or dominating behavior.
4. Give yourself time
Try to set aside thirty minutes to an hour. This allows your dog (and yourself) enough time for a full exercise, as well as enough time for positive interactions. Spending positive (instead of destructive, anxious, or dominant) time together will lead to a happier dog and a happier owner.
Do not give your dog a treat every time he does something correctly, partly because he may become obese and also to prevent him from expecting rewards. After the walk, it is acceptable to provide a meal to your dog. This will show him that he did good “work” for food and water.
Humans often allow bad behavior in their pet because they relate pet emotions to human emotions. When your dog jumps up and down, or acts crazy, we correlate it with excitement. However, these sorts of behavior can become destructive, and ought to be trained away. Be patient and consistent, and soon the results will do wonders for your relationship with your pet!