How to Train Your Dog to Walk on a Leash
Training your dog to walk on a leash is crucial for all dog owners to achieve. Whether your dog is a puppy or a rescued senior, teaching your pup to use a leash when going on walks is key. Some dogs might learn this very easily while others can definitely be stubborn (if you have a Boston Terrier, you know what I mean), and outright refuse being confined by a leash. It may take a lot of time and patience for your dog to be comfortable walking on a leash, but it is well worth the effort when you are able to stroll along a park sidewalk with a happy, cooperative dog by your side.
Using a Harness
First things first, you should purchase a harness for you dog rather than a collar. Harnesses are much safer for dogs to wear when being walked as they distribute the pull of a leash across the back and chest rather than solely around the neck. Walking a dog using just a collar can cause damage to a dog’s neck and throat and injuries if your puppy finds it really uncomfortable. Therefore, it is immensely important to find a good harness that fits your dog properly and provides a comfortable and safe walking experience. Check out these no-pull harnesses from our shop! Not only are they fashionable, they also provided a cushion lining on the inside of the harness.
Selecting a Leash
While there are many leash options available, you should select the leash that works best for you. Some have cushioned handles while others are retractable. Try out several and see which one you prefer. Make sure the leash you choose is sturdy. Leashes can also vary by length and thickness, so pay attention to these features when searching for your pawfect leash. Soho Paws carries leashes that are perfect for training your dog to walk!
Once you have found a leash and harness that works best for you, it is time to introduce this new gear to your dog. Start slowly by letting your pup wear the harness around the house. Your dog may be confused about wearing something, especially if they have never worn a harness before. After you have secured the harness, give your puppy a treat. Show them that wearing a harness can be a fun experience. Increase the amount of time your dog wears the harness over time. Before you know it, fido will be wagging his tail for the opportunity to wear his harness! The same idea applies to actually walking your dog on a leash. Start with short walking sessions as your dog adjusts and becomes used to being walked while wearing his harness and being attached to a leash. Try taking short walks inside your house. Maybe you have a long hallway. This is the perfect training area! Carry treats with you as you walk across the room. Along the way, reward your dog with a tasty training treat and encouraging words. After some practice, your pup will soon associate walks with positive reinforcement and treats.
After practicing walking inside with your dog, it is time to venture into the great outdoors! This is especially important if you are working on potty training. You want your dog to go to the bathroom outside while staying on a leash. Begin with short walking sessions outside because this new environment can prove to be unfamiliar and stressful for some dogs. Don’t forget to bring your treats to encourage your furry friend as they try walking on a leash outside of their home. Over time, you dog will be comfortable and confident walking on a leash outside. Think of all of the wonderful walks you will have with your best furry family member!
Don’t forget that practice and patience is key to teaching your dog how to walk on a leash. With a positive attitude, you and your dog will be able to enjoy walking outside and even meeting other dog friends at your local dog park!
Check out Soho Paws for a fabulous selection of harnesses, leashes, collars, and more!
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