For every pet owner, dog training is very important because it helps achieve a better relationship with their beloved dogs. True to the saying, “dogs are man’s best friend”, the right training can help your dog carry out simple tasks like guarding your home, getting your newspaper or even on how to behave when on a leash. Matter of fact, leash training a dog is one of the most important skills your dog should learn.
On-leash dog training is necessary in order for your pet to understand do’s and don’ts every time you’re walking together. Letting your dog walk on a loose leash can stop him from pulling you during walks. It enables your dog to have enough room to sniff and to explore the neighborhood provided that he leaves some slack on his leash. This way, he can’t just keep pulling you wherever direction he wants to go – he needs to follow your lead so that he can still have the freedom to see other sights.
Here is a step-by-step dog training guide for leash training a dog:
Step 1 – Get a 6-foot leash and collar ready. For dogs that are into the habit of pulling, a martingale collar is way better than the regular flat buckle collar as they can easily slip out of it. Martingale collars look similar to regular flat collars but they’ve an extra loop that tends to pull tightly whenever your dog pulls. This can keep your dog from slipping out.
Aside from the leash and collar, also have treats on hand.
Step 2 – Giving the command. In this part, you need to choose either a word or a phrase that can inform your dog what is expected of him. This can be as simple as “let’s go” or “with me”. Say these words before you begin walking with him by your side.
Step 3 – Stopping and going. Whenever your dog starts pulling at the end of his leash, just stop and don’t budge. Don’t let your dog move forward whenever he’s pulling or lunging. This will help him understand that the only way he can go to wherever he wants to go is by leaving some slack on his leash.
Then, when your dog has provided some slack on his leash, you can start walking again. Make sure you say the command before you begin moving forward.
Step 4 – Give the reward. Keep in mind that the moment you and your dog step out of your house, there is so much competition for you over your dog’s attention. The only way to keep him close to you is by making your time together fun and rewarding. You can praise him, give him treats or you can just have that happy tone of voice with him.
Each time your dog turns and then looks at you, say, “good boy”. Give him a treat for it. You can also use a clicker this time. Clicker training is another dog training method wherein, every time your dog turns to you, you click and treat. This method teaches your dog that it is rewarding when he pays attention to you. Having that high, happy tone whenever you speak to your dog is also a way to keep his attention on you.
As you start this training, you really need to use lots of treats just to get your dog’s full attention. Just keep your hand on your side and continuously give him treats as long as he keeps walking near you with that slack on his leash. This can give him the idea of what is expected of him. As you go along, you can slow down and wait for long intervals before giving him the treats.
Step 5 – Resolving problems. Of course, there’ll be times in your dog training exercise when you’ll fail to get your dog’s attention. He may find the things around him more interesting than your happy talk or treats. In fact, even stopping and starting may not be enough to get his attention back from whatever is holding it. In this case, you need to wait until your dog lets up a little on his leash before you give the command again. Then, turn and walk to the opposite direction.
If your dog will try to step out in front of you, you need to cut him off and to keep walking. In time, your dog will understand that he needs to pay attention to you.