It can be a nightmare to walk your dog if they’ve had no training. However, with a few simple tips, you can get them walking contentedly at your side in no time.
It’s easy to think that if your dog pulls on their lead, then it’s just their nature. Unfortunately, it’s more likely that your enthusiastic companion hasn’t been properly lead trained.
But don’t worry—by following this training guide, you’ll soon have your dog walking steadily by your side.
Why dogs pull on their lead
We all know how excited our dogs get when the lead comes out for walkies. Naturally, that excitement continues once you’re out and about, meaning you get pulled from lamposts to rabbit holes by your exploring friend.
However, your dog isn’t pulling because they’re naughty; they just need to be guided in the best way to walk.
How to get started with lead training
First, you need to make sure that you have a collar and lead that is suitable for your dog.
Here are four things to think about:
A good quality, flat fabric or leather lead and collar will work best for most dogs. Choke chains aren’t generally recommended, so avoid them.
Extending leads can be a bit tricky to control, so short leads are better.
A good head collar can help you to control your dog, but harnesses will suit others and are better for puppies.
Take some time to experiment with different combinations and, if you’re struggling to choose, talk to a professional.
How to start lead training
Although you might think that lead training should take place on a walk, it’s best to begin somewhere quiet and calm—your living room or back garden is perfect.
Start by teaching your dog to sit and stand comfortably at your side. Remember to reward them regularly, giving your dog a treat whenever they don’t pull. Slowly build up to taking some steps around the room or garden, being sure to stand still every time pulling occurs.
Practice in short, regular sessions—five minutes twice a day is fine for beginners. Once you are both comfortable at home, try walking in a quiet public space. Keep those treats coming, and keep at it!
There’s loads more to learn with our other topics!
Want to try trick training?
If your dog is comfortable with the basic commands, you might want to take things up a notch. This is where trick training comes in. You’ll have hours of fun teaching your pooch how to roll over, play dead, or even tidy up after themselves!