by Mary Ellen Gleason | 

10 Simple Steps to Train Your Dog to Walk on a Leash


What you need to start: Dog walking tips

  • A short dog leash for training your dog. If you don’t have a short leash (or already have a longer one) you can wrap it a few times around your hand to keep it short. Or you may like to try a harness for better control. You can also use a retractable one like this dog walking leash, but this is only recommended if your dog is trained in loose leash walking already.
  • A supply of disposable bags for collecting your dog’s poop will come in handy. While not glamorous, it is important to pick up after your dog. As well as making you a good citizen and a responsible neighbor, it also prevents a potential health hazard. These Barking Tree Dog Supply Dog Poop Bags are huge and sturdy. Unlike flimsy China made bags, we know what material is used in our products.
  • Carry some water and food if you are going on longer walks.
  • If it is cold outside you might need to put a winter jacket on your dog.


Dog Walking Tips

Now onto the actual walk. We have some tips and advice for you on how to get the best behavior out of your dog when you take him for a walk.

  1. Make your dog come to you. Start out with you being in charge. Call your dog to you, get him to sit, put on the leash, and lead them out the door. If your dog is excited and jumping around stand still until he calms down and sits still. Reward him with praise or a treat before going out the door.
  2. Walk in front of your dog. This starts while you are still inside the house. You should be leading your dog, not the other way around. Make sure you are in the lead as you head out the door.
  3. Choose a side to walk on. It doesn’t matter whether you walk on the left or right side of your dog, but consistency is important.
  4. Start in your yard or driveway until your dog gets used to the leash and walking beside you. When they are walking calmly beside you, praise them and head out of your yard. If they start to stray or get ahead, stop until they return to your side and calm down. Then give them praise and continue on your walk.
  5. Remember, it’s your dog’s walk, so give them some time to stop and sniff around a bit. It is good mental stimulation for your dog and keeps things interesting for them. You can then encourage them to continue the walk with a “let’s go”.
  6. Make sure to walk at a pace that fits your dog. For smaller dogs with short legs (and puppies), you may need to slow down a bit so they don’t have to work too hard to keep up with you. Dogs with longer legs will be able to go faster. Always adjust your pace to match your dog’s ability and fitness level.
  7. Encourage your dog with praise so they know they are good. Training your dog involves giving a lot of praise for good behavior. It lets them know they are doing the right thing. Praise can include treats, or just a “good dog” and a hug. Your dog will know this is good and continue with the right behavior.
  8. Correct bad behavior immediately so your dog knows he did something wrong. Stop walking and get your dog to sit. Once they are calm you can continue on your walk.
  9. Patience is important when training your dog. For some dogs, it may take a few outings before they are walking calmly beside you. Doing the same thing over and over again may be boring or frustrating for you but your dog will eventually get it. Be patient and stick with it.
  10. Now it’s time for LOVE. Your pup will be a better behaved dog thanks to you getting them out for exercise.

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