Loose Leash Walking: An Expert Guide to Getting a Relaxing Stroll


Loose Leash Walking: An Expert Guide to Getting a Relaxing Stroll

JUNE 12, 2018 BY LIZ LONDON LEAVE A COMMENT


Expert Dog Trainer Liz London Brings You A Simple Yet Effective Guide To Successful Loose Leash Walking.

Going for a walk with your dog is a great way for you to unwind from work after a long day. Taking in some fresh air, getting some exercise and enjoying a break from the four walls of your home office is great for both of you.

But rather than loose leash walking, what most of us experience is much different.


Puppies chew their leash.


Big dogs drag you down the sidewalk running after a squirrel.

Small dogs’ legs are fluttering a million miles an hour under their harness, without actually moving anywhere.


Slow dogs stop to smell the roses (and garbage on the street) for 15 minutes every step of the way.


And trying to walk two dogs? Forget it. You’ve got a mess of tangled leashes and you all end up on the ground together, right?


Loose Leash Walking Matters


Teaching your dog loose leash walking in public is incredibly important, yet it can be daunting to a new pet owner.

What makes it difficult is simply that you must take time to practice properly several times per week, with incrementally increasing levels of distraction for your dog.


So, if you want to learn the proper phases of loose leash training, you’re in the right place.


Loose leash walking isn’t just more comfortable. It’s a safety issue too.

Whether you have a large or small dog, teaching him to walk politely on a leash is critical.

If your dog jumps on another person, even out of excitement, it could seriously injure him or her, especially if that person is elderly or a small child that falls down or gets scratched or nipped.


If you do have a large dog, then you probably already know the dangers of being dragged forward abruptly when your dog pulls against the leash.


In fact, my own sister’s hand was broken after she was tried to brace herself from falling down a step while her dog suddenly darted after a neighbor’s cat.


That equated to four hours in the emergency room plus three hours looking for her lost dog around the neighborhood.


Not a pretty picture.


Let’s see if we can help you avoid a situation like this by walking you through (pun intended) the basics of loose leash dog training.


We’ll go over various techniques and loose leash walking tips so you can figure out which method works best for you and your dog.


Then we will go through a step-by-step guide for how to teach loose leash walking.

Finally, we’ve put together a troubleshooting list for common mistakes or complaints about difficult loose leash dog training situations.


Always Use Positive Training Methods


Dog training should be a positive experience, even if it can be overwhelming at first. Try to make it fun for both of you by using positive training techniques. This is the only overarching training technique we recommend for dog owners.


You see, some people will use tools such as pinch collars, choke chains and remote shock collars to prevent their dogs from pulling on a leash. However, the concerns brought up by recent research are that these “compulsion” training styles can cause big behavioral problems with your dog.


Some people claim that it speeds up the training process, but there is no evidence of it. In fact, there is evidence that suggests that dogs who are trained with these tools cannot behave appropriately when they are not wearing them.

Instead, we favor a style of training called positive reinforcement, which trains your dog to want to behave politely, no matter the location and no matter what collar they are wearing.


Don’t let the big words fool you. Positive reinforcement is simply when you reward your dog for doing something you like and ignore the behaviors you consider “bad” or unwanted.

Rewards can include food, special treats, praise and petting, playing with a favorite toy, etc.