Going on a walk is probably the highlight of your dog’s day. You should be able to take your dog on a walk without incidence. That’s why good leash skills are so important for the safety of your dog and you. So let’s take a look at how to walk a dog.
Learning how to walk a dog can take weeks or months of regular practice. To start, make sure that your dog has a collar that fits him properly, and have an appropriate leash. For the collar to fit correctly, you should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck. To learn more about dog collars, go to Tips on Choosing the Right Dog Collar.
You should use a short leash to give you more control. To train your dog, you should start by having some treats with you to reward your dog for good behavior. You should also use a marker for good behavior – try a clicker or tell your dog “yes!”
To learn how to walk a dog it is best to start without a leash. You can do this indoors or in a securely fenced outdoor area. To start the training, walk around the space but ignore your dog. Then, call your dog in an enthusiastic tone and reward him with a treat when he comes to you. Continue walking around the area and encourage your dog to stay by your side. Choose a command that works for you, and make sure you use an enthusiastic voice. As you continue to walk together, periodically reward your dog with a treat. Take breaks where you will once again ignore your dog, then call him to you again and continue walking. After a few sessions, your dog will learn good things come from walking by your side.
Once your dog has learned the correct behavior without a leash, it’s time to begin leash training. If your dog is calm, simply clip the leash to his collar and reward him for staying still. If your dog is hyper, you’ll need to train him to be calm before the leash goes on. If your dog goes crazy when you reach for the leash, quickly pull your hand back and just stand there. Don’t speak to your dog. This should help him to settle down. Reward your dog for standing still and focusing on you. Once he is calmly waiting, clip on the leash. If he gets excited again simply stop, pull your hands back and wait until he calms down again.
Once your dog comes when called, knows how to walk by your side without a leash and stands still while you put on his leash, it’s time to learn how to walk a dog.
Learning How to Walk a Dog? Here’s Where to Begin
When you’re first learning how to walk a dog, it is important to keep your training sessions short. Start by establishing correct behavior on the leash. Your dog will no doubt pull on the leash and try to lead you. But at some point he will stop this behavior and let the leash go slack. At this point, you should mark and reward your dog. If your dog walks nicely without pulling, mark and reward him now and then to reinforce the lesson. If your dog continues to try to pull you forward, simply stop in your tracks. This will teach your dog that by pulling he will not be tolerated and that you will not move forward until he begins to walk politely. Once the leash goes slack mark and reward your dog and then resume walking. Do this every time your dog begins to pull.
Teach your dog to follow your commands by turning around abruptly and walking in the opposite direction. Give your dog a verbal cue. When your dog turns to walk at your side in the new direction, mark and give him a treat.
If your dog continues to pull on the leash even when you turn around or stand still, it’s time to show him that pulling makes good things go away. Back up slowly with gentle pressure on the leash. When your dog turns his focus back to you, reward him enthusiastically and encourage him to continue walking by your side.
When learning how to walk a dog, one of the most important things to teach your dog is how to walk at your side. If your dog weaves back and forth from side to side, chances are he will trip you and you can get injured or fall on your dog and injure him. Teach your dog to stay on one side of you, not go back and forth from side to side. The left side is preferred, but you can choose whichever side works best for you. To teach your dog, keep the leash short enough that he cannot easily leave your side. You can also use treats to move him into the desired position by your side. You can also mark the behavior. When your dog starts to learn to walk by your side, give a treat every few steps. In time, increase the distance between treats until he forms the habit of walking by your side without treats.
After the walk, reward your dog with a meal. This way you have allowed your dog to work for food and water.
To learn more about walking a dog, go to The Pet Owner’s Guide to Walking a Dog.