The simple art of loose lead walking

Taking the dog for a walk is one of those things in life that is free and makes us (& pooch) feel great. It can easily turn into a struggle though if you and your dog haven't found your walking groove. Read on for a few simple tips to make the walk for both of you a joy.


First of all, make sure you have a pocketful of treats. 


Attach the lead to your dogs collar/harness and pop pooch on your left. Start walking and the moment your dog pulls ahead, stop. Recall the dog and wait for the leash to loosen and then proceed with your walk. Repeat this as often as is needed. You can begin to reward your dog the moment they begin walking on a loose lead. Any sign of a loose lead. It may not be consistent or for lengthy periods but build on any positive lead behaviour. They'll soon associate the loose lead with a reward and a taut lead with the walk immediately stopping. Not what they want, right? 


Another equally as effective method for loose lead training is re-direction. Begin your walk with your dog on your left again and this time as soon as the lead becomes taut, change direction. Repeat,  and as soon as a loose lead is achieved, reward your pooch. Once again, your dog will connect the loose lead with a reward. 


Try it at home first.


If you have a hallway or a length of space, place some treats in a bowl and place at the end of the hall/space. Practice one or both of the above methods until the dog achieves a loose lead for the entire stretch at which point a bowl of treats await. 


If you practice a little bit everyday, you'll be walking on loose lead in no time.


 All opinions, advice and observations are my own and based on my work as a teacher, facilitator, community development manager and owner and friend to Pixie, Sulu, Woody, Max and Daphne over a lifetime.