Help With Leash Training

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Help With Leash Training

by Michael Royce

Having trouble getting your pooch to walk on a leash? Maybe you're just wondering ?how to start?? Ok, if it?s help with leash training you want, it?s help with leash training you?ll get.

First, let?s load up the tool belt?you?ll need...

  • Patience
  • A Collar (a leather or nylon buckle variety is fine)
  • A Leash (a 6 footer please ? no fishing reels)
  • A Dog (key ingredient)
  • Treats (secret ingredient)
  • Patience (did I already mention that?)

And a few things to remember...

  • Every dog and every owner form a unique pair. So no ?cookie-cutter? approach is going to work for everyone. To be successful, you?ll need to find your own version of some cookie-cutter or even a combination of different cookie-cutters. So don?t be afraid to try new things...experiment ...think ?outside the leash.?
  • Your pooch is your partner not your employee. He has his own agenda, his own concerns, and his own distractions. You can?t fire him, so learn to respect him and work with his abilities and limitations.
  • It will be a big help with your leash training if you do it when your dog?s a little tired and a little hungry. So train before a meal not right after. And spend some time just playing with him before you work off as much of his excess energy as you can.

Okay, now off we go...

Start off in a small area that you have control over. Indoors is fine; your living room or family room will do. A quiet back yard is good too. What you want to do is minimize and control anything that can distract Rover from paying attention to you and only you.

Saddle up your dog with the leash and collar when he?s in a quiet sitting or standing posture and ?assume the position? ? that means stand on the right side of your dog, holding the handle end of the leash in your right hand (at your right side) and much of the slack of the leash in your left hand (at your left side). Now, just stand there for a little while. Keep your dog?s attention by talking to him; keep your voice warm and let him know he?s being a real good boy by just staying there listening. Then give him a little treat.

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Make them small...make them special...but most of all make them smelly! You want to be able to fit a whole big bunch of them in a small plastic bag?one that can fit into a pocket for easy access. You want them to be something he adores too?not just his usual kibble. Lastly, the smellier, the better; because you want him to know they?re in your pocket and because dogs just smell things a zillion times better than humans, which contributes to their enjoyment of the treat.

---------- End Side Bar ----------

Now that you?ve got his attention, take a step or two forward. Coax him to come along if need be (NEVER PULL ON THE LEASH). When he does move? Stop, maintain your positioning, and give him another treat with some more soothing words of appreciation. Repeat with a couple more steps...another reward...more soothing words. Do this until you think he has the hang of it, then start adding some steps and a half-turn or two. Continue this for maybe 10 minutes and end on a high note and a few extra minutes of just playing. Congratulations, you did it!

Now I know what you?re thinking. ?Michael, I appreciate the help with leash training and all, but am I going to have to walk around for the rest of my life with a pocket full of hot dog bits?? The answer is NO. You will reach a point when your buddy will walk with you on (or maybe even off) leash very obediently and with no treats whatsoever. Here?s how you get there. You continue training with the leash, multiple times a day if you can manage it. Each time you ?push the envelope? a bit by adding more steps, more turns, longer periods between treats. Gradually, (and we?re talking weeks here not days), you lengthen the move the training to different locations?you increase the number of distractions Rover has to deal with. Over time, you use less treats but you always keep the soothing words. Goodbye smelly pockets!

Just keep at it and one day you'll look up and...WOW! You won?t believe how far you and your buddy have come!

I hope this helps a bit with your leash training issues...thanks for reading.

By the way, did you know that walking on a leash is just one of several obedience training behaviors you can teach your dog? If you'd like to learn more about dog obedience training, then check out

Help With Leash Training

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