Teaching Loose Lead Walking

Keep your bestie by your side

Walking nicely on a lead is something that all dog owners dream about, but in reality most struggle with. Whilst out walking a dog will usually not want to stay beside you - they want to play, explore and smell everything in sight! However, they also need to understand the difference between on and off lead behaviour.

Step 1: Begin by holding the lead in the correct way. Personally I prefer to walk with my dogs on my left, with the lead handle in my right hand, coming across my body. I then position my left hand on the lead just above the dog for support. This doubles the amount of control you have over the dog and also keeps them slightly closer when training.

Step 2: With your dog by your side, place a treat between your middle, index finger and thumb so your dog can smell the treat but not access it. Place the treat in front of the dogs nose and walk as usual. After a few paces, release the treat and praise! Every time this is repeated, increase the time between releasing the treat.

Step 3: Once your dog is happily by your side with your hand there to encourage, increase the distance between your hand and the dogs nose by holding the treat up higher. Your dog will then be looking directly to you for the treat, which is what we want. Again, after a few paces release the treat and increase the time as you go. The goal is to practice this until your dog is walking nicely by your side, occasionally looking to you for praise.