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Dog Walking Training and Tips

Updated on August 11, 2014

Walking a Dog on a Lead - Nothing Simpler?

Walking your dog on a lead, most people would consider that to be the most basic dog training task, so why then do so many people struggle with this most elementary of exercises?

There are activities your dog will take to like a duck takes to water, in other words these are the things they do naturally. They don't have to be taught how to do these things because they already know how to do them. In these instances what you have to do is just communicate to them what you want them to do and when, not actually how.

Now lets talk about walking a dog on a lead, I am pretty sure that there isn't a dog alive that was ever born with a collar and a lead attached when they were delivered by their mother. So I think I am on pretty safe ground when I say, walking on a lead, for a dog, does not come naturally. It is a skill that they have to be taught i.e. yes they can walk on a lead, but are they doing it in a way that is agreeable to the owner. Do they pull for example, or stop and dig their heels in every time they find a smell they want to investigate. Do they suddenly take off after a hare or when they see another dog approaching. Even worse, what happens when they see the old arch enemy the cat.

I am sure you are getting my drift by now, walking on a lead is not natural for a dog, running around unrestrained investigating anything and everything they want to, very much is. One of the biggest problem most owners have with their dog is dealing with the constant pulling they encounter whenever they take man's best friend for a walk.

Dog Walking Training

Who needs to be trained, the dog or the owner?

Surely the owner is not at fault, after all no owner thinks that pulling is a desirable or wanted behavior. Problem is that there are many occasions when the owner should be taking corrective action and nipping a problem in the bud but simple don't recognize it as a problem until it is too late. For example a puppy pulling doesn't register as a significant problem because they are very small and cute, it might almost be endearing. Fast forward 6 to 12 months however and the same little puppy is now dragging you in all directions because he hasn't been trained not to pull when he was probably most receptive to it and before it became an issue.

That said it is one thing to tell someone they need to train a dog not to pull when it is a puppy, but a completely different thing knowing how to do it.

  • If a puppy or dog is moving forward when it is pulling, it is getting a reward and being taught that pulling means they can get where they are going. The solution is very simple, if your dog tries to pull, stop walking. The reward has then been taken away
  • Keeping a lead tight, this can have the opposite affect to the desired one. A dog kept on a tight leash is likely to react to that by pulling and the owner may not even be aware the dog is pulling because they are keeping the lead tight. Difficult in these circumstances to know who is pulling who
  • Consistency is important, if you want to stop your dog pulling, you must never allow him to pull without correction. You may forget to correct him once or twice but he will remember and continue with the behavior
  • Use the available tools to help correct the behaviour, for example a head halter lead gives you more control and makes it difficult for the dog to pull

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If you have had a specific problem that you have found a dog friendly solution to, then please share those tips with other dog lovers who may be experiencing the same sorts of problems.

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    • profile image

      diontew21 6 years ago

      Nice lens! this has some good information!

    • blogvicar lm profile image

      blogvicar lm 6 years ago

      Love the cartoon, nice lens.

    • profile image

      Weblady 6 years ago

      I think that is me in the cartoon with the well behaved dog. Or I would like to think so, but its not really because I am usually the one being dragged into a hedge :-). Great tips, I'll get my husband to try them out.