How nice would it be to walk with your behaved Fido on a lead.
They won’t drag you anywhere.
Plus, you don’t have to avoid others for a peaceful stroll.
Now, achieving this might be tricky.
So how will you teach this effectively to your pooch?
Continue reading to find out:
- 11 simple steps to leash train your dog.
- The right time to do it and how long it usually takes.
- 5 important things to keep in mind while leash training.
- 7 troubleshooting tips you may try if nothing works on your dog.
- 5 must-have items that you need before you start leash training.
- And many more…
Table of contents
- What is leash training?
- 9 reasons why leash training is important
- When should you start leash training your dog?
- How long does it take to leash train a dog?
- What you need to leash train your dog
- 11 easy steps to leash train a dog (how-to)
- #1: Introduce the leash and collar/harness
- #2: Get them used to the sounds
- #3: Make them less sensitive to touch
- #4: Put the collar/harness on your dog
- #5: Let them play first
- #6: Pick a quiet training area
- #7: Have short walks indoors
- #8: Take them out for a ‘real walk’
- #9: Teach your dog to walk by your side
- #10: Train them to wait at doorways
- #11: Increase the distances of your walks
- Things to keep in mind while leash training your dog
- “I followed the 11 steps, but it didn’t work… what should I do now?”
What is leash training?
Leash training is teaching your dog to walk by your side with a loose leash. The goal here’s to reduce their tendency to pull and drag you while strolling. As well as to stop them from barking and lunging at the distractions outside. But this will also get them used to the leash and collar/harness.
9 reasons why leash training is important
Leash training’s important as it:
- Improves your bond.
- Helps prevent injuries.
- Teaches good manners.
- Enhances communication.
- Ensures everyone’s safety.
- Makes walks less stressful.
- Lets you spend time with your dog.
- Gives you better control of your Fido.
- Provides more exercise for you and your dog.
Also, walking relaxed isn’t an innate behavior in our furry friends.
Thus, you need to work on it to have a disciplined Fido outdoors.
When should you start leash training your dog?
You can start leash training your dog at 8 weeks old. This is the ideal age as they usually get their first set of shots in this period. But if you’re walking your puppy outside, ensure they’ve been fully vaccinated. And do it 1-2 weeks after the last dose to assure their immunity against diseases.
Typically, vets say puppies receive their initial vaccines at 6-8 weeks old.
These are required shots to protect them from infections. So only take your puppy out when they’re done with these.
Also, most puppies get adopted around this age.
Thus, you can start leash training them as soon as possible.
But aside from the vaccines…
Ensure your new dog has fully adjusted to your place first.
Also, make them trust you enough to follow your lead.
You’ll know if your Fido feels safe around you if they show some of these signs:
- Sleeping close to you.
- Eating from your hands.
- Following you everywhere.
- Allowing you to rub their belly.
Learn more: The Ideal “Puppy Harness Age” (9 Benefits & 9 Tips)
How long does it take to leash train a dog?
It usually takes 4-6 weeks to leash train a dog. This is possible if you teach them at a young age (typically 8 weeks old). But this can also be shorter or longer depending on your dog’s age, temperament, and level of trust in you.
As well as your consistency and effort to train them in a positive environment.
What you need to leash train your dog
This comes in different types and sizes.
And selecting the right one will aid you greatly during training.
Also, you’ll ensure both your and your Fido’s comfort.
“But how will I find the best leash for my dog?”
Pick a heavy-duty leash made of woven nylon.
It’s durable enough to restrain an adult Fido and prevent the lead from snapping.
But this material’s also lightweight when used for puppies.
The leash must be wide enough to help you hold your Fido securely.
But it shouldn’t be too uncomfortable on your hands. And cause friction burns.
This will depend on your dog’s size and weight.
- ⅜-⅝ in (0.95-1.59 cm): for small dogs weighing <30 lb (<13 kg).
- ½-1 in (1.27-2.54 cm): for medium to large-sized weighing >30 lb (>13 kg).
- 6 ft (1.8m): most common and ideal for daily strolls.
- 4 ft (1.2 m): for dogs needing more guidance and for walking in crowded areas.
The former gives enough leash for your dog to explore.
But it’s not too long that much of the lead drags to the ground and encourages pulling.
- Look for a padded product for a comfortable grip.
- Consider a ‘traffic leash’ if walking on busy streets.
The latter’s a lead with a 2nd handle near the clip that’ll keep your dog closer to you while strolling in crowded areas.
It’ll also allow you to grab them quickly when needed.
And you don’t have to hold your Fido by their collar or wrap the leash multiple times around your wrist.
Your dog leash should have a sturdy clip. Preferably made of weatherproof metal.
For safer walks at night or dawn, consider getting a lead with a logo or stitches that are visible in the dark.
What to avoid
- Retractable leash: Allows too much leash. Hence, making the lead-pulling behavior worse. Also, this may cause friction burns to both of you.
This is the part that links the leash and your dog.
So you must also ensure that it’s safe and comfortable to wear.
“Can my dog get hurt from their leash?”
If your fur baby keeps pulling it, you may yank it by instinct and hurt them.
Or, this situation can frustrate your Fido.
So they may act aggressively and force their neck.
I remember a study proving that collars indeed put extra pressure on that part.
Which may cause injuries on their:
- ‘Trachea’ or windpipe.
Moreover, another research shows that even padded collars aren’t safe.
Because no type of such gear doesn’t have less risk of injury on dogs.
So all collars should be used with caution.
Thus, before buying one, decide which one to use.
Collars vs harnesses
Let you hang ID tags.
|Easy to wear and remove.|
Apply more pressure on a dog’s neck.
ID tags may get stuck and cause choking.
Put dogs at risk of throat damage, back pain, or skin irritation.
|Harnesses||Have bigger body coverage.|
Less risk of chaffing if fitted well.
Don’t put too much stress on the neck.
Help prevent injuries for dogs who pull leashes.
Recommended for flat-faced breeds who are prone to breathing issues.
|Complicated to put on a dog.|
Can be uncomfortable on hot days.
Compared to collars, your dog might need more time to get used to harnesses.
This is usually the case for dogs who are sensitive to being touched in certain areas of the body.
However, despite this…
A harness is still a safer option for:
- Dogs with leash-pulling tendencies.
- Brachycephalic breeds or flat-faced dogs with breathing issues.
What to do?
- Collar: Must be flat, plain, and have enough space to insert your 2 fingers.
- Harness: Pick ‘Y-style‘ as it supports your dog’s chest and shoulders more.
Reading tip: Can A Dog Wear A Collar And A Harness? 3 Dangers
Prepare bite-sized snacks for your pooch as a reward.
PetsWebMD says these goodies should make up no more than 10% of their daily diet.
Thus, avoid giving a large amount to your dog to prevent them from having watery poop. As well as obesity in the long run.
As much as possible, use natural treats that’ll still entice your dog.
It’ll depend on your fur baby, but the most common ones are:
- Fresh green peas.
- Plain, boiled chicken strips.
- Sliced fruits without skin and seeds (e.g., apples, bananas, watermelons).
What to avoid
Some human food are toxic to our furry friends, such as:
- Dishes with onions/garlic.
Other harmful items are:
- Raw fish.
- Fat trimmings.
- Cooked bones.
Note: Avoid unhealthy dog treats high in sugar and wheat to avoid upsetting your Fido’s tummy. Also, stay away from potentially harmful products with unspecified meat sources and colorings.
#4: Dog poop bags
As a responsible fur parent, bring a handy dog poop bag with you if training outdoors.
Get one with thick bags and a dispenser to hang on your things while strolling.
If you’re mindful of the environment, you may like these biodegradable ones that do the same job as plastic ones.
#5: Patience (a lot of it)
Dogs won’t master this training overnight.
So if your Fido’s a big leash puller, you’ll need a lot more patience.
But don’t worry. Because with consistency and proper guidance, all your efforts won’t go to waste.
In the end, you’ll have a calm Fido whom you can take almost anywhere.
Okay. Let’s dive right into the…
11 easy steps to leash train a dog (how-to)
#1: Introduce the leash and collar/harness
Your pooch doesn’t usually see these things.
So it’s natural for your dog to be wary of them at first.
Now, this will make the training harder.
Thus, to remove your Fido’s fear or ensure they link the leash to a positive experience…
Start by getting them used to the gears’ presence.
Note: If your dog has already adapted to these, skip to step #4.
What to do?
- Get the leash.
- Show it to your dog.
- Give a small treat to them.
- Put the lead on the floor (a bit far from your Fido).
- Wait for them to go near the leash and smell it.
- Once they do, reward your dog with treats and praise.
Repeat the same steps above with the collar or harness.
As you go on, reduce the distance between the gears and your pooch.
Then leave them in a place where your Fido usually stays to get them used to their presence and scent.
Do this for a day or a week. And repeat this until your Fido’s confident enough to go near them.
Note: If your dog isn’t interested in the leash or collar/harness, try placing some pieces of snacks nearby or on it.
#2: Get them used to the sounds
Aside from the new sights and scents…
Leashes, along with collars and harnesses, make odd noises as well.
This is often the reason why many dogs get scared of fireworks. As well as vacuum cleaners.
But although the sounds they produce aren’t as loud as the examples above…
The gears may still scare your Fido. Especially if they’re highly sensitive to noises.
What to do?
For the collar/harness
Don’t put this on your dog yet.
Hold it near them and do the following:
- Fasten its clips slowly.
- Detach them afterward.
- Give your Fido treats after every clicking sound until they get used to it.
For the leash
Next, if your dog’s doing well…
- Attach the leash to the collar or harness.
- Undo it.
- Reward your Fido.
- Repeat until necessary.
Note: Most dogs are food-motivated. Thus, they love treats so much. So use this to your advantage.
#3: Make them less sensitive to touch
Collars and harnesses come in contact with a dog’s skin.
So if your Fido dislikes being touched…
It’ll be difficult to put these on them. Thus, making training impossible.
Your dog has this problem if they cower when you pet them.
Or act aggressively when touched in any part of their body (e.g., face, paws).
But remember this…
It can also be a sign of pain or illness. Especially if they cry when picked up.
So watch your fur baby closely and watch out for more symptoms.
What to do?
Desensitize your dog to touch
- Get some treats.
- Show them to your dog to get their attention.
- Slowly place your hand close to a part that’ll have contact with the collar (e.g., neck) or harness (e.g., chest, shoulders).
- See how your Fido reacts.
- If they cower or jerk: Remove your hand at once.
- If they’re unbothered: Reward them with a treat and praise.
- Repeat steps #3 to #4.
- Gradually put your hand closer until you’re touching your dog.
Do the same with the collar/harness
- Hold it near your dog.
- Let it touch your Fido’s skin. Specifically in areas the gear cover.
- Reward them if they allow it.
- Put the collar or harness away.
If your pooch’s calm and ready for the next stage:
Slowly slip the collar or neckpiece of the harness over your dog’s head.
Or, make them stand inside the holes of a step-in harness. But don’t buckle them up yet.
Note: Each session can be at least 5 minutes. And you may repeat it twice or thrice daily.
#4: Put the collar/harness on your dog
After introducing the gears to your pooch…
It’s now time to make them wear one.
What to do?
- Get your dog’s collar or harness.
- Stroke your Fido a few times to calm them down.
- Repeat the steps from #3 if they seem anxious.
- Put it on them slowly by following the product’s instructions.
- Offer them treats.
- Reassure your dog by talking in a baby voice.
- Once done, leave it on them for 5 minutes.
- Take it off.
- Reward them again.
- Repeat this daily until they get used to wearing it.
Now, if your fur baby’s fine with the collar or harness, try hooking the leash to it.
Your Fido must only have good experiences with the gears to prevent fear.
So stop or go back a few steps if they start showing stress signals, such as:
- Pinned ears.
- Sudden panting.
- Excessive barking/whining.
Warning: Never leave a collar or harness on your dog when not in use. The gear may get caught in places as they play. And this can lead to choking or physical injuries.
#5: Let them play first
Before leash training your dog, ensure they had physical activity.
Some of the games you can play with them are:
- Hide and seek.
Now you may think,
“But I’ll walk my Fido during training.
Isn’t it enough exercise?”
Each session may only last around 10 minutes.
So if your dog has high energy…
Walking isn’t enough to release their tension. And calm them down before training.
Thus, it’ll be hard for them to focus.
But besides this, you’ll also:
- Reduce anxiety.
- Prevent boredom.
So always ensure you exercise your Fido first before you train them.
Note: Experts recommend 30 minutes to 2 hours of physical activity for dogs. Puppies and older Fidos need less than adult working canines.
#6: Pick a quiet training area
If you’ve come this far, congratulations!
You’re close to the actual leash training.
But before doing it, choose a place in your home with no distractions.
It should be a quiet room away from other people and pets.
Note: Ensure the space’s big enough for training. Also, move your furniture to the side as they may get in your way.
#7: Have short walks indoors
Start with an easy setup first.
What to do?
- Fill your pocket with treats or place them in a bag.
- Put your dog on a leash.
- Show them a piece of snack.
- Give it to your Fido.
- Walk them around your chosen area. Do it in a circular path.
- Take small steps.
- Reward your Fido every time.
- Your pooch should pay attention to you and follow you anywhere.
But if not, stop and put the treat near their nose.
Give it to them and praise your dog. Or, try another rare snack they like. Something they don’t get daily outside training.
Then continue walking them.
Repeat this every day until your Fido becomes calmer during walks.
“How long should each session last?”
Leash training must not be more than 15 minutes daily.
This is the typical attention span of dogs. So if you teach them longer than this, they’ll only lose interest and become bored.
Thus, make it at least 5 minutes per session for small puppies.
Then increase it gradually as they grow up. And start with 10 minutes a day if you have an adult Fido.
Note: Gradually cut on treats if your dog pays longer attention to you during walks.
#8: Take them out for a ‘real walk’
Until now, you’ve been strolling your Fido with no destination.
Also, they only experience a few distractions at home.
So to train your dog for the real thing…
Take them outside for a walk.
Let them see new sights, hear novel sounds, and sniff various scents.
What to do?
- Go to an area that’s not crowded first.
- Walk your leashed dog but change directions often to check if they’ll still follow you.
- Reward them during the stroll.
- Stop occasionally to test your Fido.
- Show them a treat in your hand.
- If they stop and look at you, give it to them as a reward.
Repeat these for at least 5 minutes daily.
And then next time, do it with more distractions.
Bring your dog to an area with other animals or people. But keep enough distance while training.
“My dog suddenly freezes and refuses to walk outdoors.”
This could mean 2 things:
- They’re scared of something.
- They want to go in the opposite direction.
In this case, never force your dog by yanking their leash.
Instead, act excited to divert your Fido’s attention and make them follow you.
Note: Again, if you’re training a puppy, ensure they’re fully vaccinated first before taking them outside. This should be 1-2 weeks after the last dose. As you’ll expose them to many animals and humans outside.
#9: Teach your dog to walk by your side
This means training your Fido not to drag you anywhere. Or walk in the opposite direction.
By doing this, you’ll be able to control your dog better in busy areas. As they’ll maintain their close distance from you.
What to do?
Only teach this to your furry pal if they can walk on a leash with no issues.
You may pick any side that’s comfortable for you.
But most people choose the left. As this allows them to carry things using their right hand.
Now, to do this, follow the simple steps below:
- Get a clicker or pick a cue word for the command (e.g., “here,” “side”).
- Place your leashed dog on whichever side you want.
- Grab a treat using your opposite hand.
- Put it close to your Fido’s nose and on your chosen side.
- Call their name and say the cue in an upbeat manner.
- Take a few steps.
- Ensure your dog faces the same direction as you.
- Keep praising them along the way if they don’t pull.
- Every time your Fido stays on your side, say the cue. Then press the clicker again.
- Do the latter to give your dog a clear signal. If they hear it and earn rewards, they’ll easily learn it’s a desired behavior. Thus, they’ll do it again.
- Release your dog and say “all done.”
Start with at least 30 seconds per session. But over time, you can do this daily for about 10 minutes.
Note: If your Fido starts pulling again, stop or slow down on walking. Take smaller steps and reinforce your dog more with treats and praise.
#10: Train them to wait at doorways
I said earlier that this teaches your dog good manners.
And this is a great example of what I meant.
If you’re going to walk your Fido outside…
Ensure they’re also disciplined enough to wait for you at the door.
What to do?
- Grab your clicker and some treats.
- Put your dog on a leash.
- Lead them in front of the main door.
- Say “wait” and do a waving hand gesture to your Fido to ask them to stay.
- Once you get their attention, slightly open the front door.
- If your dog turns away, press the clicker to mark the good behavior. Or say a cue word like “Yes.”
- Give them a treat too.
- Repeat steps #4 to #7. But gradually, open the door more as you go on.
Do this until your Fido doesn’t need treats to wait by the door.
Note: This will also ensure your dog’s safety. As they won’t rush outside chasing cars or hunting small animals like rabbits.
#11: Increase the distances of your walks
Does your Fido easily complete your strolls?
If so, gradually extend their walks to test them.
- Take your dog out for longer strolls.
- Start by walking a few houses further from your place.
- Increase the distance if your Fido’s doing great. But consider their condition as well.
Not all dogs can walk for long periods. So check on your pooch from time to time.
Take short breaks. And avoid over-exhausting them.
While doing this, don’t forget to shower them with rewards.
Use the clicker or praise them whenever they walk by your side.
And do these to reinforce calm behavior. As well as to make strolling a positive task for both of you.
Things to keep in mind while leash training your dog
#1: Never yank the lead
You’ve read how collars may harm Fidos when tugged on the leash.
So although it can be frustrating at times…
Keep your composure. And avoid grabbing your dog by their collar or pulling them forcefully by the lead.
You might also like: 27 Common Dog Training Mistakes + Fixes
#2: For pulling behaviors
If your dog drags you in the opposite direction, stop walking at once.
Your pooch will keep pulling if you allow them to move.
So stand still like a post.
Let the leash ease a bit. And avoid yanking your Fido’s leash to prevent them from getting hurt.
Now, after you stop, your dog may do the following:
- Look back at you.
- Ignore and continue dragging you.
If your fur baby does the 1st one:
- Press your clicker or say a marker word (e.g., “yes,” “good”).
- Show them a treat.
- Use it to entice them to go to their original position – beside you.
- Once they do, give them the reward.
- Continue walking.
- Mark and reward your dog again to keep them close.
Note: Be careful of the timing. As you may reinforce their leash-pulling behavior more.
If your dog continues pulling, try either of these 2 methods:
Option #1: Giving the cold shoulder
- Take a few steps backward.
- Do this slowly without tugging their leash.
- Once your pooch looks at you, hit the clicker or say the marker cue.
- Offer them a treat if they go to your side.
- Walk as soon as they settle down.
Option #2: Getting excited (reverse)
- Say “Let’s go!” to your dog in a hyped tone.
- Turn your back on them.
- Walk in the opposite direction from your dog.
- Avoid yanking their leash while doing so.
- If they follow you, face your original direction.
- Continue walking and acting excited.
Note: You have to repeat this many times before your Fido learns that pulling won’t get them anywhere. So trust the process and be consistent to see results.
#3: For leash-biting tendencies
If your Fido loves chewing on the lead…
- Offer a treat they love to get their attention
- Put it near their nose or mouth.
Never stop the behavior forcefully. Instead, divert their focus to release the leash in their mouth.
#4: For lunging Fidos
This is a problem for 22.9% of dog parents in a study.
Based on their report, their fur babies are often excited. Jumping on every visitor at the door and reacting to almost anything they hear.
Now, there are many distractions outside.
And these may interrupt your dog’s leash training.
So before your Fido lunges on a skateboarder or another pooch…
Divert their focus right away with a treat.
Do this before they get further from you to discourage the behavior.
Note: All dogs are prone to lunging. But this is more common in Fidos who lack socialization. As well as herding breeds like Corgis and German Shepherds.
#5: For excessive barking
Dogs let these noises out for 22 reasons.
So if you’re walking your pooch outside and they bark at certain hounds or people…
It could be due to:
|Reason for barking||What to do?|
|Fear||Avoid their stressors.|
Scan the surroundings.
Socialize your dog more.
|Boredom||Teach them tricks.|
Stimulate their mind.
Exercise your Fido longer.
|Frustration||Distract them (e.g., whistle, toys, treats).|
|Excitement||Reinforce calm behavior.|
Play self-control games with your dog.
Ensure they get at least 1 hour of exercise.
Reward them every time they’re calm.
|Protective instincts||Puppy or adult dog classes.|
Remove them from the stressful situation.
Note: No matter what, never yell or bark back at your Fido. It’s because they might think you’re only joining the fun.
Also, stay calm even if your dog’s acting fiercely. As a study found that a dog parent’s stress can get to your pooch.
“I followed the 11 steps, but it didn’t work… what should I do now?”
In cases like this, you may try out a few things before getting back on leash training.
#1: Switch to high-value treats
Use these as your last weapon.
These are snacks that your dog rarely gets.
So they may increase your pooch’s motivation to learn and obey you.
This will vary per Fido. So, find out the things your pooch likes the most.
And prepare food that isn’t part of their usual diet.
#2: Build your dog’s focus
While training, your fur baby shouldn’t be sniffing the ground. Or looking at other Fidos or people.
Instead, they must give their attention to you and wait for your cues.
Now, if your dog doesn’t do this, don’t give up yet.
Here’s a short training you can do to improve your Fido’s focus.
What to do?
- Put some treats in your hand.
- Grab your clicker.
- Go to a room with your dog with no distractions.
- Sit down in the middle.
- Watch your Fido.
- Quietly wait for them to look at your eyes.
- Once they do, give them a treat. Then press the clicker or say, “Yes!”
- You can also call their name as a prompt to look at you.
- Now, use the clicker and say the cue word again.
- Pause for a while for longer eye contact.
- Give them a treat.
- Repeat steps #5 to #10 around 10 times.
Never remove your gaze from them.
However, soften your eyes to avoid intimidating your pooch.
If you successfully trained attention and eye contact with your dog…
Do the same steps above.
But this time, there’s a bit of a twist:
- Stand up in front of your Fido instead.
- Call their name.
- Click if they look at you.
- Place a treat on the ground.
- Repeat this 10 times each session but lay the snack on different areas.
Do the latter to avoid repetition. And also to test if your dog will still follow you every time.
If you want to watch how it’s done, check out the short clip below:
Note: As you repeat this, your Fido will anticipate the treats and cues. So they’ll learn how to pay more attention to you. And this could help with training.
#3: Cut down the leash
The length of the lead also affects your communication with your pooch.
When it’s too loose, it may signal them to get away further. Which then encourages pulling.
Meanwhile, keeping it short enough will make them stay by your side.
So how long is your dog’s lead?
As mentioned above, stick to a standard 6 ft (1.8m) one. Or use a 4 ft (1.2 m) leash if you have a puppy or need to walk in busy areas.
Note: If it’s long, you can also wrap it a few times around your wrist. But ensure your hand’s comfortable enough before walking your Fido.
#4: Double-check your dog’s gears
Your Fido may not be acting well due to discomfort.
So ensure that what they’re wearing during training’s not too tight or loose.
How to get the right fit for your dog’s collar?
- Put a measuring tape around your Fido’s neck.
- Buy an item that’s adjustable for future allowances.
- Tighten the collar.
- Insert 2 of your fingers between it and your dog’s neck to ensure it isn’t too fit.
- Check the collar regularly to see if they have outgrown your Fido.
- Adjust or replace it if necessary.
How do you measure a dog’s harness?
- Get a measuring tape.
- Put your Fido in a standing position.
- Sit or kneel beside them.
- Wrap the tape around the widest part of their chest.
- Don’t do this too tightly to have accurate measurements.
- List the number you got.
Next, besides the measurement…
Use your Fido’s weight to find the right harness size for your dog.
Look at the product’s chart carefully.
If unsure, never get the exact size. Pick a slightly bigger one but ensure you can still adjust it.
Now, for the right fit…
The rule’s the same with the collar.
Insert at least 2 of your fingers in the gear to check it’s not too tight.
Do this around your dog’s neck and chest areas. Then adjust it accordingly.
Note: If your dog moves a lot, ask someone to help you hold your Fido as you take their measurements.
#5: Train them more with commands
By observing, dogs can understand our language.
In fact, an average Fido may learn up to 100 words.
So before leash training…
Take your dog to obedience classes. Or refresh their memories if they have already gone through such classes.
Start with the basic cues like “sit,” “stay,” and “down.”
Then as you progress…
Teach your Fido the cue words you want to use during leash training.
- “Let’s go!”
Note: Each training session must only be 10-15 minutes long. Repeat this until your dog masters the commands. Also, they should be following you even without the treats.
#6: Make it quick
It’s best to walk your dog slowly during training.
But if they get distracted a lot and diverting them doesn’t do anything…
Try strolling faster than your usual pace.
This might prevent them to focus on the other things outside.
Also, if you’re acting excitedly…
You can affect your Fido too. Which makes them forget about the distractions around them.
Trivia: Studies show that brisk walking’s as effective as running. And dog parents have a lower risk of heart disease because of this.
#7: Socialize your pooch
Research says that dogs with less exposure to other Fidos and humans tend to be more:
So if your fur baby lacks socialization…
This can make them skittish during the training. Which hinders their learning.
Thus, if possible, enroll your pooch in a training class where they can meet other dogs.
Also, walk them more often so they can explore the outdoors. And reduce their doubt and fears of the unknown.
Note: Try walking in a new place – away from your home. But ensure it isn’t too crowded to avoid scaring them.
#BONUS: Have your dog checked by an expert
How does your Fido walk during training?
If they’re crying or limping…
Bring them to the vet asap as they might have:
- Joint pains.
- Luxating patella.
- Bone problems.
But if your dog’s hesitating to move…
Say not wanting to walk on grass or strolling slowly…
They might be fearful of something. So inspect your surroundings and monitor your pooch closely.
Remove the triggers that cause changes in your Fido’s behavior. And start leash training them again.
If this doesn’t work…
Consult your vet about your dog’s anxiety level
The tension may get in the way of your Fido’s learning.
So if it’s too high, your vet may give your pooch medication to reduce it.
Some examples, as per PetMD are the following:
- Sertraline (Zoloft).
- Paroxetine (Paxil).
- Diazepam (Valium).
- Lorazepam (Ativan).
- Alprazolam (Xanax).
- Dexmedetomidine (Sileo).
- Clomipramine (Clomicalm).
- Fluoxetine (Reconcile or Prozac).