You take your dog out for a walk for the first time, and you find that he or she either tugs too hard or sits there on the grass, refusing to move. Remember, your dog is as confused as you are. Many new pet parents are often mistaken in thinking that dogs naturally know how to walk on a leash. Surprisingly enough, they’re going to need some training before roaming the streets!
Taking your puppy out for a walk is going to be very exciting for them, with so many new scents, sounds, and new places to explore. For your dog’s own safety, be sure to keep their collars on during their walks. If your dog is ever on the loose, people can identify who the owner is by reading the identification tag, and contact you if your dog is found.
You’re going to need a harness and a leash. A harness is recommended to prevent injuries when walking your dog. Just attaching the leash to the collar can cause your dog to choke or injure their necks when they tug. Additionally, harnesses allow you to have more control over your dog. With various styles of harnesses and sizes, make a trip to the pet store to find the perfect fit for your dog.
Every dog will be trained differently according to the situation. Some dogs will learn quicker than others, but just be patient!
Dog afraid of the outdoors?
To some dogs, the outdoors can seem like a frightening place. If you have a dog who is fearful of noisy environments, start off in quiet environments to expose them to other people, cars and pets. Use vocal cues to reassure them that they are safe. When they become more relaxed and comfortable with being outside, you can start leash training them.
Is your dog tugging too hard?
Large, muscular dogs will be more difficult to control compared to small or medium sized dogs. When your dog tugs, stand still and wait for them to realize that you are no longer walking. Once they calm down and stop moving, you may proceed. Repeat this until the behavior stops. Refrain from yanking the leash when they tug to prevent injuries. Your dog might become frustrated, but have patience, that means they are learning.
Does your dog refuse to walk?
If your dog refuses to move on the walk, try using treats to lure them. With a leash in hand, walk a few feet in front of them and tell them to come. When they walk towards you, give them the treat and praise them. Keep repeating this until they understand how to walk on the leash. Never forcefully drag them if they are not budging. Remember to always use positive reinforcement when training your dog.
If you have a dog who likes to take a whiff every 5 steps, you’re going to have to teach it how to not get distracted so easily on a walk. Start by walking at a quick pace. This way, your dog will have to keep up with you and not be distracted by his or her surroundings.
Once your dog has been adjusted to walking on a leash, you’re able to take on other challenges such as hiking or going to the dog park! Adding a simple walk to your daily routine can enhance both your pet’s life and your own.