Loose Leash Walking Training in 5 minutes – All You Need to Know!

loose leash walking

Every dog needs to know how to walk properly on a leash. It is one of the most important skills you can teach your puppy. It will help you and your dog in numerous ways, particularly when you take it out to public places. It is especially an important skill for potential guide dogs, family and therapy dogs.

Many pet parents are overwhelmed by the concept of loose leash walking training. They believe they have to spend days or weeks teaching this basic skill to their pet. In reality, it is possible to train your dog to walk nicely on a loose leash in three days with 5 minute training sessions.

Whether you’ve got a designer doodle or a dachshund, all breeds can be trained in loose-leash walking and it’s never too late to start.

Read on to find out how!

loose leash walking training

What is Loose Leash Walking?

The term loose leash is exactly what it sounds like – you walk your dog on a loose leash and there is no pulling, lunging, jumping, or jerking from your pet.

If you walk your dog in an area with plenty of other dogs, loose leash walking training will prevent your dog from jumping or lunging at the other dogs. Your pet will heel beside you and will look to you for assurance and guidance. The training will teach your dog to look ahead instead of pulling away and sniffing every few yards.

Benefits of Loose Leash Walking Training

dog training loose leash walking

Enjoyable Walking Experience

You and your dog will enjoy your walks better once it learns to walk on a loose leash. Your puppy will follow you instead of following its nose. This will make walking an enjoyable experience without the need to drag, pull, stretch, scold, shout, or indulge in other unpleasant owner-dog experiences.

Mentally Stimulates Your Dog

Loose leash walking training also mentally stimulates your fur buddy. Your puppy will learn not to be overwhelmed by sights, smells, and sounds. Loose leash walking provides your dog with a job to do and it learns to focus entirely on that job. This provides the same satisfaction to your dog as a working dog that is given the job of guarding or herding livestock, etc.

Better Control During Potty Training

This type of walking will also give you better control over your dog’s potty training. You can limit your dog’s movement in the dog park or yard. You can control your pet better when it does its business. This can help minimise the cleanup efforts and also speed up the potty-training process.

Keeps Your Dog Safe

The biggest advantage of loose leash walking training is that your dog can be kept safe. It won’t dart into traffic while chasing interesting smells. It will be better at obeying you when you give it a command. It will also respond faster to your command which can keep it safe from many dangers.

Now that you know what loose leash walking is, let’s learn how to train your dog to stop pulling.

How To Teach Your Dog Loose Leash Walking

dog training sydney

Choose the Right Equipment

  • A collar or a harness. You can opt for a front-clip harness, a head collar, a martingale collar, or an enhanced-strength, no-pull mesh harness. Avoid regular collars that your dog can easily get out of.
  • A non-retractable leash- at least 4 feet long.
  • Treats
  • A quiet, low-distraction environment that your dog or puppy is familiar with; in your house or backyard for example.

Steps

  • Place the treats in your pocket or a pouch on the side you want your dog to walk on. For example, if you want your dog on your right-hand side, place the treats in your right trouser pocket.
  • If the treats are in your right pocket, you need to hold the leash loosely to form a “J” in your left hand. (If your dog is on your left, hold the leash in your right hand).
  • Walk a few steps. If your dog continues looking at you and walks by your side, then feed it a treat in line with the seam of your pants.
  • Repeat this several times- walk a few steps, and feed it one treat along the seam of your pants.
  • Next, while your puppy is looking at you, take two steps and feed it one treat.
  • If it pulls on the leash and walks ahead of you, stop walking right away. Use the treats to lure it back to you but do not feed it any treat. Walk two steps. Then stop and feed the treat. The idea is to teach your dog that it only gets a treat when it walks by your side on a loose leash and not when it pulls.
  • Gradually take more steps. Treat your dog only if the leash remains loose and your dog walks by your side. 
  • You can also use a command word of your choice like “walk with me” “loose leash” or “let’s walk” to ensure that your dog understands what is expected.

Repeat this process two to three times in 5-minute training sessions, for three days. With consistency, your dog will learn to walk properly on a loose leash quickly.

What is The Circle Method of Loose Leash Walking?

train dog not to pull

The circle method of loose leash walking is a technique designed for highly reactive (high-energy) dogs that tend to pull, get overly excited, or are excessively social during walks. It is also beneficial for dogs that are stressed or ones that aren’t motivated by treats or food.

When your dog pulls on the leash, you move to its side and walk in a circle with the dog positioned outside the circle. This helps in reinforcing the idea that pulling doesn’t lead to progress. Continue doing the circular walks each time your pet pulls.

If your dog continues to pull, try changing the direction of the circle, using voice commands for basic obedience training, or motivating it with treats or food. You could also try changing the length of the leash.

By consistently using this method, your dog will learn to stay by your side and walk calmly without pulling. The circular movement helps redirect your pet’s attention and teaches it to follow your lead. 

FAQs – Loose leash walking

Is loose leash walking training necessary for dogs?

loose leash training puppy

Yes, loose leash walking is necessary as it can help your dog be better behaved in public places like dog parks where there are many sights, sounds, smells, and other dogs. 

At what age can puppies be taught loose leash walking training?

You can start loose leash walking training as soon as you bring your puppy home at 8 weeks of age. Once your puppy’s first round of vaccinations is completed and your vet gives you the go-ahead, you can take your puppy for short walks and puppy pre-school.

What is the difference between heeling and loose leash walking?

how to train loose leash walking

In loose leash walking your dog can walk at any distance from you without any tension on its leash. In heel command training, your dog will walk close to you and keep all of its attention on you.

Key Takeaways – Loose Leash Training

loose leash walking in 5 minutes

Loose leash training is a method to teach dogs to walk calmly without pulling on the leash. The goal is for the dog to walk beside the owner on a slack or loose leash. It is especially useful in public places like dog parks and ensures a relaxed and enjoyable walking experience for the dog and owner. Loose leash training can be done using dog training treats, simple commands, and consistent guidance.

We hope this brief loose leash walking guide helps you train your dog to walk properly on a loose leash. If you need help training your dog contact Foresight dog trainers for expert advice.

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Hi! I’m Tres! I’m passionate about dog behaviour and training. My dog training methods are effective for all breeds and goals. I have trained dogs for protection, obedience, manners, loose leash walking, crate training and have solved common behaviour problems such as reactivity, barking, separation anxiety and more. Let’s connect, sign up to my free newsletter (above) for helpful tips and upcoming training events.
dog trainer Sydney
Newsletter

Hi! I’m Tres! I’m passionate about dog behaviour and training. My dog training methods are effective for all breeds and goals. I have trained dogs for protection, obedience, manners, loose leash walking, crate training and have solved common behaviour problems such as reactivity, barking, separation anxiety and more. Let’s connect, sign up to my free newsletter (above) for helpful tips and upcoming training events.
dog trainer Sydney

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