Enjoy happy, stress-free strolls with your dog thanks to this trainer’s genius tip to improve loose leash walking

Portrait of smiling woman with bulldog on grassy field at park
(Image credit: Getty Images)

From learning how to calm a reactive dog to figuring out how to correct some of the most common reasons why your dog's recall isn't reliable, being a pet parent isn't always easy. 

While you may have had visions of enjoying relaxing daily walks with your fur friend, you may be finding that the reality is far from what you imagined. If so, you're not alone.

Dealing with your dog's reactivity around certain triggers, or accidentally making some of the most common loose leash walking mistakes, can lead to walks that feel stressful and frustrating. 

Thankfully, expert trainer Amelia Steele has come to the rescue by sharing a really small and simple change that you can make that will improve your dog's overall behavior. 

"If you want to improve your dog's recall, lead walking, and general listening skills, then there's one small change that you can make that will help with everything without you having to spend hours drilling each exercise," says Steele.

So, what exactly does this easy to make, small change involve? Well, according to Steele, it all comes down to swapping out your usual walk where your dog is free to go off and do anything they want to a walk that's more about engagement.

"Engage with your dog doing something you like and doing something they like. Whether that's play or training, you can even just throw in five minutes of training in the house every day and that alone will help," Steele suggests.

You can absolutely do sniffy walks where your dog can roam around and explore, but Steele says that it's important to always remember that when you're doing that, you still need to be on hand to engage with your dos and go into training mode when you need to.

"By making these small changes, your dog is actually going to want to hang out near you and eventually you won't really have to ask them to do much at all," says Steele.

Looking for more great tips and tricks when it comes to improving your dog's behavior? The be sure to check out I love my dog but hate when he licks my face - here's how I stopped this behavior

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.