For most dog owners, mastering loose leash walking is a top priority. The struggle of dealing with a dog that pulls, zigzags, or becomes easily distracted can turn a peaceful walk into a frustrating ordeal. What if we told you that something so simple as the way you deliver dog treats during training could transform your loose leash walking experience?
There are many loose leash walking mistakes committed by countless owners all the time, such as moving too quickly or not practicing the skill in the right environment. But, professional dog trainer and the owner of Kirby Dog Training, Ella Camps-Linney, has a very basic yet effective piece of advice for any struggling owners out there.
The Animal Behaviour & Training Council (ABTC) certified trainer says that adjusting the way you deliver treats during training sessions can play a key part in improving loose leash walking. We all know how excitable a pup can get when they know the very best dog treats are in reach, so it's worthwhile considering this when you are using treats as a motive in training.
In a TikTok video, Camps-Linney shows why this is relevant in loose leash training. Watch below or carry on reading to see for yourself...
In the video, you can see how using the hand on the opposite side of the dog to reward them can inadvertently cause the dog to crab around the owner's leg, resulting in an untidy and inefficient walking experience.
Instead, Camps-Linney advises dog owners to reward their dogs with the hand that is directly next to them. "It makes for a cleaner reward, he walks in a straight line and he’s not crabbing around my leg," she notes.
By making small adjustments in treat delivery, owners can enhance their dog's understanding and reinforce the desired behavior. This method not only encourages straighter and more focused walking but also minimizes distractions and reduces strain on the leash.
Loose leash training offers numerous benefits for both dogs and their owners. First and foremost, it promotes safety by reducing the risk of pulling and lunging, which can lead to accidents or injuries during walks.
Additionally, loose leash walking encourages better communication and bonding between the dog and the owner, as it requires focus, cooperation, and mutual understanding.
Finally, from a practical standpoint, loose leash walking makes outings more enjoyable and stress-free, allowing both dog and owner to explore their surroundings in a relaxed manner.
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With over a year of writing for PetsRadar, Jessica is a seasoned pet writer. She joined the team after writing for the sister site, Fit&Well for a year. Growing up with a lively rescue lurcher kindled her love for animal behavior and care. Jessica holds a journalism degree from Cardiff University and has authored articles for renowned publications, including LiveScience, Runner's World, The Evening Express, and Tom's Guide. Throughout her career in journalism she has forged connections with experts in the field, like behaviorists, trainers, and vets. Through her writing, Jessica aims to empower pet owners with accurate information to enhance their furry companions' lives.