Training your dog to walk nicely on a leash is something all dog parents have to do at some point. It makes life easier for you when you’re walking your pup, but it also helps to keep everyone safe – if your dog pulls, it could cause injury, and if they’re able to get free from your grasp near a road it could be extremely dangerous for them.
But lead training doesn’t always go smoothly – even if you’ve brought some of the best dog treats with you! Maybe your dog just isn’t listening, or something they were doing well with a few days before just isn’t registering the next time. However, there are things that you can try to change your pup’s lead training for the better.
If you want to know how to stop a dog from pulling on a leash, you’re in the right place! Amelia Steele, who goes by the name Amelia the Dog Trainer on Instagram, has got some advice to share in a recent post, and we’ll take a closer look at it below.
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1. Add in praise: Steele describes praise as being “so underrated,” and says she can’t stress enough how effective praise and encouragement in between treats is. “If you’re struggling to see progress without shoveling treats into your dog’s mouth, this one is a real game-changer,” she continues.
2. Clean up your mechanics: “If you don’t know what this means, that’s probably part of the problem,” says Steele – it’s a key part of learning how to train a puppy to walk on a leash, or even an older dog!
“Mechanics are the basic little technical things we do to make sure our training is really clear and our communication is precise. If you don’t have a solid foundation to build your training on, it’s not going to work very well!”
3. Give your dog space on the lead: It’s important that your pup has space to sniff and move freely while they’re on the lead. When loose-leash training your dog, you need a loose lead – as obvious as it may sound. Steele explains, “If you’re restricting your dog’s every move, they usually have no choice but to pull you. Try giving your dog more freedom and work on choice-based behavior!”
Try these tips to make your lead training go more smoothly – and more fun for your pup! For more advice, both with lead training and training more generally, you might find this article useful: 25 practical tips for training your dog on your own.
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Adam is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle, health, culture, and pets, and he has five years' experience in journalism. He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' Golden Retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.