Trainer reveals tip for nailing loose lead walking, and it's before the walk even begins

Dog on loose lead standing beside owner
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're anything like us, when it comes to helping your dog to master loose leash walking and behave well when you're out and about, you've likely been focusing your training efforts on the actual walk itself. But what if we were to tell you that setting your pup up for success starts before you even leave your driveway?

It's true! While dishing out a few of the best dog treats can certainly help keep your canine companion on track when you're out walking, according to expert dog trainer Liz Foley, the secret to an amazing walk is all in the warm up. 

In a video shared to Instagram, which you can view below, Foley explains that practicing a range of drills before you head out will help your dog to understand what's expected of them once they hit the sidewalk or park. 

"Practicing leash drills to teach your dog to yield to pressure is the fairest way to train a dog to walk on a loose leash," explains Foley. "When we don’t take time to establish a connection before heading out for the walk, we struggle to communicate with our dog, which only leads to bigger problems like reactivity."

So, what drills does Foley recommend? According to the video, drills such as follow the leader and figure eights are perfect when it comes to warming up before a walk - and they can deepen the bond you share with your dog too.

"I absolutely love showing clients how to connect on walks and find their flow," says Foley. "Changing your walk is one of the best ways to strengthen your relationship with your dog."

It's worth remembering that training your dog to walk well on a loose leash takes patience and consistency. If you're not seeing positive results after a few months of implementing tips like the one suggested by Foley, we recommend reaching out to a professional trainer for support.  

For more helpful dog walking content, check out our guides to how often should I walk my dog and how far can a puppy walk.

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.