Trainer shares secret to stress-free walks with your dog, and it all comes down to how you position them

Person walking a dog on a leash
(Image credit: Getty)

Did you know that walking your dog is a great time to work on your relationship with them? It’s true! According to expert trainer Andrea Isabell, it’s one of the most impactful places to grow your connection — and getting the basics right can result in a walk that’s calm, happy, and stress-free.

As pet parents, we often make some common loose leash walking mistakes that can leave us dreading our daily walk with our fur friend. But according to Isabell, there’s a simple thing you can do to help put the enjoyment back in that time together and deepen your bond in the process.

In a video shared to Instagram, Isabell reveals the importance of positioning and how you can best use it to your advantage to avoid getting into a power struggle with your pup. You can check out the clip below, or read on for a summary of everything you need to know.

“There are two positions on the walk, lead or follow,” explains Isabell. “As a relationship based dog trainer, I coach my owners to lead their dog, and how to teach their dog to follow. The value of doing this is that it rebuilds your relationship through providing guidance and direction, in particular for dogs struggling with reactivity, separation anxiety, general anxiety, or pushiness.”

Isabell says that arguing with your dog when you’re out on a walk by constantly pulling on their leash to get them to move in the direction you want them to is no fun for anyone. Instead, she advocates the adoption of simple yet effective training techniques.

“During your walk, instead of having a constant tug of war to keep your dog beside, take your time and build connection by doing direction changes, pace changes, or as shown in this video, dropping back and resetting. Have fun!”

If you find that after several months of working with your dog on their walking etiquette that they’re still struggling to follow you, we recommend reaching out to a professional trainer for some 1:1 support.

For more great canine training tips, be sure to check out our guide to how to calm a reactive dog

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.