Want your dog to pay attention to you when you're on a walk? Here's how one trainer does it...

Dog walking next to owner
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Disclaimer: Unless specifically stated, any expert comments quoted in this news piece have been taken directly from the video cited below.

Whether you're looking for ways to get your dog to come back to you on off leash walks or you're wanting them to walk well alongside you, figuring out how to boost your dog's obedience is likely high on your priority list. 

Difficulty with leash walking and core distractions is one of the biggest issues Alex Sessa, an expert trainer and founder of Peach on a Leash, faces with her clients.

But the good news is, there is a solution.

There are plenty of ways to have more fun with your dog on walks while at the same time making sure their attention stays on you — and according to Sessa, it all comes down to engagement.

Keep reading to find out more...

Sessa explains that when it comes to having an obedient dog on a walk, you have to become the most interesting thing outside.

She says this means: 

  • No phones or other human distractions on walks
  • Praise and make regular eye contact with your dog
  • Use HIGH-VALUE rewards outdoors. Regular training treats or kibble aren’t going to cut it for this.

"I challenge you to get outside with your dogs (starting in a low-distraction environment like a yard or driveway) and practice rewarding eye contact and engaging with your dog," says Sessa.

Dogs will always move towards things they find interesting and away from things that they don't.

In busy environments with so many new sights, smells, and sounds, it's imperative that you become more interesting to your dog than all the other things that are trying to capture their attention.

By staying engaged with your dog, you capture their attention and make it almost impossible for anything else to compete with you. 

So, whether you're wanting to avoid the most common loose leash walking mistakes or improve your dog's recall, try putting away your phone and praising and rewarding your dog for making eye contact.

It might just make those daily strolls more fun for both of you!

Tricky Trainers Treats | Amazon.com

Tricky Trainers Treats | Amazon.com

These high-value treats come in a range of irresistible flavors to keep dogs’ attention. They’re low in calories, while being deliciously soft and chewy texture. 

Vital Essentials Freeze Dried Dog Treats | Amazon.com

Vital Essentials Freeze Dried Dog Treats | Amazon.com

Made from whole animal protein from muscle, organs and bone marrow, these high-value treats deliver lean, strong muscles and energy, support digestive health, and clean teeth and gums, too.

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.