We understand that loose leash walking can take much practice. It is important to stay committed with your dog training. Salt Lake City has awesome on-leash parks to walk your dogs. Liberty Park and Sugarhouse Park are a few examples. As a result, training your dog to walk calmly on the leash is a priority for many of our Salt Lake City dog training clients.
Let’s start with the reason why your dog pulls on the leash. Your dog wants to move forward, and you keep walking forward when the leash is tight. As a result, your dog is getting rewarded for pulling on the leash. Pulling on the leash works well for your dog, and therefore, he continues to pull. To create more obedience with leash walking you need to change the consequence for when the leash is tight and the consequence for when the leash is loose.
A simple method to create on-leash obedience is to change directions when your dog pulls on the leash. Imagine that your dog is pulling on the leash in one direction and you turn around to go in the opposite direction. As a result, your dog no longer gets to go in the direction he wanted. He will learn that if he pulls on the leash you will turn around and walk the other way. If your dog walks with a loose leash, your job is to be consistent with continually walking in that same direction. Your dog then learns that if the leash is loose, he will get to continually move in the direction of his choice.
We would love to support you in creating loose leash walking with your dog. We have an upcoming Sophomore Obedience Loose Leash Walking Course that focuses on creating loose leash walking with distractions at on-leash dog parks. If our course isn’t a match for you, there are many other dog trainers. Salt Lake CIty has many positive dog training choices.
Your Turn! We want to hear from you in a comment below.
Have you attempted changing directions before to train loose leash walking? If yes, how has it worked for you? If no, please attempt this method and post any questions below.
Johanna Teresi, Professional Trainer and Owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC, Dog Training, Salt Lake City