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We all dream about having a dog that we can put a leash on and go for a relaxing walk. We envision it as being a wonderful experience for both us and our dog. For most dog owners, this is not what happens. Unfortunately, most dogs don’t automatically walk on a loose leash. It takes lots of patience and training, but it can happen. Teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash is easy with our simple tips. In this article, we will share 6 easy tips so you can start enjoying walks with your dog.

How To Walk Your Dog On A Loose Leash

1. Keep The Walk Casual

Having your dog heel at your side for an entire walk just isn’t realistic for most dog owners. It is still a good skill to teach your dog as it can come in handy in certain situations. For example, if you want your dog to walk past a distraction, have him heel while looking at you. This way, he will be focused on you and he may not even notice what is going on around him.

Dogs do need some time to potty and sniff, as long as it’s under control. For your daily walk, walking on a loose leash is more enjoyable for your dog. He gets to explore the area, which provides some mental stimulation for him.

2. Walk In A Familiar Area

When you are first teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash, you should walk him in a familiar area. Your dog is less likely to get distracted if he’s in an area that he is already used to. To keep your dog close to you, have a pocket full of his favorite treats cut up into small bite size pieces.

3. Reward Your Dog

When you are training your dog on something new, it is important to let him know when he’s doing a good job. When your dog is walking by your side and the leash is loose, say “yes” and give him a treat. Keep repeating this for every step that your dog takes at your side. Eventually, you can increase the number of steps your dog takes before he gets a treat but at first, you will need to reward him quite frequently. It won’t take your dog long to figure out that walking beside you is the best place to be.

4. Keep Training Sessions Short

To prevent your dog from becoming bored, keep your training sessions short. If your dog isn’t focused and doesn’t seem interested in training, stop the training session and try again later. For successful training sessions, keep your training time to 10 to 15 minutes long.

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5. Encourage Your Dog

Don’t forget to give your dog encouragement. If your dog gets out of position, encourage him to walk by your side. Pat your leg and say “with me”. If your dog starts pulling on the leash, stop walking. This will surprise your dog and he will eventually come back to see what you are doing. This will help to get your dog back into the proper position close to your side. Once your dog is walking at your side again and not pulling, reward him with a tasty treat.

6. Give Your Dog Some Sniffing And Potty Time

It’s important to provide your dog with some time to sniff and go potty when you’re out on a walk. You will decide when this time will be. Teaching your dog a command to go potty will come in very handy when you are in a hurry or the weather is bad. On your walks, give the command “go pee”. When your dog hears “go pee” he will soon realize that this is his opportunity to explore and find the perfect potty place. If your dog starts pulling on the leash to sniff, end the break. Get your dog back into the position close to your side and then try again to give him a sniffing break after he has been successfully walking at your side.

Final Thoughts

Like any training, it will take time for your dog to learn what you expect of him. Once your dog has mastered walking on a loose leash in a familiar area, it’s time to move on to less familiar or new areas. Start back at the beginning step if you need to. Always praise your dog when he is walking in the correct position by your side. Be consistent. Walking on a loose leash can take time but it’s worth the effort in the long run. Eventually, you and your dog will both look forward to your walks together.

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