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    25 - Teach walking on a leash

    25 - Teach walking on a leash

    A dog’s natural movement is usually much faster than human walking pace so unless you teach your dog to walk slowly and in balance he may find it difficult to walk without leaning into the leash.

    Dogs are not machines. They can easily lose focus and balance when excited by the environment or a new distraction and thus rush forward to the end of their leash. If the owner rewards by following it is hardly surprising that the dog drops all his weight into the leash and drags them along; it takes two to maintain a pull.

    1. With your dog on a short leash, stand still and take a step back with the leg nearest to him. Use your hand target skills (way 24) to encourage your dog to come back to you and do a U-turn in the direction of the leg you have dropped back.

    Marie takes a step back and encourages Cookie to do a U-turn

    2. Move your leg forward again. Click and treat as the dog moves into the correct position.

    Dogs can easily out-walk a human so Sarah uses a clicker to teach Cookie to slow down and focus on her

    3. Keep his attention by asking him to hand target until the distraction has passed. The ultimate aim is to teach your dog to be relaxed and confident enough to be able to walk with you on a loose leash.

    Marie clicks when Cookie is in the correct position and rewards her


    Until your dog is skilled at loose leash walking you may find it helpful to use a double-clipped leash attached to a harness and  at collar, or the balance leash (see way 26).

    From 100 Ways to Train the Perfect Dog, Copyright by Sarah Fisher, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with D & C

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