Planet K9's Basic Manners Course 
Walk on a loose leash


After walking your dog do you feel like you have been in an arm wrestle with Sylvester Stallone? Or did your dog bring you down to his level after tripping you when criss-crossing between your feet? 

The important thing is that when you take your dog out on a lead, you are the one who should be leading, not the other way around. 

Your dog can quickly learn his street smarts if you are in control. A walk can be a pleasant experience for both of you instead of a mobile tug of war. 


Let's start at the beginning with the basics for stepping outside.  You have a couple of options to get into gear with the right gear. Collar or harness?Use a good quality buckle up collar. Make sure it's not too tight. It's hard to walk when you're choking. You should be able to just squeeze two fingers between the collar and the neck, and your dog will need to have his council registration and other identification. 

Or there's a harness. Little dogs are best with a harness with a back clip for the lead. It takes the pressure off their necks. A harness with a chest clip for the lead suits larger, strong dogs. The front attach harness uses the dog's body weight against himself. If he strains too much the harness will turn him around. Head collars are suitable for very strong or boisterous adult dogs; they work by controlling the head and rest rest of the body follows. 

If you have a boisterous or strong dog, invest in a good quality lead. I have seen too many cheap leads simply break at the clip. Look for one that is double stitched along the length of the lead and has a bit of weight to it.

The solution to your leash pulling problem 

A reminder of the training steps for you. 

We want to tach your dog to walk on one side of you and not criss cross or pull. 

  1. Decide which side you prefer your dog to walk on 

  2. Hold the leash by the handle and step forward; if your dog is walking nicely beside you, praise and reward him with a treat. 

  3. If he pulls or crosses over stop and walk backwards until the leash becomes loose. Your timing is important.

  4. Repeat this many times in a small and familiar area (such as your driveway) until your dog understands that the quickest way to move forwards is by having a loose leash. You will know when he understands this because he will slow down just before he reaches the end of the leash or stops himself before he criss crossses in front of you. 

When you and your dog are out, he will often want to follow his nose literally. A dog's sense of smell is incredible; he uses it to see who's been in his neighbourhood. He too may want to leave a calling card. He might not be smelling the roses but to him those scents are even better. So be patient and give him a little time. A dog being dragged down the street by an impatient owner too busy to stop is a sad sight. 

Again, the key to making sure your dog learns a good new habit is consistency. The lessons themselves are not hard to practice, but it's up to you to do them regularly and be consistent.

After all when you and your dog head outside it should be a walk in the park.

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