How to Leash Train Dogs

Walking puppies on leash
A Lok / Flickr

Seeing well-trained dogs walking faithfully alongside their humans is always an awesome sight. Which brings us to our point, no matter how big or small, dogs require exercise. Walking can be quite a task when your dog isn’t trained properly to follow on a leash. Not all dogs start with good walking behavior. Each dog needs a bit of training before it learns to walk calmly beside you.

The goals are:

  • Your dog learns to go for a walk without rushing or barking at other dogs, people, or things.
  • Your dog walks right next to you without stopping to explore every little thing that it sniffs.
  • A dog that’s well-trained and makes for a pleasant walking companion.

Below are some steps to help you train your dog to be on its best manners every time you put its leash on.

Pick the Best and Most Suitable Gear

Golden Retriever puppy
Ccho / Flickr

Two key things you’ll need before you can go for a walk with your dog are a leash and collar (some use harnesses). For more effective leash training, you have to get the best-suited equipment for your pup.

  • For beginner training, it’s best to pick a standard leash. Try about six feet in length. A lot of professionals agree with this. It’s more effective to train your dog on a leash that allows for a limited range. Retractable leashes are better used when your dog has learned good behavior with a short one.
  • There are many types of collars. Some are designed specifically for distinct breeds and their behaviors.
  • This is also another option. Harnesses work well for certain types of dogs. Some experts say that they work well with certain young pups.

It’s best to seek a vet or professional’s advice for picking which of this equipment will work well with your type of dog.

Make It a Pleasant Experience

Sometimes putting a collar, harness, or leash on your young pup for the first time can be stressful for it. Do your best to make sure this experience is fun and stress-free for the pup. When done the wrong way, your pup might resist and wriggle every time you try and put its equipment on.

Cute dog on leash
Scott 97006 / Flickr

To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, make sure you reward your pup with treats and pats while you put the equipment on it. Start initial training by walking your dog around the house with the gear on. Make it a fun time and your dog will learn that the equipment means positive things and love.

Do this every time you take your pet dog out for a walk as this will continue to build its trust and love for leash time.

Train Your Pup to Stop Pulling ASAP

Walking a dog that continually pulls the leash can be a tiresome experience. Pulling can be annoying if you have a small dog or quite hard if you have a larger breed. So, it is always best to consistently address this behavior early.

Dogs pull for a whole bunch of reasons. They may just be excited, curious, or scared. They tug and pull when their senses pick up something that they want to explore.

Labrador puppy leash training
Trushar Mistry / Flickr

Most experts advise that when your dog starts pulling, you ought to firmly stand your ground. And will them back until they stop. Doing this instills in them that they can’t direct you where to go.

Yes, this method may prove harder for larger dog breeds. But there are collars and harnesses designed to help with big dogs.

Avert Its Attention When It Lunges or Barks

Lunging and barking at other dogs, animals, or people also need addressing immediately. These can be quite annoying not only for you but also for the people in your neighborhood.

The best way to deal with this behavior is to avert and redirect your pup’s attention. And to reward your dog when it sits calmly next to you.

Do not try to drag your pup away while it’s lunging or barking as this might boost the dog’s aggressive behavior. Always be calm while dealing with this as your dog can feel your emotions. And being nervous or worried will only encourage their behavior.

Pit Bull puppy on leash
Bennilover / Flickr

Remain as calm as you can and attempt to avert their attention towards you with treats. Get your dog to sit and calm down before rewarding it with treats. Do not reward your pup before it sits or comes to you as this might seem as if you’re rewarding the dog’s bad behavior.

Always make sure to maintain a safe distance between your dog and the things that get it riled up. Don’t let your pup greet other dogs yet until the pup has calmed down. Rewarding your pup teaches it that it’s best to stick close to you and remain calm in such scenarios.

Don’t avoid such scenarios as well. Because your dog will only learn by repetition. Take it out for regular walks. And slowly try to introduce your pet to other curious things.


The key to a well-behaved dog is to start training it early. It is also important to train yourself on how to deal with your dog’s different types of behaviors. Seek advice on how to best deal with and train your pup on certain issues.

So, there you go. Enjoy a pleasant walking and leash training experience. Achieve this by being patient and consistent with your little pup. Sooner or later, you two will be walking smoothly and without hassle.


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