It is important to teach your dog to walk on a leash while they are still young. If your dog walks correctly while on a leash, walks will become relaxing and fun both for you and for your dog.
Here is some advice for teaching your dog to walk on a leash.
Before walking your dog on a leash
It is best to train your dog in a quiet place in order to avoid extra difficulties that will complicate the process from the start. Noises from the road can bother your dog and may even scare them. When your dog understands how to walk on a leash you will be able to walk in more noisy areas but in the mean time, choose calmer areas.
You can use a leash adapted to dogs, one which is both long and light. The shorter the leash is, the more your dog will want to pull at it, testing your strength and endurance. For the beginning of training, do not use retractable leashes as you should be able to feel your dog at the end of the leash. They should aslo be able to feel you.
The position of your dog
If you wish to have your dog on your left, hold the leash in your right hand in order to be able to pat your dog when they complete the excercise correctly. In the opposite case, use your right hand.
Once you have chosen a side, do not change it as this will confuse your dog, who will not know how to place themselves around you. The leash should not be taut. This will help you tug gently when you wish to bring your dog towards you.
Encourage your dog
For the first excursions, arm yourself with some treats. They will be useful for rewarding your dog when they walk in the correct position.
Congratulate your dog each time that they obey you. When you tell them 'heel' and they come to you, give them a treat or pat to reward them.
It is important to say 'good dog' or very good' when they behave correctly.
You should not punish your dog or pull them when they refuse to move. In order to train a dog you need to be gentle and increase the difficulty very slowly.
Practice often throughout the day
Go for a walk two or three times a day, presenting the walk as a game.
The walks on a leash need to be short but repeated. You can practice this when you take them out to relieve themselves, for example. The best way to train a dog is through repetition.
Does your dog walk well on a leash?