Some people might think that dogs take naturally to walking on a leash. They may see their neighbors walking contentedly along, with their faithful pooch by their side. The truth is, dogs have to be taught to properly walk on a leash. Their nature is to run wild, chase, and hunt. Walking on a leash goes against all those instincts. This means that if you have a new puppy, one of the most important and sometimes difficult skills to teach him is to properly and safely walk on a leash. A local dog walking company in Chicago, IL may be able to help, but there is some work you will need to do on your own.
Introduction to the Leash
Start off by introducing your pup to the concept of wearing a collar and leash before your first official walk. Place the equipment on her and let her loose in the house while getting used to having it on. During this time, give her treats and play with her so that she associates having the leash to having fun as well. Much of the issues with walking on a leash come from the dog disliking that they are being restrained. By having fun with her, she will be more relaxed and even excited about putting it on going forward.
Use a Signal
As with teaching many skills, have a signal that tells the dog when a reward is coming. Many people use a click, or a key word such as “good” or “yes”. You should also tell your local dog walking company this signal for when they take your dog. Make the sound, and if your dog turns towards you, give the reward. They will soon start coming to you every time you make that sound or say the word.
Train Him To Come
As your pup starts moving toward you, back up a bit so they have to walk a bit farther. Reward him and repeat the exercise. Dogs have naturally short attention spans, so make sure that each repetition is quick, and that each overall session does not last too long.
Practice Makes Perfect
Once your pooch has figured out how to properly come when called, you can move on to practicing dog walking indoors. Keep the leash on, and stroll around the room. If the dog stays by your side for a few seconds, reward her. Repeat this several times so that it can get ingrained that staying by your side means getting a reward.
Now it is time to try out your puppy’s new skills in the real world. There will be many distractions, such as new smells, sounds, and other dogs walking by. As you walk, if you notice your pooch about to do something you don’t want her to do, make your signal sound and move slightly away from her to make her come to you. Reward her at that point. This will cement it into her brain that while there are lots of interesting things to see and smell, sticking with you will get more treats.
Dog walking on a leash isn’t something that comes naturally to puppies. You must work with them to get them to know how to behave properly. A local dog walking company will tell you that all that work and dedication will pay off when your dog is walking calmly by your side every day.