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How To Leash Train a Dog

Training your dog to walk on a leash involves several steps, including choosing the right equipment, using effective methods, and creating the perfect environment for training. With a consistent approach, your dog can become comfortable walking on a leash. Here’s how to do it.

Why Is Leash Training a Dog Important?

Leash training provides both exercise and mental stimulation for your dog. It also keeps your dog safe in public spaces and is legally required in many places. A well-trained dog on a leash can prevent leash reactivity and ensure enjoyable walks for both you and your pet.

How To Train Your Dog To Walk on a Leash

1. Build Your Relationship A strong relationship with your dog is the foundation of successful leash training. Consistency, predictability, and positive reinforcement help your dog feel secure and reduce negative emotions.

2. Get the Right Gear

  • Harness: Opt for a well-designed harness. A back-clip harness is good for dogs that don’t pull, while a dual-clip harness with a training lead is better for dogs that do.

  • Leash: Use a non-retractable leash of appropriate length. A 10-foot leash is suitable for small dogs, while larger dogs may benefit from a 20- or 30-foot leash.

  • Treat Bag: A multi-pouch treat bag that can hold treats, poop bags, your phone, and keys keeps you organized.

  • Marker: Use a clicker or a word like “yes” to mark when your dog completes the desired behavior.

3. Set Up Your Training Environment Start in a safe, distraction-free environment like your home or backyard. Gradually move to quiet areas away from home.

4. Start Off-Leash Begin in a familiar space without the leash. Place a treat on the ground and let your dog come to you. Slowly start walking and mark the behavior when your dog walks beside you. Gradually increase the number of steps before marking and feeding.

5. Introduce the Leash and Harness Get your dog accustomed to the harness and leash. Pair the gear with treats and let your dog wear it for short periods while eating treats or playing.

6. Practice Walking With the Harness and Leash Repeat the off-leash steps while your dog wears the harness and leash. Practice leaving your home calmly, as exiting can be exciting for dogs.

7. Practice Away From Home In a distraction-free area, let your dog explore on a long leash. After some exploration, get their attention and place a treat on the ground. Mark and feed for walking beside you, then release them to explore again. Continue this pattern during your walks.

Tips for Leash Training a Dog

  • Play with your dog before training to reduce excess energy.

  • Use high-value treats to capture your dog’s attention.

  • Allow your dog to set the pace and direction on some walks.

  • Longer leashes can reduce pulling by providing a sense of freedom.

  • Reinforce your dog’s attention on you during walks.

What To Do If Your Dog Pulls on the Leash Avoid yelling or yanking the leash. Instead, stop walking and wait for the tension to ease, then reward your dog. Walk in the opposite direction or ask your dog to sit before continuing.

With consistency and positive reinforcement, leash training can be an enjoyable experience for both you and your dog. Remember, patience and persistence are key to success. For more tips and products, visit

Dog on a leash
Dog on a leash


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