Walking your dog is a way for you to bond, relax and even get some exercise along the way! However, an un-trained dog may have the ability to pull you which will make for a not so enjoyable experience. Unfortunately, when walks are frustrating, usually the consequence is that we tend to walk our dogs less. This is a recipe for disaster as it creates boredom and a very sad and anxious dog! We are excited to tell you about different types of leash walking to train dogs that pull.
- Loose Leash – Think of a loose leash as a “smile”. The leash hangs from your dog’s harness or collar and swoops down before coming up to meet the other end in your hand. There is no tension on the leash which essentially means no pulling. This is a great style of walking as it teaches your dog to remain within a four-to-five-foot distance of you while on a walk. You can begin practicing loose leash walking in the house away from any chaos and distractions.
- Heeling – Heeling is a much more structured way to walk your four-legged friend. When your dog “heels”, they are walking directly to your side, matching your pace with theirs. They walk when you walk and stop when you stop. This is the best technique to use while you are in tight places. Be sure that you add the heel cue along the way so that your dog can associate the command accordingly.
- Proactive Leash – This method gives your dog space and freedom to learn and use their innate body language to work through potentially scary situations. It encourages your dog to use their natural skills to work through stressful situations in a safe way.
These three ways to walk your dog will make your walks with your dog less stressful and more enjoyable! When a dog is well-exercised, they are more calm, happier, less anxious, and not as destructive. If you find that your leash training techniques are not going well, you may enroll your pup in a professional training program to get them up to speed!