Updated: Apr 15
We all have seen the neighbor (or been the neighbor!) who gets "walked" by their dog. If that is you, here are 7 simple things you can do that will help you to be able to walk around your neighborhood, hiking trails, or the park without being dragged wherever your dog wants to take you.
The walk begins long before you ever leave the house. Does your dog jump around and get excited as soon as you pick up the leash? Before putting on leash or harness, get yourself ready. Do you have treats to "pay" with? Do you have "money" (treats) she can understand? (The higher value to the dog, the better!)
Once you have your "payment" ready, ask for attention. This may take a moment, as walks are very exciting for most pups. Once you have their attention, ask for a skill they are very good at 5 times. This gets them in the mood to listen. Pay for every successful trick.
After they do 5 in a row, say "Let's go" and walk out of the house together.
When you are about 5 feet from the door, stop with your leash hand in your pocket so it can't be pulled. Call your puppy back to you. Again, be patient and only say their name ONE time. Then wait.
As soon as the tension comes off your leash, say "Yes!" and reward. If you have to walk to them it is ok, as at the start of training they may not come all the way back to you. Meet them where they are and reward.
Continue to ask for attention throughout your walk, leaving your leash hand in your pocket so have a chance to learn where their leash ends.
MOST OF ALL KEEP CALM AND TRAIN THE DOG! Keep practicing until you and your dog can walk nicely together.