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  • April Schrader, CPDT-KA

A Dog Owner's Guide to Loose Leash Walking

Taking your dog for a walk should be a pleasant and relaxing experience for both you and your furry friend. However, if your dog constantly pulls on the leash, it can turn a leisurely stroll into a frustrating struggle. The good news is that teaching your dog loose leash walking is achievable with the right techniques and consistent practice. In this blog, we'll explore effective methods, including capturing loose leash walking and the all-or-nothing approach, to help you and your dog enjoy peaceful walks together.

Understanding Loose Leash Walking:


Loose leash walking refers to the desirable behavior of your dog walking calmly beside you with a slight slack in the leash. It allows for a comfortable and enjoyable experience, giving both you and your dog the freedom to explore while maintaining control and safety.


Capturing Loose Leash Walking:


Capturing is a positive reinforcement technique that focuses on rewarding and reinforcing the desired behavior. To capture loose leash walking, follow these steps:

  1. Start inside in a quiet, low-distraction environment, you do not need a lot of space.

  2. Hold the leash with a relaxed grip and maintain a consistent pace.

  3. When your dog naturally walks beside you with a loose leash, immediately click and reward them with a high value treat.

  4. Repeat this process, reinforcing the behavior whenever your dog walks without pulling.

  5. Gradually increase the difficulty by introducing distractions or moving to busier environments such as your back yard or a calm park.

All-or-Nothing Exercise:


All-or-nothing is an effective technique that teaches your dog that pulling on the leash leads to a complete stop in movement.


Here's how to implement this approach:

  1. First your dog must be able to reliably offer direct eye contact and sits naturally, without being cued or prompted. Once your dog can offer those two behaviors, you can start this exercise.

  2. Start with your dog on a 6 foot leash and harness, take one steps forward and stop completely.

  3. The moment your dog releases tension on the leash, sits down, and gives you direct eye contact click your clicker and feed your dog a high value treat.

  4. Take one step forward and stop again, repeat the process of stopping and waiting for their attention. Until your dog is reliable with the behavior.

  5. Once your dog is reliable with this exercise you will begin to add steps one at a time until you can take 10 steps without your dog pulling.

  6. Consistency is key. Be patient and persistent, repeating the process until your dog understands that pulling on the leash results in a lack of progress.

Tips for Success:

  1. Use high-value treats during training sessions to keep your dog motivated and engaged.

  2. Always start inside of your house when teaching new behaviors

  3. Once reliable practice in different environments to help your dog generalize the behavior.

  4. Be consistent with your expectations and reward only when your dog maintains a loose leash.

  5. Make sure you stop walking every time your dog pulls on leash

  6. Keep training sessions short, frequent, and positive to prevent frustration or exhaustion.

Conclusion:


Teaching your dog loose leash walking requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. By employing techniques like capturing loose leash walking and the all-or-nothing exercise, you can help your dog understand the desired behavior and enjoy stress-free walks together. Remember, the key is to be consistent, provide clear communication, and celebrate every small step towards loose leash walking success.


Are you ready to transform your walks with your furry companion? Take the first step towards mastering loose leash walking today! If you have any questions or need further guidance, don't hesitate to reach out to us at jeff@bestbuddydogtrainer.com or give us a call/text at 301-231-1907. Happy walking!

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Why do dogs pull on leash?

Simple. They want to get somewhere and you do not walk as fast as the dog walks. There are plenty of other reasons your dog wants to go somewhere other than where you are such as, to chase a squirrel,

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