Loose Leash Walking: Acquiring the Position
- Leash compliance (responding to pressure on the lead)
- Moving with your dog
- Treat pouch
TRAINING ENVIRONMENT: Start in the least distracting (most boring) place in your home. A Hallway works well. You do not need your dog on a leash.
RECOMMENDED TREAT POSITION: In position (seam of your pants at your dog’s eye level)
- Hold your hands in a neutral position.
- Tell your dog “Let’s go!” in a happy voice.
- Hand your dog a treat.
- Repeat three times.
- You should see your dog react when he hears “Let’s go!” This tells you that you can go to the next step. Do not advance if you don’t get a reaction.
- With your dog directly in front of you, say “Let’s go!”
- Turn 180 degrees (about turn) clockwise (turn to you right away from your dog).
- While you walk pull one treat out of your pouch and keep it in your left hand in front of your body.
- Take a few steps (no more than five with a large dog, fewer with smaller dogs).
- Stop as you drop your hand and place the treat at eye level next to the seam of your pants on your left leg.
- Repeat this until your dog is following you on your left.
- Next, tell your dog “Let’s go!” and do your turn, but when you stop do not treat.
- Say “Let’s go!”
- Turn 180 degrees to your right.
- Walk 3-5 steps.
- Treat in position.
Repeat this until your dog is following you nicely on your left the whole way.
- Now, you will add another turn and steps.
- It will look like this:
- Let’s go!
- Let’s go!
- Let’s go!
- Treat in position
- When your dog is doing well with this, add another turn and steps before treating.
- Work up to five turn and steps.
- PUPPIES; Practice for five minutes, twice a day. Get as far as you can, but don’t push your puppy to frustration.
- DOGS: Work for ten minutes, three times a day.
AT THE END OF THIS STEP:
- Puppies should be following nicely for one to two turns when you say “Let’s go!”
- Dogs should be following you nicely on your left as you walk back and forth until the final treat at the end.
My dog wanders off.
- Determine if your treats are important enough to him to work. Try something extra special.
- Make sure your environment is free of distractions.
- Make sure you walk at a natural pace. Don’t slow down. You only need to treat when you get to the end.
- Make sure you are doing 180 degree turns and not gradual curves. Turning completely around abruptly keeps your dog paying attention to you.
My dog gets in front of me at the end.
- Make sure you have your treats ready in position when your dog arrives.
- Make sure you are treating in the correct position (even with the seam of your pants and your dog’s eye level).
- Try walking up to a wall or other barrier to keep your dog from getting in front of you when you stop.
- Try moving faster to keep your dog on his toes.