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How to teach your dog to walk on a lead

Posted by Emily Harris on
How to teach your dog to walk on a lead

Whether you have a new pup to train or an old dog that just won't stop pulling, lead walking can be a dark art to master. When it comes to training your pooch it's all about building a strong bond. The more time you dedicate and the effort you invest will produce far greater results. But surely there's more to it than that you say? Yes unfortunately there is...

Now a little disclaimer from us, here at Wildbarc we are NOT dog trainers or behaviourists but we do strive to pass on the best knowledge from the real experts. Therefore in our blogs you'll find plenty of links to more advice. We do of course have our little tornado, Lola, so we'll impart our experience with her and hopefully we can all come together as dog lovers and share our experiences. Plus we make the perfect dog lead for a puller so this seems a good blog to write! 

Before you begin 

Walking your dog on a lead is essentially training your dog to walk by your side. It's a good skill for you and your dog to learn whilst ensuring walks with your dog are always safe and enjoyable for both of you. Plus it also encourages your dog to give you their attention so you are in control of the walk. 

Where to start? 

It all starts with the right equipment. Depending on the stage of your training, you may have tried a series of different methods. Harnesses, collars, slip leads, the list is endless. The main tip is go with whats right for your dog. We tried a whole host of different harnesses and leads with Lola but the main factor to remember is it has to be comfortable and safe for both you and your dog. 

Shameless plug: Wildbarc leads are without a doubt one of the strongest leads you can get. With a 12kn carabiner means the carabiner alone can hold 2600 lbs. I'm not sure I know a dog that heavy and then on top of that each lead is made from a minimum of 9mm climbing rope, rope that is designed to hold a human falling off a cliff. So yeah, pretty strong for even the toughest of pullers. 

Wildbarc top tips 

  1. TREATS!!! Our biggest top tip for lead walking aside from a strong durable dog lead is high-value treats! Lola will do all the tricks in her portfolio for a chunk of cheese.
  2. Patience. Your dog is not going to understand straight away, although clever little furballs they need some time to learn and that's ok, keep with it, the more time you put in the better the outcome.
  3. Distraction. Use those high value dog treats and when you see an obstacle coming, or a chance for your dog to be excited, distract them to get their attention and bring them back to your heel. 
  4. Consistency. This is key. keep a routine and stick to one training method. By chopping and changing you'll only confuse your dog and thats not going to help anyone. 

Lola as a border collie (from a working background) has unbelievable herding instincts and we are continually working on her lead walking skills. It's vital we keep this up, becuase of course we don't want to be caught short when walking by a field of sheep. 

We aren't dog handling professionals and neither are we training experts here at Wildbarc but you know who are? Battersea, so to learn more about how to walk your dog on a lead check out this blog from Battersea.

Thanks for reading and feel free to DM us on our Instagram with your top tips for doggy walks :)

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