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Leash Training Basics

Many cities now have leash laws.  This prevents dogs from running around unsupervised and generally can result in a fine to owners that violate these terms.  A puppy or dog that is leash trained allows the dog owner to be able to conduct outing with the dog.  It is against a dog’s nature for it to be on a leash, and this is something that must be enforced during training.  Dogs would prefer to go outside without a leash so that they can be free to roam and run.
When a dog owner leash trains their dog they are teaching them what is acceptable behavior during an outing.  It is important to establish the guidelines of what you are expecting from your dog as you train it to adjust to walking on a leash.  Fighting with your dog, jerking his or her neck or even using a harsh or loud voice will only confuse the dog and will lead to more problems rather than correcting the problem. Make sure to be patient and consistent with your demands during this crucial stage of training.
Start by getting your dog use to the collar and leash.  Try to keep the leash away from dogs during playtime and discourage them from biting or trying to play tug-of-war with the leash as they walk on it.  Use a firm tone and say “no” if this situation occurs.  Sometimes it can be helpful to distract a dog with a toy while you initially train it to walk with a leash.  By providing this guidance the dog will earn that the leash is not be played with.  Eventually, with successful training, a dog will learn to associate a leash with going for a walk, to the park, or on a run and will get excited when it sees a leash being picked up.
Begin leash training with a regular six or eight foot leash, not a retractable leash or a really long lunge type leash.  Instruct your dog to sit beside you as you attach the leash to the animal’s collar. The leash should be secure in your hand but not tight or tense against the collar. The leash can rest in your hand without any tension applied, until needed. It is used only to set boundaries, not to drag or limit the dog’s movement.
To start walking with the leash, take a step and say “Let’s Go” or call out the word “Forward.”  In most cases the dog will immediately get up and move with you, if he or she doesn’t keep moving but do not drag the dog forward.  Make sure to keep some tension in the leash as you initially start to walk with the dog.  Once your dog has learned the basics you can begin to let the dog have some slack on their leash.  Releasing the tension on the leash makes the dog feel more comfortable and reinforces that it is correctly walking on the leash. 

When a dog tries to run ahead or heads off in another direction, simply change directions and keep moving. This will help to guide the dog towards you and will also be your cue to release the tension.  Do not tug or jerk hard on the leash.  Allow the dog to learn to stay close to you.  It also ensures that the dog has learned to be on a leash and has understood your commands; try changing you’re walking directions in a random pattern until the dog figures out where to go. This helps the dog to get the hang of walking on the leash and will result in a well trained dog that you can take for walks anywhere.

Article by Kelly Marshall of www.ohmydogsupplies.com, your top spot to purchase unique designer dog clothes online.

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