How Do I Train My Dog To Like The Leash?

Posted: December 1, 2014 in My Phiosophy On Dog Training
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It’s not that hard to train your dog to like the leash.

First let me start by saying that your dog was not born with a collar and leash, so it is perfectly understandable that he or she is going to react to this new experience with some concern.

If not done properly it can be very dramatic for both you and your furry faced friend.

I have seen dogs buck and jump, bite at the leash, pull and squirm trying to get that alien contraption off their neck. I have even seen them just lie down and scream bloody murder.

Some just shut down and refuse to move a muscle.

You see to your dog, a leash and collar means the end of their freedom, so it is only natural that they will protest.

If this has been your experience then I am happy you found my post today. I am going to break it down for you so that your dog will form positive associations with the leash from the very first time you clip it on.

Let me show you step by step how easy it can be to train your dog to like the leash.

Start in the house

The first thing you want to do is make the leash a fun and rewarding thing for your dog. I accomplish this by putting a little peanut butter on the clip end of the leash. ( dogs and puppies love the peanut butter)

Next call your dog to come to you..don’t go to them, you want them to get used to coming to you when you call. If your dog hesitates a little and roams around some don’t be to concerned with that, just keep encouraging them with high-pitched happy tones, and soon enough they will smell the peanut butter and come to see what that wonderful smell is.

When your dog gets to you take his collar in your free hand and let him or her lick the peanut butter off the clip end of the leash.

By holding onto the collar you are conditioning your dog to be comfortable with you taking hold of his collar, something you will no doubt do many times in the up coming years.

Hold the collar while poochy gets all the peanut butter, and when he is finished..don’t try to clip the leash on, just release the collar and tell him to go play.

Give him 10 minutes or so and then repeat this process, but this time as he finishes the tasty treat, without making any fuss or saying a word, and while still holding his collar, clip the leash to his collar.

Drop the leash on the floor, let go of his collar and tell him to go play.

For the next 10 minutes you will need to supervise your dog as he moves around the house dragging the leash with him. You will want to make sure he don’t get snagged on something or it will cause the leash to get tight and your puppy or dog is most likely to freak out.

Avoid this at all cost.

After the ten minutes is up, with scooby snack in hand call your dog to come to you, take his collar in your hand and give him the snack, and unclip the leash..then release him to go and play.

Now the next time you practice this exercise, every so often reach down and pick up the leash, don’t pull on it or put any expectations on your dog to perform, not just yet. Just pick it up and drop it. Say something like “good dog” and give him a rub on the head, or a scratch on the ears.

Remember to make everything about having the leash on a good experience for your dog.

Positive, and rewarding association with the leash is what you are striving for.

Now the dog has began to like the leash, it means that good things are coming.

It is now time to put a little pressure on the leash when you pick it up, nothing that will confuse the dog, just a little tug, or slight pressure.

Reinforce the positive association with a snack or with verbal praise.

Once the dog is comfortable with you picking up the leash and applying pressure, it is time to start walking your dog around the house, use the furniture as obstacles to help your dog to pay attention to you and get used to moving in different directions as you lead them with the leash.

Every so often stop and have your dog sit, and give him a food reward, then move on with the exercise.

It is important to not jerk the leash or attempt to correct the dog with high levels of pressure. If your dog wants to go one way and you want to go the other, just stop, and when the dog turns and looks at you then simply move in the direction you want to go. Your dog will follow you.

Well that’s it in a nut shell, this is the easiest way that I know of to train your dog to learn to like the leash. If you have comments or questions just leave them in the section below.

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You can find my page here..  River Valley Dog Training

all the best.


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