To walk while leashed is one of the most important obedience concepts a dog should learn. Yes, it’s fun for both dog and owner to be out on a walk, letting the dog explore and roam, but that’s not always the optimal scenario. In many scenarios, there are safety concerns for both you and your dog to be considerate of, and even the best-behaved pooch should always be under the responsible care and guidance of his or her owner. A dog under control, who fully understands the rules by which he or she is supposed to obey, is a happy dog. But even the best-behaved dog may not adhere to the rules when a squirrel unexpectedly jumps from a tree and darts across the road, or when they notice another dog who appears eager to play. That’s where the leash becomes important. A dog on a leash is a dog who won’t get run over by a car. And there are challenges to leash training, especially when it comes to control. A dog who constantly pulls at the leash while walking is not a dog under control.
First, teach the dog that there are limits on the leash. He or she is not able to walk either too far in front of or lag to far behind. Teaching heel can be a challenge, especially when the dog is older and accustomed to certain behaviors. The proper heeling position is with the dog’s head parallel to his or her owner’s knee; he or she should try to keep that position even when he or she changes speeds. And heeling won’t happen overnight. It takes considerable practice for a dog and owner to be perfectly in sync, but don’t give up.
Both you and your dog will be happier with leash training, and overall general obedience. Remember to keep at it, even when the dog isn’t understanding what you want. Simplify the tasks until he or she gets it.