How to Train Your Dog to Walk on Lead

Nov 9, 2023 | Dog Training Tips

How to train your dog to walk on lead. image featuring a dog with a trainer, both are outdoors in a park setting.

Understanding the Importance of Lead Training

How to train your dog to walk on lead is an important skill for any dog owner to master. It not only makes walks more enjoyable for both you and your dog, but it also ensures their safety while out and about. Lead training can be challenging for both dog and owner. Our dogs did not evolve to have their behaviour impinged on by being confined on lead so it is crucial we adequately train and socialise our dogs to these conditions, ideally early in their development.


Effective Lead Training for Dogs

Read on and we will provide helpful tips and techniques for how to train your dog to walk on lead and practice walking manners. We’ll cover everything from choosing the right lead to mastering effective lead training methods such as positive reinforcement and loose lead walking.

Training your dog to walk on a lead is essential, not only for their safety but for their overall protection. Proper lead training develops the bond between you and your dog, creating a positive walking experience for both the pet and owner.

Lead training for dogs is an important part of dog training, teaching dogs to walk on a leash not only keeps them safe from traffic and other hazards but also prevents them from running away from you.

It’s crucial to teach your dog to walk on a lead from an early age. Ideally during their critical period for development (3-16 weeks) but it can be achieved with any dog at any point in their lives.

A professional dog trainer demonstrating how to train a dog to walk on a lead.

The Advantages of Lead Training for Dogs

A well-trained dog that walks on a lead is under control and less likely to get into accidents or cause them. Training ensures their safety and protection and also makes them more sociable around people and other dogs.

Think about the world from their perspective; they are instinctual, amygdala centric beings. When faced with a threatening situation, they may “fight” or “flight”. Due the conditions of being on-lead, “flight” may not be an options. Inadvertently, we may set the conditions for “fight”. If this is occurring with your dog, you may want to read more about dog aggression and behaviour modification techniques.

Lead training also allows you to take your dog to public spaces, such as new places like parks and beaches, where dogs are required to be on a lead.

A well-trained dog that walks on a lead is more likely to be accepted in these areas and will enjoy the outing while remaining under your control. The setup you choose here is crucial. Longer leads can work well to give you dog some choice and freedom, too an extent!

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Choosing the Right Lead for Training

When it comes to lead training, choosing the right lead plays a crucial role in your dog’s success. Different types of leads are available in varying lengths and materials, so it’s essential to choose the best dog lead for training.

Using Training Leads for Dogs

If you have a dog that pulls on the lead, a training lead can be a useful tool in teaching them lead manners. Training leads are longer than regular leads and provide more control over your dog’s movements during training sessions. it will also help manage dogs who are going in the opposite direction, gently guiding them back to your side.

How to Use a Training Lead for Dogs

When using a training lead, it’s essential to ensure your dog’s safety and comfort. Here are some tips on using a training lead for dogs:

  • Start with short training sessions to avoid overwhelming your dog
  • Use positive reinforcement techniques to encourage good behaviour
  • Never use excessive force or yank on the lead as it can cause injury or discomfort to your dog
  • Avoid using retractable leads as they can make it difficult to control your dog
  • Use a harness instead of a collar to prevent discomfort or choking

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Training Leads for Dogs that Pull

If your dog pulls on the lead, a training lead can be an effective way to manage this behaviour. When choosing a training lead for a pulling dog, consider the following:

  • Length – a longer lead allows for more control and manoeuvrability during training sessions
  • Thickness – a thicker lead provides a better grip and control for the handler
  • Material – consider a lead made with non-slip material to prevent slipping and avoid rope burns on your hands

Examples of Training Leads for Dogs

There are several types of training leads available, including:

Lead TypeFeatures
Slip leadEmergency use only. Not for day-to-day training
Long line leadGreat for outdoor training, long-distance recall training, and providing your dog with more freedom while maintaining control
Training harnessProvides greater control over your dog’s movements, and helps prevent pulling
Multiclip training leadOffers versatile attachment options for varying levels of control and training scenarios

When choosing a training lead for your dog, consider your dog’s breed, size, and specific training needs. With the right training lead and techniques, your dog can learn to walk on a lead without pulling, making walks more enjoyable for both you and your furry friend.

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Multi-Clip Training Lead

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Multi-clip Training Lead

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Effective Lead Training Techniques

Lead training can be a challenging process, but with patience and positive reinforcement, you can teach your dog proper leash manners. Here are some effective lead training techniques to help your pup eliminate pulling on the leash and achieve loose leash walking:

  • Positive reinforcement: Use treats or verbal praise to reward your dog for good behaviour, such as walking by your side without pulling. This will encourage your dog to repeat the behaviour and associate it with a positive outcome.
  • Loose leash walking: Teach your dog to walk with a loose leash by stopping and changing direction as soon as your dog starts to pull. This will help your dog learn to pay attention to you and keep the lead loose.
  • Consistency: Consistency is key when it comes to lead training. Use the same commands and reward system every time you walk your dog to reinforce good behaviour and prevent confusion.
  • Engagement: Teaching your dog to make eye contact with you on walks can help train an alternate behaviour that is not compatible with pulling on lead.

Remember, lead training takes time and effort, but the rewards of a well-behaved dog are worth it. With these lead training techniques, you can enjoy fun and pleasant walks with your dog without the frustration of pulling on the leash.

How to Train Your Dog to Walk on Lead Examples

Husky being trained to walk on a loose lead

German Shepherd being trained to walk on a loose lead

Long Line Training for Dogs

Long line training is a great way to give your dog more freedom while still maintaining control on walks. It’s important to choose the best long training lead for your dog’s size and weight. A lead that is too heavy can be uncomfortable, while a lead that is too light may not provide enough control. A good rule of thumb is to use a lead that is at least 30 feet long for larger dogs and 20 feet long for smaller dogs.

When starting long line training, it’s best to work in a safe, enclosed area such as a fenced-in yard or park. Gradually increase the distance between you and your dog, rewarding them with treats and praise when they stay near you. Practice calling your dog back to you and rewarding them when they come back promptly.

Benefits of Long Line Training

Long line training can help your dog learn good leash manners. It gives them the opportunity to explore the environment while still being under your control. This type of training can also be useful for dogs that are anxious or reactive. Long line training allows them to move away from potential triggers while still being under your guidance.

Overall, using a long line for training can provide many benefits for both you and your dog. With patience and consistency, your dog can learn to walk politely on a leash while still enjoying their walks to the fullest.


Choosing the Best Long Training Lead for Dogs

When choosing a long training lead for your dog, consider the material as well. Nylon is a good option for most dogs, but larger dogs may do better with braided line for added strength. Leather is also a good option for durability, but it requires more maintenance to avoid cracking or drying out. They can also become slippy when wet so be careful!

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Supergrip Leads

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Julius K9 Supergrip Lead

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Additional Training Tips and Resources

Congratulations on taking the initiative to train your dog on a lead! Along with the tips and techniques provided in the previous sections, here are a few steps and some additional resources and recommendations to aid in your dog leash training efforts:

Best Dog Lead for Puppy Training

For puppy training, a lightweight and adjustable lead is recommended. The MultiClip training lead is a great option, as it’s made with soft and comfortable materials that won’t chafe your puppy’s delicate skin. The lead is also adjustable, ensuring a perfect fit as your puppy grows.

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Multi-clip Training Lead

  • Multi-functional double-ended lead that can be used in 7 different ways

  • Made from lightweight premium webbing, giving it both strength and comfort for everyday use in all weather

  • 2 trigger clips which allow for 2 points of connection and other versatile uses

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FAQ on How to Train Your Dog to Walk on Lead

Why is it important to train my dog to walk on a lead?

Training your dog to walk on a lead is crucial for their safety and the safety of others. It helps prevent them from running into traffic, approaching dangerous areas, or interacting with other animals or people who may not welcome the interaction.

At what age should I start lead training my dog?

You can begin lead training as soon as your puppy has had its vaccinations and is allowed outside. This is typically around 8 to 10 weeks of age. Starting early can establish good habits from the beginning.

How can I prevent my dog from pulling on the lead?

To prevent pulling, you can use reward-based training. Every time your dog walks beside you without pulling, reward them with a treat or praise. If they begin to pull, stop and start walking until they come back to your side. Consistency and patience are key to stop pulling.

What type of lead is best for training?

A standard fixed-length lead is often recommended for training, as it provides consistent boundaries for your dog. Retractable leads can be confusing for your adult dog during training because the boundaries are not consistent.

Can I train an older dog to walk nicely on a lead?

Yes, older dogs can learn to walk on a lead. The process may require more time and patience, as older dogs may have established habits that need to be changed for good behaviour. However, with consistent training, daily walks and rewards for positive behaviour, most older dogs can learn to walk calmly on a lead.

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