2c. Leash Handling Skills
Note: DO NOT wrap the leash around your wrist or hand or put your hand through the loop of the leash.
Loose leash walking is a journey and will not happen overnight.
Patience, practice and play the games for success.
Loose Leash Standing
This will teach your dog to stay within a five to six foot range of you when the leash is on. No other behavior is required. Your dog’s position doesn’t matter as long as the leash remains loose.
Step-1 Attach a leash to your dog’s collar/harness.
Step-2 Pay attention to the leash, mark and reward for a loose leash
Step-3 If the leash goes tight, make a kissy noise, mark and reward for your dog reconnecting to you.
Step-4 If the leash stays loose, click and treat after one to two seconds. Slowly increase the time between clicks and treats.
Step -5 Click and treat if your dog offers you focused eye contact.
Many of our dogs have learned that if they pull, we follow. Our dogs have learned that the pressure of the leash means that we are still attached on the other end. This game changes the picture for them and teaches them that feeling the end of the leash means to give into that pressure so that they are not rehearsing the pulling.
Step 1– Add a gentle, even pressure on your dog’s leash.
Step 2- Click and treat with high value treats the moment the dog turns to you and releases pressure on the leash.
Step 3- If your dog leans hard in the opposite direction of the pressure, lure your dog with a high value treat to look at you and click and treat.
Step 4– Practice again by adding gentle pressure on the leash. Reward with high value treats if your dog looks to you and releases pressure on the leash.
Step 5- Next Level: Have a person put a treat out in front of your dog and treat when your dog looks to you. DO NOT allow your dog to race toward the treat on the ground as a reward… go the opposite way after rewarding the release of leash pressure.