Loose Lead Walking

We need to be able to walk our puppy without being dragged off our feet. Especially when it comes to walking along roads. Not only is being dragged along unpleasant for us but it also but excessive pressure on the dogs neck. This is a behaviour the dog needs to learn to generalise in all locations. We start this training indoors with no distractions, then move to the garden, puppy class, walking along the street and then busier roads. When my pups are young and cant walk very far I tend to drive them to a supermarket car park, do a session on walking next to me (in a quiet area away from lots of cars) and then drive them home.

Heel Position

To start this we need to be next to a wall so it helps to act as a bit of a barrier. We throw a treat behind and once the puppy has eaten it we present a treat on our left hand side next to the seam of our trouser leg. When the puppy moves into position, 'click', then release the treat. Throw another treat behind (never forwards as we dont want the dog to anticipate going forwards - this will lead to pulling ahead) and repeat. I do train this on both sides as I want my dog to be able to walk up the road on both sides of me (with the dog on the inside away from traffic).

Loose Lead Walking

Once we have mastered the heel position we can start to add some walking to it. Remember to frequently reward the puppy, after a couple of steps. You can fade this to one treat after more steps eventually but you want the puppy to remain close to you and not pull. Remember to take your treats on a walk and train this out and about!

Created 2020 - MAD Online is a trading name of Maidstone Activity Dogs