How To Teach Your Dog To Walk Perfectly On A Leash

In this course, you will learn skills to teach your dog respectful leash manners, so you can enjoy walks together | taught by Kristina Lotz, CPDT-KA
  • 9 Quizzes
  • 26 Texts

Course Curriculum

Section 1: Introduction To Positive Reinforcement
What is Positive Reinforcement?
A Few Rules
Quiz: Positive Reinforcement
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Section 2: The Clicker
What Is A Clicker?
The Rules of The Clicker
Loading The Clicker
Quiz: The Clicker
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Section 3: Stop Reinforcing The Pulling
What Is Reinforced Will Be Repeated
Quiz: Stop Reinforcing the Pulling
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Section 4: Attention Training
Learning Their Name
Increasing Difficulty
Quiz: Attention Training
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Section 5: The Heel Position
What Is "Heel"?
Getting Your Dog In Heel Position
Quiz: The Heel Position
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Section 6: Backwards Walking
Beginning Backwards Walking
Increasing Difficulty
Backwards Walking
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Section 7: Chair Heeling
Staying By Your Side
Beginning Chair Heeling
Increasing Difficulty
Quiz: Chair Heeling
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Section 8: Choose to Heel
Let Your Dog Problem Solve
Beginning Choose To Heel
Increasing Difficulty
Quiz: Choose to Heel
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Section 9: Premack Principle
Get Your Dog To Eat His Veggies
Beginning Premack
Increasing Difficulty
Quiz: Premack Principle
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Course Review
Making the Training Stick
Key Concepts
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Course description

Loose leash walking is one of the biggest frustrations dog owners have. When your dog pulls on leash, it’s not only annoying, but it can be dangerous – pulling you into traffic, off your feet, or getting away from you and running down the street.

Dogs are not born with leashes and collars on; like all creatures they have a mind of their own and don’t understand why you think you should be in control of where they go. There is no such thing as a dog born walking nicely on a leash.

Plus, they are rewarded for pulling – they get to go where they want to go, sniff what they want to sniff, etc.,

So, in order to get them to walk nicely, you need to make walking next to you the best thing ever – better than chasing that bunny, sniffing that tree, or greeting that other human.

It may sound impossible, but it’s actually quite simple! If you practice the following exercise and adhere to the rules, your dog can be walking politely on leash in no time!

*This course is for dogs that are pulling their owners due to lack of self-control or who have never been taught to walk nicely at their owner’s side. This course is not for dogs that pull or act badly on leash due to reactive and/or aggression.

Materials You Will Need For This Course

  • Flat or martingale collar (no prong or choke) – I prefer martingales because they are “no-slip,” meaning your dog cannot back out of them like they can a regular collar. Harnesses also work very well.
  • Clicker
  • Treats (best if they are small and soft, so your dog can eat them quickly)
  • 4’ to 6’ leash (no flexi-leads - why? Because flexi-leads reward your dog for pulling by giving them more leash. They actually undo all your training)
  • Long Line at least 10’ long
  • Chair

This is an example of a martingale collar.

Optional Equipment:

  • Treat pouch – will make your life easier when it comes to walking, holding the leash, clicker and treats
  • Front-clipping harness or headcollar (if your dog is very large or pulls hard, this can help you manage him while training)

The Freedom Harness is the front-clip harness I recommend if you don't already have one.

  • Wristband coil - helps keep track of that clicker and keep it handy! You can pick these up at most stores like Target or Walmart.

  • Target stick - good for repeatedly rewarding small dogs and/or you have a bad back and can't bend over often. Karen Pryor makes a neat one that has a clicker built in. You can also just use a wooden spoon, spatula, etc.

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Kristina Lotz, CPDT-KA
Kristina Lotz, CPDT-KA