Basic Leash Manners for Your Dog
Leash manners are taught in incremental steps starting by teaching a dog what leash tension means (leash communication) and where you want them to be while walking on a leash (stationary and moving reinforcement zone).
These two exercises can make all the difference in helping your dog to understand where you want them to be on your walk and make it incredibly easy to capture and maintain your dog’s focus.
It’s also equally as important to reward your dog for giving you their focus by alternating the working portion of your walk with allowing your dog to sniff. You can think of it as taking turns with your dog where sometimes you are leading the way, and sometimes they are, an agreement that is contingent on your dog walking by your side and keeping their attention on you for a designated time period.
When you are ready to reward your dog for walking by your side, simply come to a full stop and wait for your dog to sit. When they do, say a release cue (“Ok, your turn!”) which becomes their permission to go sniff or take a bathroom break.
Viewing your walk with your dog as a give and take is essential to your success at developing loose leash manners. Dogs need to sniff in order to feel fulfilled, so when you use to your advantage by using permission to sniff as a reward, you have a built in system for motivating your dog to give you their focus throughout your life together.
Dog Savvy Los Angeles specializes in positive, game-based, dog and puppy training and solving problem dog behaviors like canine separation anxiety, leash reactivity, and aggression.
Los Angeles dog trainer Alexandra Bassett is the owner and lead trainer at Dog Savvy Los Angeles, a dog & puppy training company that specializes in positive dog training and solving problem dog behavior like dog separation anxiety, leash reactivity, and aggression. She is certified as Knowledge Assessed by the Council of Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT-KA) and is available for online dog training sessions via Skype. She has been training dogs professionally for over 4 years and is available for free consultations: (213) 294-1519.