Things You’ll Need

  1. A standard leash, not a retractable or extendable leash.
  2. A bag full of treats he loves!

A Gentle Leader chest harness can be a very helpful tool in teaching loose leash walking, especially for strong or bigger dogs. Do not use a standard harness that clips on the dogs back or you may be encouraging pulling. Also do not use any choke or prong collars. Those are not necessary and can be both painful and dangerous for your dog.

Get Walking

  • Fill your bait bag with treats, and put your dog on leash. You’ll want to practice at first in a non-distracting environment such as the sidewalk in front of the house, yard or living room.
  • Walk with your dog on leash. If she goes to the end of the leash, pause walking but do not yank, and call her back to you. When she comes near you, use a cheerful voice to praise her or use a clicker, and treat. Whenever she gets into heel position or puts slack in the leash, treat. You can also treat for any eye contact.
  • If after a couple minutes you do not find your dog spending more time at your side or with a slack leash, either move to an even less distracting space or reward your dog for being near you, even if she isn’t in exactly the right spot. The point is to reward more often so that she stays interested and doesn’t wander to the end of the leash looking for something else to do.
  • Work up to more distracting places like the park, or where other people/dogs are present. We want to keep the dog working at their level and slowly increasing the distractions helps keep them successful.