How can that be true? You see people walking their dogs, and it just seems to happen. The dog walks next to their human without a fuss, and the human can even order a cup of coffee without fear of spillage!
Loose lead walking is all about teaching your dog what to do. Dogs aren't born knowing they should walk by our side. Instead, they think "I want to get to that smell/dog/person... the fastest way to get there must be charging ahead!"
It's our job to show them there is a better way!
If we break loose lead walking down, it becomes about three main elements:
If your dog is doing those three things, you will have a lovely loose lead along with plenty of engagement from your dog. In our Loose Lead Walking class, we cover all three elements to help your dog develop their skills, but I'll give you a sneak peak:
How can we encourage our dogs to stay by our left side? By making all good things happen there! Grab your dog's dinner, lure them into a sit on your left hand side, and just drop their biscuits to them (one piece at a time). They will soon LOVE sitting by your left side! Once they are reliably sitting by your left side, you can take a step forward.
Immediately, 'click' and toss a piece of food backwards between your left leg and your dog. Your dog will go back to get the food and then come to position on your left side, allowing you to repeat the exercise. We can then develop this into the basics of loose lead walking! Check out the video to see Head Trainer Charlotte putting it into action.
Want to learn how to develop this even further?
Join us for our upcoming Loose Lead Walking course to see how we can teach our dogs to enjoy walking next to their human (and look forward to that walk with a cup of coffee!)