Educating Fido 

Training Dogs and the People Who Love Them

A Puppy Blog

Walk this Way

Posted on November 13, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Wow! My little Halle is almost 5 months old now.  Where has the time gone?  We’ve been doing lots of socializing out and about town.   At first, I just carried my little one from place to place, but she grew like a weed and soon I had to rely on the leash as a tool to keep my puppy close by.  I see a lot of humans struggling with their on-leash dogs and using the leash as away to control the dog.  So, I asked myself what I wanted the leash to represent to Halle and decided that for us:

  1. The leash should mean that we stick together on a walk with no tension on the leash, in other words loose leash walking.
  2. The leash should be used as a safety tool to prevent her from getting into trouble if she decides to chase a squirrel or dash into the street.
  3. The leash should not mean that she gets to move forward by putting tension on the leash and pulling me.
  4. The leash should not be used to jerk her neck or for corrections.

I have spent more time planning and training this one skill than any other.  Why so much thought? Because I knew that my 8 pound puppy would soon be a 55 pound adolescent dog that could pull me off my feet. I didn’t want to wait until she was an adolescent to teach her how to “stick with the group” so we started training loose leash walking right away. 

Here are my tips on getting your puppy started off right:

  1. My biggest secret? Don’t allow your puppy to pull! PERIOD.  If your puppy pulls you stop and wait for the puppy to loosen the leash or you turn and go the opposite way.When your puppy catches up with you reward like crazy for making the right choice.
  2. I always, always, always, bring lots of food on walks. I often bring her breakfast or dinner. When I catch her doing it right, you can bet that I reward her with a treat or lots of verbal praise.
  3. I never, ever, ever disconnect from my puppy when we are on a walk. She gets 100% of my attention 100% of the time.   We are training after all. If I am the teacher and she is the student, why would I check out and leave the classroom?!
  4. If I know she’s a little over excited and under exercised, I play a game of fetch or chase before we leash up and go on her training walk.
  5. I bring a 30 foot leash with me so that we can go to a field, a safe open area or a trail and she can be free to run and play without being next to me. (IMPORTANT NOTE HERE: I walk her on a 4-foot leash and carry the other 30-foot leash with me)

Time’s flying by and I am enjoying every minute with Halle. Does she do everything perfect the first time? Of course not, learning takes a lot of practice and repetition.  Does she have days when her little adolescent brain says “sit, what’s sit?” You bet she does.   Am I always consistent with my expectations every time? Yes, I am!  Consistent and clear expectations and leadership are my gift to Halle.  She doesn’t speak human and I don’t speak dog and it isn't fair to ask her to read my mind. So being reliable and predictable bridges our language barrier and opens a line of communcation between the two of us.

Sniff on! Train on!

Susie & Halle

Certified Professional Dog Trainer-KA #2102473

National Association of Canine Scent Work Associate Nose Work Instructor

Canine Life and Social Skills Instructor #650449

Canine Life and Social Skills Evaluator #E750153

AKC Canine Good Citizenship Evaluator #51179

TAGteach Primary Certification

Licensed "Be a Tree" Presenter”

Member of Association of Pet Dog Trainers #76263

Member of the Pet Professional Guild





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1 Comment

Reply Lana Brown
6:16 AM on December 18, 2012 
A great post I must say. No doubt, carrying a dog sometimes becomes so frustrating even for dog lovers. This blog post contains outstanding tips on how one can teach their dog to walk politely on the leash. Yes, it?s true that one must start training their puppy from boring place to interesting place in order to keep proper command of their hands. There are in-depth tips of how to raise puppies and this post will definitely help people to raise their puppies.