The Importance of Leash Training Your Dog
Posted on April 1st, 2019 by FetchMasters in Uncategorized
Leash training (or lack therefof) greatly impacts various areas of your life with your dog. For example, we love to take our dogs places with us, but in most places we need a leash to do so. Whether walking around the neighborhood or visiting the farmers market, dogs typically are legally required to be leashed. We are so used to seeing dogs on leashes that we often forget how unnatural it is for the dog. For this reason, training is required to teach a dog to feel safe on a leash. In this article, we focus on the importance of leash training, rather than the mechanics of teaching this skill.
What Does Good Leash Walking Look Like?
The first complaint most dog trainers hear is: “I don’t want my dog to pull on leash!” Pretty much everyone (dog trainers and dog owners) agree that pulling is undesirable. It’s important to focus on what you want the dog to do, so take some time to define in your mind what good leash walking looks like to you. Is the dog walking directly by your side? Which side does the dog walk on? You should have an idea of what you are trying to achieve before you begin training. Some of these are personal preference, such as picking which side you prefer the dog to walk on. Others are safety considerations, such as how far from you the dog should walk.
Why is Leash Training so Important?
There are several reasons it is important for dogs to be under control while on leash. The first is safety. A dog is much more likely to hurt itself or others if out of control on leash. Pulling on the leash makes it harder to hold onto the dog, so dropping the leash is more likely. It is also potentially harmful to the dog’s body, as they are exerting forces on parts of their body they shouldn’t be. Pulling is equally damaging to our bodies, especially our rotator cuffs. A recent study showed that seniors are at a higher risk for injury when walking dogs. A dog who is untrained to walk on leash is more likely to become frustrated, which can lead to leash reactivity.
The Advantages of Leash Training
A dog trained to walk nicely on a leash receives a warmer welcome in public than an untrained dog. This allows you to take your dog into dog-friendly stores or other public spaces without worry. Leash walking provides a safe, consistent form of exercise that is beneficial to both dogs and humans. Leash training also creates a positive feedback loop where walking your dog becomes much more pleasant, and so you are more likely to walk your dog, a good thing for everyone involved. It’s worth the time to teach your dog leash walking skills, as it will enhance the quality of both of your lives.
If you need assistance teaching your dog to walk nicely on leash, feel free to contact us for assistance. In the Denver area, you can contact FetchMasters Dog Training. If you are in the Fort Collins area, you can contact Dogs Deciphered.