How to Correctly ‘Loose Leash Walk’ Your Dog


Taking your dog on a walk with you is a fun thing to do almost anytime because you’re not only exercising, you’re also doing it with a companion. How you also do it matters a little because, for instance, you’re most likely not going to enjoy a road jog while having your dog accompanying you with a leash around its neck.

You can however take your dog on that walk without having to suffer the discomfort of holding the leash in your hand throughout the whole time you’d be engaged with the activity. Hence, you would need to learn how you and your dog can enjoy each other’s company with neither of you having to hold a leash or be dragged along by one.

After reading this piece, you will have an idea of how you can get your dog to walk with you on a loose leash. To master this art, you would be needing the following items:

  1. A harness or a collar. It could be a head halter, a buckle collar, a front-clip harness, or a martingale
  2. A leash with a 4-foot or 6-foot long. Ensure it’s not a retractable leash.

To start this adventure;

Ensure Your Pockets Are Filled With Treats

Making sure that you have treats available for your dog is one huge way of gaining reasonable control over it so you would need to make sure your pocket is filled with some treats for your companion.

Control What Side Your Dog Walks On

Deciding what side your dog walks on is entirely under your control. Ensuring you hold the treat on the side you wish to make your dog walk on will help you master this control. . In other words, if you desire for your dog to walk on the right side, the treats should be held in your right hand.

Know What Hand To Hold The Leash With

Since your dog is just learning to move with you without a leash for the first time, you would still have to hold the leash with you. However, you’re not using the leash on your dog. Instead, you’re holding it in the hand opposite where the dog is on. That is, if your dog is on your right, the leash’s end should be held in your left hand.

Start The Teaching Process

Once you have gotten to this stage, you would need to exercise some patience – a lot of it. Your dog may already be used to moving around with a leash around its neck so getting used to something different might take a while. To start this process, you can feed your dog with some treats from what you have with you. Try doing this just in line with your pant’s seam as it will help you put your dog in position.

Repeat The Process

Once again, you may need to have patience with your dog. Whether or not the process has yielded results up to this stage, feed the dog again with the treats you have with you along with your pant seams.

Calculate Your Moving Steps

If you notice your dog is responding well to your actions, then you’re making remarkable progress. To confirm progress, your dog may be yearning for more treats. At this stage, try making two forward steps instead of the usual one, then stop again to feed the dog.

Read about how to get ready for your new puppy here.

Watch Your Dog’s Reaction Closely

You need to pay attention to what your dog’s response is to all of your actions. If at this point the dog is pulling ahead, halt your movement with immediate effect and call it back to you. If it’s not coming back after you’ve called it, try the other option of making use of the treats with you to get its attention. Once it reacts to this move progressively, you should move two to three steps before attempting to feed it. This is to ensure that you don’t teach the dog that you’re cool with it pulling ahead and you feeding it with treats immediately.

Keep Your Dog’s Attention Intact

Before you give your dog the next treat, maintain the habit of taking more steps. During this process, you can also go ahead and talk to your dog. Doing this will make its attention glued to you automatically.

Get A Name For This Practice

If at this point, your dog has responded well and is now walking on a loose leash, you should be thinking of getting a name for this kind of walk. For example, you can choose to name it “let’s go” or “walk”. Anything you choose, just make sure it’s something you can teach your dog to understand well.

Try Releasing Your Dog Now

Here’s where you try to find out how much progress you have achieved. Let your dog know you trust it well enough by releasing it from the leash. Immediately after releasing your dog, still, caress it and rub your hand around its neck area and on its back. Doing this will show your affection for it and make it feel safe.

Teach Your Dog To Get Used To Leisure Walk

This is particularly important if you wish to enjoy some relaxed moments with your dog. This may not be the “Let’s go” or “walk” time, so you may need to choose another name for this type of walk. Since it’s a leisure or off-duty walk, you could use something like “at ease” or “off-duty”, or even “free time”. There are other options you could choose from but try to make it different from the formal loose leash walk.

Decide How Much Of The Leash Your Dog Gets

If your dog is already used to being walked on a leash that is 6-foot in length, holding the loop and allowing the rest of the leash to hang loose might be an option. If you desire to have the leash held in your hand, ensure that you decide to hold it during the entire walk period instead of releasing it at intervals. This process is simply so you can teach your dog how much leash it has available.

You can allow your dog some free time as well and start the walk. You can give it the freedom to sniff around, jump around, switch sides, and even lie down on some occasions. However, what you should not allow your dog to do is pulling. Once you notice your dog is doing this, you will need to stop moving and call it back immediately before continuing the walk.

Final Words

A couple of dog owners think it’s impossible to get their dogs to walk with them with a loose leash. While it appears so (on some occasions), it usually is not the case. You will surely find out that your dog can be more obedient and fun than you may have ever imagined.

Also, read about how to entertain a cat‘.