Leash Training Your Dog

Leash pulling is a common issue for many dogs and their owners. There can be varying degrees of pulling — I’ve met owners that refuse to walk their dog now because their dog’s leash pulling is too much to handle. Some dogs won’t pull that badly, but will still try to take the lead, or they will frantically begin to pull if they see something that excites or stresses them, like another dog, another person, a skateboard rolling by, a squirrel in a tree, and more.

Many clients that sign up for any of my Portland dog training programs want to be able to control and trust their dog off-leash. That could mean being off-leash in the home, or off leash at the a dog park or on a hiking trail. Often times, these same clients struggle with their dog’s on-leash behavior. 

If your dog cannot be fully trusted on the leash, then it is important to address this before considering off-leash training for your dog. If your dog pulls only when he sees another dog, it will be difficult to manage and grab his attention at the dog park, when he’s so distracted by all his playmates. Leash training will allow you to work with your dog in a controlled situation, where your dog can build their reliance, obedience, and recall.

Last month, I took on a client whose dog, Hunter, was a moderate leash puller, but she wanted to be able to have Hunter off leash when they went on hiking trips. Hunter was a sweet boy, but when he got distracted or excited, it was difficult to call him back and direct him. Hunter went through some heavy leash training so that we could set him up for success and eliminate the opportunity to be disobedient or run off. Once he became sharper in recall and more trusted, we then worked on loosening the leash more, to eventually taking the leash off. Now Hunter can be trusted off leash on a hike, even if another person and dog is on the trail with him!

Whether your dog is leash aggressive, leash reactive, or just pulls on the leash every now and then, we can help! If you are hoping to work and depend on your dog off-leash, let us set you up for this by first helping you and your dog progress with our leash training. 

For any questions on our leash training dog programs, call us at 503.468.5705.