Looking around at all those dogs that walk by the side of their owners is impressive. You may think that is an instinctive skill, but it is not. Taking time to learn how to teach a dog to walk is important and one of the most common and easy skills you can teach your dog, it is not automatic.
There is an effort to put in it, and some dogs will not give you an easy time when going for a walk if they have been untrained.
Below, we will give you some useful tips to reinforce good habits and the right behavior when going for a walk.
Presenting your dog with the Walking Gear
To take your dog for a walk, he must wear a collar and the leash. Some dogs wear the collar all the time, and therefore there is no need to present it to him. Most dogs that wear a collar are easier to train for a walk. However, few dogs don’t like collars even if you try to put it on permanently.
If that is the case, then you need to present your dog with the walking gear. Before going outside, you must make a positive association to the collar and all gear you use for walking. Play with your dog wearing the walking gear.
Make it a fun and pleasant time, and give away plenty of dog treats. This will create a strong positive association. Next thing you know is that your dog will love the walking gear.
The “come” Command
The “come” command is a valuable asset when it comes to how to teach a dog to walk. It can be a lifesaving word when you are outside, and if your dog is released for some reason. This is also an excellent way to stop your dog if he tries to take you for a walk instead of going the other way.
To teach your dog the “come” command, you may use dog treats. Stand next to your dog and walk away a couple of steps. Then call your dog with the “come” command, offering it a treat. If he comes, give him the treat and do it again. If he doesn’t come, try doing it at a shorter distance than before.
As your dog is more skilled in the “come” command call it from a greater distance than before. Combine the come command with the “sit” command so that you develop further obedience. A controlled environment is not the same as the outside world, but it is the perfect ambience to teach your dog to come and sit.
Correcting Pulling Behaviors
One of the most common behavioral issues on how to teach a dog to walk has to do with pulling behaviors. The best approach to make your dog understand that dragging you will not have any positive results is to stop right away. Stand still and don’t move. If your dog already understands the “come” command, then say it. He should come to you and stand by your side. Then continue the walk.
If your dog is still pulling you, then stop again and repeat the “come” command. Do this as many times as it is needed until he doesn’t pull you anymore. Using dog treats to reinforce its good behavior is recommended.
Correcting Barking while Walking
When your beloved dog has the habit of barking at everyone around, it can be annoying and even scary for people. Barking is considered rude. Make your dog a civilized dog by correcting barking while walking.
First of all, you must identify clearly the barking triggers. Some dogs bark at other dogs, while others do it with certain people or another object. Be attentive at all times. You must find the barking trigger before your dog does it and start barking.
When you see a potential barking trigger, it is time to act. Distract your dog. You may do it by talking to your dog to grab its attention, start playing with it, or just give a command. In most light cases this is enough to get rid of barking while walking. Eventually, your dog will get used to be quiet during his walking times.
Another approach is to use dog treats. Use it in extreme cases. A dog treat is very effective because it is a strong distraction, plus it keeps its mouth busy. Your dog cannot bark as it eats a dog treat!
Correcting Chasing while Walking
Another common behavioral issue to deal with when focusing on how to teach a dog to walk is that some dogs enjoy chasing. Just as it happens with barking, chasing has a trigger. To correct chasing is very similar to correcting barking. Identify the trigger and create a distraction before it is too late and your dog is going crazy with a chase.