My 5 Top Tips for Loose Lead Walking
Tip 1: That little thing called value
When it comes to anything in dog training, building value is key. So looking at it from a loose lead walking point of view, where do we want the value to be?….By our side, right?!
So before stepping foot outside the door, work on some proximity training at home. And we mean, really work on this, every day, using your dog’s food. Really hone this skill and build super amounts of value.
Proximity training is rewarding your dog for being close to you. In the case of loose lead walking, think about where you want your dog to be when playing proximity games. Build the picture of loose lead walking at home before taking it on the road.
Some of those among you will have noticed that this tip is the same as tip 1 from last week’s recall tips series! Well done for spotting!
We can’t stress enough how powerful building value in proximity is. It really can help to solve a ton of training challenges.
Tip 2: Focus for the Win!
How is your dog’s focus generally? If you want loose lead walking success, a fundamental component is FOCUS!
The super cool thing is, there are lots of games out there that can help to build awesome, REAL focus! You don’t have to look at this from only a loose lead walking training point of view. You can really go to town and have lots of fun working on focus games!
Our good friends over at absoluteDOGS have come up with an amazing FREE focus eBook and we are sharing it here with you lucky lot!
Inside the eBook you’ll find awesome games that you can crack on with and start playing right away! Enjoy!
Click here: https://game.absolute-dogs.com/focusebook
Tip 3: Practise Makes Progress
It goes without saying! If you want it, you’ve got to work at it! This is why we are such keen advocates of ditching the bowl and using our dog’s daily food to nail our training goals.
For us, dog training is 24/7, but we don’t mean we’re insisting that you have to be constantly training your dog! We mean, there are always training opportunities and there are always opportunities to train. Take those moments here and there to work on your loose lead walking training goals EVERY DAY.
If you practise minimally you’ll get minimal success. It’s all yours for the taking-now go and grab it!
Tip 4: Rome wasn’t built in a day
We get it! You want loose lead walking and you want it now! We love the enthusiasm, don’t lose that, but don’t be in a rush!
You WILL get there if you practise, but we understand that sometimes it may feel like no progress is being made. To help, we want you to start a training journal. Every day, write down what you worked on and how the training session went. Day to day it may feel like you are getting no-where, but we’ll bet that you if you look back over your journal as the weeks go by you’ll see massive leaps forward.
Keep at it!
Tip 5: Don’t kill the joy
Ok, so you have your loose lead walking goal and you’re working so hard to achieve that goal. You’re determined to succeed. We LOVE this attitude, but easy on the pressure now! That’s pressure on you AND your dog.
Most definitely work on your skills, work through the focus eBOOK (if you missed it, find tip 2), work on proximity in the house, then out and about (if you missed it, find tip 1), but its IMPORTANT to mix in some pressure-free and fun games.
Don’t make it all about work, work, work. Play with your dog, practise relationship building games, simple be with your dog and enjoy each other’s company.
Life isn’t enjoyable if its all WORK, WORK, WORK. Keep it all about FUN, FUN FUN!!
About the Author: Lauren Langman is responsible for the design and development of all Devon Dogs classes, events and workshops. She competes in Agility at Grade 7, the highest rank of competition in the British agility arena. She regularly competes and wins at top agility events in the UK including Crufts and Olympia, and has represented the UK at World Agility Championship level on many occasions.