how to leash train a dog image

Leash Training a Dog | An Effective Guide to Training & Techniques

If you are a new dog parent or exploring ‘dog training,’ then you know the struggles of leash training your pup. It can be as exhausting as potty training a dog but also an exciting experience that will help you bond with your puppy. So how do we go about this seemingly ‘difficult’ task? Let’s analyze how to leash train a dog.

Why is Dog Leash Training Important?

#1 Implementing Discipline

Leash training will stop your dog from throwing hissy fits when you are walking or having guests at your place. How often have you seen dog owners fail to control their dog in a park because it was not on a leash or because it didn’t comply with a leash? Proper leash training enforces a boundary that your dog will accept as a ‘good boy.

#2 Prevent Accidents

It’s not always the park where you walk with your dog, do you? Walking your dog on a leash when going through crowded areas or roads is imperative. Proper leash training a dog will ensure that no car hits your pet. At the same time, it will enable you to bring your dog under ‘control’ so it doesn’t attack any passersby.

#3 Bond Between the Pup & the Human

Yes, you can bond well with your pup over leash training. How? Proper leash training and using a loose leash signifies safety for your dog. Leash training will stabilize your dog’s anxiety, eliminate aggressive behaviour and encourage obedience towards its human. Leash training, when done right, will help you train your dog with other behaviours.

#4 Respecting Leash Laws

The various US states outlaws’ loose dogs’ except Michigan and Pennsylvania, which govern different laws. Leash training your dog will enable you to comply with such laws, which are created to ensure your dog’s and pedestrians’ safety.

Dog Leash Training Techniques

#1 Training on a Loose Leash

A loose leash will help you get the initial training rules right. Dog parents can use a five to six feet loose leash that accompanies well with a collar or a harness. Start by calling and walking your dog by your side without a leash. Reward the desired action by giving treats. After successful exercise completion, utilize the loose leash and repeat the walking exercise. Loose leash training reduces tension or pressure and relaxes your dog.

#2 Heel Training on a Leash

Heel training, also known as heeling, is an advanced dog training leash technique for training dog to walk on leash with you on one side, right or left. You also train your dog to stop when you stop and walk when you walk. Commence off leash dog training and prompt your pup to move at your side and as per your movement. Reward your pup with treats to reinforce desired behaviors.

Once your dog has learned ‘heeling,’ you can put a loose leash on your pup and repeat the exercise – in your home, in a park, and various other settings. Dog heel training is very efficient as it makes your pet compliant with your actions and commands. Positive reinforcement is essential for leash training your dog.

Dog leash training image

#3 Behavior Training

Hyperactive dogs or aggressive dogs can be hard to train for dog parents because of their behavior. Owners complain of behaviors during aggressive dog training like lunging, excessive pulling on the leash, and barking aggressively. Training enables dog parents to work on unreasonable behavior by combining various training techniques. Behavior training, also known as BT exercise, is a special leash training requiring significant skill and patience.

How To Train Dog To Walk On Leash

Now that we’ve understood the different dog leash training techniques, let us go through the steps on how to leash train a dog:

dog heel training image
  • Carry your dog’s favorite treats with yourself for positive reinforcement when your dog complies with your training commands. 
  • If you want your dog to follow you on the right side, keep treats in your right hand and call your dog to your right; the same exercise for your left side.
  • Attach a loose leash to your pup’s collar or harness. Make sure your pup is comfortable with the feeling of a leash, and reward it with calming treats for puppies for good behavior.
  • Let your pup walk around comfortably with the leash. You don’t have to hold the leash.
  • Now hold the leash and allow it to hang loosely.
  • Take a step forward and prompt your pup to take a step ahead with you by creating cues with a treat. If your dog walks with you, reward it or stay still.
  • Once your dog learns the pattern, take two or three steps forward and reward positive behavior as your dog walks with you.
  • If your dog loses attention or gets distracted by the leash, patiently get its attention back by talking to it.
  • Your dog can identify or associate its walk with you with a cue or a phrase like ‘Let’s go for a walk’ or your dog’s name and ‘come’. This will encourage your dog to associate good leash training, treats, and walks with you. 
  • If your dog pulling on leash, respond by being patient but firm. Stay in your position. Your body language should show your dog that aggressive behavior is unacceptable and that leash is completely safe. It makes to stop dog from pulling on leash. Once your pup calms down and stops pulling, reward good behavior with a treat.
  • Similarly, if your puppy loves to lunge at other dogs or passersby, then distract its attention with a treat. You can also control its erratic behavior by cues like ‘Stop’, ‘Don’t’ ‘Stay’.

Few Aspects to Consider for Effective Leash Training

  • A comfortable dog collar and leash to ensure safety and acceptability.
  • Lots of treats for your dog. Positive reinforcement is a crucial step for training dogs.
  • Choose your preferred training technique and stick with it.
  • Dog parents should be patient with their approaches for effective training and eliminating unwanted behavior.
  • A good amount of time and practice.


Leash training your dog the right way is very beneficial. Understanding how to train dog to walk on leash ensures your dog’s safety from road accidents, prevents attacks on random pedestrians, and enforces discipline and obedience. A responsible owner should approach leash training patiently. We are pleased that our leash training guide has covered all the essential topics in detail.