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Walk Like a PAWS Dog

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Loose Leash Walking Tips to Walk Like a PAWS Dog

Loose leash walking is one of the most difficult things that you can teach a dog. Walking without pulling on the leash requires consistent expectations as your dog matures.

It's important that you always give your dog treats with your left hand and at the seam of your pants when your dog is in a proper heel position. At PAWS, we call this the “Heaven Position” and it is where you want your dog to be.

Some dogs may do better with the treat pouch on your right side as it is less distracting to them when out of their view. When you put the treat pouch on your left hip, it's in line with the dog’s vision to your eyes. This makes it difficult to know whether your dog is paying attention to you or your treats. It is very important to use the word “Yes” to mark good behavior and then to have good coordination to both handle the leash and to pull a treat with your right hand and pass it off to your left hand to reward your dog.

There are several techniques that you can use to create a good loose leash walk:

  • Work on your puppy’s eye contact

  • Make sure your dog has a strong concept of what "heel" is as a position

  • Start with the basics

Taking a single step without the dog forging:

  • Put a kibble in your left hand

  • Start with the dog in heel position against the wall

  • Take a single step and stop

  • As you are stopping, drop your left hand in front of the dog's face and say “yes” and give them the kibble

  • When you have one step down, try two steps, then three

Right Pivot: A right pivot is very similar to a step forward. The main difference is that when you start training a pivot, you will want to make a very sharp, distinct motion.

Left Pivot: A left pivot is very similar to a step backward. When you start training a left pivot, make a very sharp, distinct motion.

Refresh these basic skills on a consistent basis. Remember to insert breaks to mentally get away from the task.

Always work toward maintaining proper heel position and good eye contact and you'll be on your way!

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