How do I train my dog to use a leash?

Training a dog to use a leash really isn't that difficult. Most dogs will be eager to go on a walk, especially if they spend most of their time indoors. That's not the problem - the big problem is getting them not to pull you around or run away from you.

   

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To do this, you basically need to use the walk as a reward that starts and stops as the dog behaves. If your dog is running away from you, it will never learn not to do that if you keep going with the walk. You have to regain control of the walk. Each time the dog inappropriately lunges or pulls, stop the walk and stand still. Refuse to let your dog keep going. If you have taught your dog the "sit" command, order your dog to sit. Do this for 10-15 seconds. It will make the walk a lot more boring for you, but you have to do it. The dog will eventually learn that pulling results in a stop in the walk, and it won't want to do it anymore.

The same principle applies if your dog is too eager to get the leash onto them. If it misbehaves or rushes out the door when you put the leash on, then stand there with the leash in your hand until the dog calms down. This kind of training is essential, because otherwise dogs will learn that they can just run out the door and that you'll let them. You have to stand firm until the dog behaves.

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