Building on Loose Lead Walking

Taking your loose lead walking one step further.

22nd February 2024

Building on Loose Lead Walking

The latest video in our wonder-fur-l Dog Training series focused on loose lead walking, also known as ‘LLW’. In case you haven’t seen it yet, you can check out our first Loose Lead Walking video to learn the basics!

If you’ve been working on your dog’s LLW skills, you’re already aware that it can take a lot of time to ace the training. So, it’s important to celebrate each milestone on your loose lead walking journey – since every single step takes them closer to success!  

Remember: Your dog should be on the same side that you hold their treats, while their lead needs to be in your opposite hand, so it hangs loosely across your body.

Mastering the basics of LLW

Our LLW training video covered everything you need to do as you begin loose lead walking with your dog.

So, it’s essential that both you and your canine companion are confident in your marker word training, and you’ll need to have discovered your dog’s high value treats.

At this point, you should be happy with your pooch’s progress in their LLW training indoors. Your dog must be able to comfortably walk by your side one step at a time, with the lead staying loose, before moving on…

Building on LLW, step-by-step

Step 1 – Set yourself and your dog up for success, by reminding yourself of the basics in LLW training. Take one step forward at first and repeat the exercise, until you’re ready to take two steps forward while your dog is eating their treats from the floor.

Step 2 – As soon as they’ve finished eating, if your canine companion looks up and starts walking towards you, mark and reward (by dropping a treat next to your foot). Repeat this exercise until both you and your dog are comfortable taking three or more steps forward.

Step 3 – If your pooch pulls past you after polishing off their treats, try not to mark and reward, instead return to ‘Step 1’ and make sure they begin in the correct starting position (stood calmly by your side).

Confident with the above process? Perhaps it’s time for you and your pup to venture outdoors!

Take their loose lead training outside

Before embarking on loose lead walking somewhere busy, like a park, it’s best to practise each exercise in your own garden, or another quiet outdoor space, with minimal distractions.

The process of LLW training outdoors is the same as when you were working with your dog indoors, except there’s more going on that might grab their attention!

Just as you did when you began LLW training, celebrate each and every milestone – no-matter how seemingly small. It can take a long time to master loose lead walking, so, make space in your sessions to appreciate how far you’ve both travelled in your dog training journey.

Since outdoor distractions can cause you to feel frustrated if your pooch isn’t paying attention, it’s helpful to set goals as they’ll help you recognise your dog’s progress. Here are some examples of goals you could set:

  • Practise at least one step of loose lead walking each day of a specific week.
  • Achieve three successful steps of loose lead walking while in the garden.
  • Reach the nearest lamppost in your street while loose lead walking.

Once you’re confident your canine companion is capable of loose lead walking somewhere quiet, it’s time to take their training to the next level by practising in a park!

We always love to hear how our training techniques help pooches and pet parents. Why not share your loose lead walking story with us via Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok?