Loose Lead Walking training

Loose lead walking is impawtant to keep your dog safely under control by preventing them from pulling.

19th February 2024

Loose lead walking (LLW) training

Our tail-wagging Dog Training series makes training your canine companion easier, and more enjoyable!

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To make sure your loose lead walking sessions run smoothly, you and your pup should already have experience in marker training. If that’s something you’d like a little refresher on, you can check out our marker word training video.

This week’s training session focuses on loose lead walking, or ‘LLW’. You may be wondering what all the LLW fuss is about, but loose lead walking is impawtant to keep your dog safely under control by preventing them from pulling.

Please note: LLW training needs to be carried out using a flat collar or harness and a normal lead – it will not work with a flexi (retractable/extendable) lead!

During LLW training, using the right ‘high value reward’ to motivate your canine companion is essential. For further advice, please visit our article about finding the right reward for your dog.

Top tip: As you can see from the video, the way you hold your dog’s treat will make a big difference to LLW training!


Introducing loose lead walking (LLW), step-by-step

Always begin your pet’s training indoors, away from distractions; not only is this safer than training outdoors, but it also helps your dog get used to the equipment and focus on the new command.

Remember: In order for LLW training to be successful, you’ll have to be prepared to repeat each step multiple times!

Step 1 – To start, you’ll need to have your dog to one side of your body, with treats in that hand, while the lead should be held in your opposite hand. The lead should be loosely crossing your body (see the video for guidance!). Once in position, drop a few treats to the floor as your dog stands beside you, and say your marker word; this teaches them that they’re in the right place.

Step 2 – After successfully completing ‘Step 1’ a few times, take one step forward. The second your pooch polishes off the last treat from the floor, take a big step forward and say the marker word as you drop a treat. If your dog pulls ahead, start at ‘Step 1’ again. This exercise encourages your canine companion to walk beside you.

Step 3 – Practise ‘Step 2’ again, adding one extra step at a time into the exercise. Should your dog pull away during this exercise, encourage them to return to their starting position by dropping treats on the floor; using the marker word when they return.

It may take months to master loose lead walking. So, since every dog is different, please don’t worry or stress if it takes time for your canine pal to succeed in their LLW training! Quality is better than quantity, so remember to take breaks during training, whenever you or your dog find a session overwhelming.

Training your dog well is more like a marathon than a sprint – you’ll get the best behaviour from your pooch by taking your time to learn new skills, together. And remember – positive training is always better than punishment, making mistakes is part of the learning process.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your LLW training journey, visit building on loose lead walking (LLW).

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