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Animal Friends Presents … Loose-leash Walking

Sep 01, 2017 08:34AM ● Published by North Hills Monthly magazine

We’ve all been there when it’s time to go for a walk. Whether it’s a long stroll in the park or a quick walk around the neighborhood, you’re worried that your dog will spend the whole time pulling on his leash while you helplessly try to keep up. Practicing loose-leash walking not only strengthens the bond between you and your canine family member, it makes daily walks much more enjoyable for both of you! But, if your pooch hasn’t mastered the finer points of leash manners, where do you start?

Always have treats handy! Training is much easier when you have a tasty snack ready to use as a reward.

Red light/green light. Continue walking as long as there is slack on the leash. If your dog begins to pull and the leash becomes taut, stop without pulling back and wait until your dog loosens the tension on the leash.

Encourage polite walking by saying “good” or “let’s go” and offering praise and a yummy treat as a reward.

Change speed and direction to reinforce good leash manners. With every turn or change of direction, you are helping your dog learn what you are trying to communicate.

Don’t jerk the leash! By keeping a smooth pace while changing speed or direction, your dog will be able to tune in and anticipate what movement you are going to make next.

Consistency is the key to helping your pup learn any new skill. Before you know it, the bond you have with your dog will be stronger than ever. Soon, your days of being pulled down the block will be long gone and you and your four-legged friend will look forward to walks each and every day!

For more tips that can help your animal family members, visit Animal Friends at

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Executive Director Cheryl Tracy, National Aviary





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