The advantage of using a leash is well-known to dog owners and dog trainers, alike. Not only does this tool make managing one's dog outside the house easy, but it also allows an individual to spend greater amount of time with his pet, as he goes out for a walk or to run an errand.
Calm Down the Nerves
Dogs are adventurous animals and the leash instigates in them a sense of impending adventure. The work of the owner or trainer begins from here itself. For those who have tried to leash their dog must have noticed the excitement in their pet the moment he sees a leash. This might get the simple act of fixing the leash to the dog collar a herculean task, leave alone controlling the dog when out on a walk. It is important to instill a sense of calm in your dog before the leash is put on. Here commands like 'sit' followed by 'stay' are very effective. Pat your dog throughout as you put the collar on. Let him know that a calm behavior is appreciated. Calming the dog before you go out for a walk is helpful, as it effectively conveys the mood of the activity to your pet. This invariably saves you the nerve-racking frenzy that one might experience with an overexcited dog out on a walk.
Hold Your Ground
Now that the leash has been fixed to the collar, it's time to start with the second step. Once the leash is on and you rise to stand on your feet, be prepared for a strong jolt on your arm as your canine friend releases all his frenzied energy in a mad dash. Hold on to the leash tight and plant your feet firmly in the ground. As your pet reaches the end of the leash, he will pull hard at it insisting you to move on. He may also look back at you with those innocent eyes pleading with you to move on. I know you love your dog. But who doesn't? However, you need to convey that you are the boss here and there are certain manners that every dog needs to learn. No matter how much your pet tugs at the leash, hold your ground. Once he realizes that you are not going anywhere, he will calm down and come to you. When he comes to you, pat him, praise him profusely. You can also reward him with a cookie. Soon he will learn that he needs to learn some (dog) etiquette.
Practice Makes a Dog Perfect
Once your dog knows that rash behavior is so uncomely of respectful dogs, walk him around in the house for some practice. Use the reward tactic, as it has been found that dogs can be trained very quickly using this treats.
Once you are sure your dog has greater self control, ramp up the training by taking him outdoors. However, from the neighbor's cat to the cyclist passing by, there are temptations galore for your angel. Be prepared to witness the same frenzy that you had taught him to shed, while training him within the four walls of the house. But you need to stay calm. Hold on to the leash and stand your ground. You could spare him the agony of being unable to chase even one of the numerous distractions around, by starting with some place, where there won't be too may things to arrest the interest of your dog. You could also keep a watchful eye on such distractions till your pet is more at ease with them. A good step to follow these developments is to arrange interaction with people in a controlled manner. Ask a friend to approach both of you and pet the dog in the park. This situation could be used to teach the dog how to respond to strangers outside the house.
There is nothing more blissful for a pet owner than be able to walk his dog comfortably on a leash. The important point to remember is that you need to be patient with your dog. Like human beings, each dog is unique, and hence, each may take different time to be leash trained. However, as they say, 'perseverance pays off', so stand your ground. Be loving to your pet but stay firm about how you want him to behave.