Below is a video of us going through the most common issues with leash walking and how to address them:
Upon getting your Recherche pup home, you may find that they try to test the boundaries and limitations of their new pack leaders. Many times these tests and challenges can take place while your pup is on a leash. We know that knowing how to correctly address these speed bumps with your pup can be a daunting task. Using the knowledge and experience we have gained over the years of training more than 700 pups, we have comprised a training video to help you recognize and handle many common issues that may arise while walking your pup on a leash.
Walking in Front of You: Ideally you want your dog’s head to be even with your thigh during a walk. Your dog may move in front of you because they are excited or distracted by something in front up ahead or because they are trying to lead the walk. Whatever the reason for the behavior, the correction is still the same. As soon as your dog makes a move to get in front of you, give the leash a sharp leash pop and do a 180 degree turn so that you begin moving in the exact opposite direction that your pup wants to go. Once they catch back up to you and begin walking beside you give them praise and affection.
Lagging Behind You: If your dog’s head falls behind your thigh or you find yourself having to maintain tension on the leash to encourage forward movement from your pup then your pup is lagging behind. This could take place because they are interested in something behind them or because they don’t really want to go the way you are asking them to go. When this happens give several small quick leash pops in the forward direction to encourage movement in that direction. You may also pat your leg and use your voice to encourage your pet to move forward. Once they get back into the correct leash walking position, praise them verbally and reward them with affection.
Straying to the Left: This can happen when you pass by interesting looking, smelling or sounding distractions. Your pup begins to pay more attention to their surroundings than they do to their pack leader (YOU) and then they start moving away from you to the left. To address this you want to give a leash correction and then immediately make a sharp turn to the right. This will automatically redirect your pup’s attention back to you. Remember to make sure that your level and intensity of correction matches your level and intensity of praise/reward.
Cutting in Front of You: Your pup may try this if something on your other side catches their attention and they want to go investigate. If this happens your pup will be hovering in your space or trying to cut across your body. To correct this behavior you will NOT use the leash to correct, instead you will use your body. While keeping the leash slack make a sharp turn to the left using your knees or shins to move your dog out of the space that you want to claim. This movement should be decisive and assertive. Your goal is not to move carefully to avoid making contact with your pup. Your goal is to require your pup to pay attention to you in order to avoid getting stepped on as you move.
Remember that leash training, like all areas of puppy training is about consistency and repetition. Your puppy is not going to be the same everyday. You may have one day where they seem to have everything down to an art, then the next day they don’t seem to remember how to do anything. When this happens make sure you don’t get discouraged and lose sight of your long term goal. Keep at it, be diligent, and persevere. The days where your pup seems to have it all together will become more frequent, while the days of them seeming to be at square one will become few and far between. With patience and consistency you will soon have people stopping you to compliment you on your pup’s manners. Believe me, we have all seen it!