Leash Manners

Walking Nicely on a Leash

To teach leash manners, start with teaching the dog to respond properly to leash pressure.


STEP 1. While holding the leash, move away from the dog while encouraging him to follow you. When the dog walks to you, reward it without saying a word and move spots again. The dog will catch on relatively fast.


Do not allow the dog to pull you in any direction. You must must not budge. If you anticipate the dog to lunge for a distraction, redirect attention to you and reward.


Make sure to count the number of times the dog comes to you without pulling away or becoming distracted. When you think the dog follows you immediately, it’s time to test the dog.

STEP 2. While holding the leash, move away from the dog. As soon as the dog starts to follow you take one step further away. Make sure the dog doesn’t change it’s pace of approach or level of excitement. Stop if it does. Work your way to three (3) steps after the initial step.


Make sure to count the number of times the dog comes to you without pulling away or becoming distracted. When you think the dog follows you immediately, it’s time to test the dog.

STEP 3. Repeat STEP 2, but this time you will say “Let’s Go” when the dog is successfully following your lead on a leash for at least three (3) steps. Don't forget to give the dog a treat.

STEP 4. Place yourself about half a step away from the dog and ask for “Let’s Go” and wait 10 seconds to see if the dog starts moving toward you. If the dog moves and continues to follow you without pulling away or becoming distracted reward the dog.


STEP 5. Ask for a stroll and continue for at least 20 feet without the dog pulling away or becoming distracted. Reward the dog.


Practice makes perfect. Be consistent and patient and you will see progress. Dog must have a success rate of 90% before proceeding to a more difficult environment.


Please start inside your house or an environment that your dog is very familiar with. You want to start playing with them in a place where they will be successful rather than fail. It’s also important to keep practice very positive, since you don’t want to create fear or anxiety when facing a challenging situation and environment.


Red Light / Green Light

To play, position the dog on your left side. Make sure the leash is loose and the dog is relaxed. When they are, say, “Let’s go.” and begin walking. If the dog starts to pull or get ahead of you, stop, apply leash pressure from the top (not the side or from behind) and wait for your dog to stop pulling and come back close enough to you for there to be no more tension on the leash. The pressure should come from the top, so pull up to create the pressure. Don’t yank or jerk the leash. You want to teach the dog to respond to the pressure, not to be afraid of it. Finally, you are waiting until the dog reverts their full attention back to you. Stand firm and don’t give in too early. Once the leash goes slack and your dog relaxes and refocuses on you, you should give them a verbal reward or a pet and then you can continue walking. It is important that you wait for them to give you full attention, rather than just sit or simply get closer.