How Can I Teach My Dog Not to Zigzag in Front of Me on Walks?

Tips for Training

When you first begin training your dog to walk beside you, use a shorter leash with only a small amount of slack. This will still allow your dog to sniff and explore, but it keeps him from wandering several feet ahead of you, which makes the concept of walking on a certain side more difficult when it is first introduced. Switch your leash-holding hand to the side where you want your dog to walk; this assures that you have the most slack and freedom on the desired side, while the leash becomes tighter if your dog crosses over to the opposite side. For example, if you want your dog walking on your right side, hold the leash in your right hand with just enough slack so that your dog can move out just in front of your right foot and put his head down to sniff the ground while walking.

Head halters or harnesses that clip in the front of the dog’s chest are other walking tools that can be helpful when training a dog to walk properly on leash, as they give more direction control and lessen pulling better than a traditional collar can.

Prepare your dog for situations where you are crossing the street or changing directions by training your pet to walk interchangeably on your right and left hand side as directed by a hand signal. Once your dog understands the concept of walking on either the right or left side, you can begin to walk further down the block and add in more distracting situations.

With loose leash training that guides a dog to walk either on your right or left side, you both help prevent the tripping hazard while also allowing your pet the freedom to explore and sniff out the environment, all of which provides a safe and fulfilling walk at both ends of the leash.


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Walking on a Loose Leash

Walks are important for dogs. But many people are reluctant to walk their dogs because they feel like their dogs are walking them instead. Vetstreet training consultant Mikkel Becker shows you how to teach your dog to walk on a loose leash.

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