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If you're a dog owner, chances are you've had to decide whether or not to leash your dog. Dogs can make great companions, but some owners struggle when it comes to taking them for a walk. 

Whether you are leash-training your dog or learning how to let them loose in public areas safely, we have tips to help make the process easier. Knowing the advantages of both practices also gives you the patience and encouragement for dog training. 

Let’s dive deeper into the how-tos and benefits of leash wearing and letting your paw friends loose in this article.

Part 1: Training Your Dog with a Leash

How to Do It

You and your dog are probably used to endless freedom. Your dog roams around the house, and you play with them anytime and anywhere. Nevertheless, you want to leash them when you’re leaving for work or want to walk them. Here are the best ways to do it. 

Collar introduction

Gently introduce them to wearing a leash through a dog collar. Get your dog used to wearing a collar first before you slowly introduce a harness and a leash. Through this, you can see your dog’s initial reaction to the new accessory attached to their body and plan how to keep them at ease. 

Mind conditioning

Dogs are trainable, especially with the help of treats. Condition their minds that wearing a leash signifies they’ll get goodies for their excellent behavior. 

For instance, you can give them treats when they behave as you attach the collar and the leash. Give them positive reinforcement, and show them that there are more treats to come if they keep behaving as you walk them. 

Practicing through experience

A common challenge for dog owners is leash pulling. It happens when your dog sees something that triggers their curiosity. This pulling, especially when forceful, can cause breathing difficulty for them or make you lose your balance. 

You can minimize these issues by constantly walking on the same path and using the correct harness and leash. 

Choosing reliable products

Be meticulous in picking dog accessories. Ensure that the leash will not cause balding or wounding in the neck. The harness should also be breathable; this way, even if your dog uses it all day, they are comfortable. You should also choose a leash that you can easily connect to the harness.

Advantages of Leash Training

Training your dog to wear a leash has plenty of advantages, such as the following:

  • A chance to bond: You’ll have more bonding time during training. As you teach your dog new behaviors they aren’t used to, you’ll be more patient with them, and they’ll feel your care for them too. 
  • Mind training: Dogs should have mind training now and then to ensure they stay sharp. Leash training can be one activity that enhances their understanding of commands. 
  • Ease when walking: Leash-training your dogs will make walks and errands easier. When you walk, they will keep in step with you, and when you make a stop, they will politely wait until you are done with your task. 
  • Lessens barking: Excessive barking is your dog's way of telling you they are not used to the leash. You can drop this worry if you have introduced the leash slowly but surely instead of shocking them. 
  • Less physical strain: Respiratory damages are some of the first injuries your dog can suffer when they struggle with their leash. On the other hand, you can have arm strain or even fall. You can skip all these with proper training. 

Part 2: Training to Unleash Your Dog

How to Do It

There are two kinds of dog owners: those that leash their dogs at a young age and those that let their puppies roam free and train them with a leash when they become older. 

Whichever you are, here are some quick tips on training a leashed dog to behave when unleashed.

Train them young.

The best way to train your dog to behave without a leash is to keep them free from their puppy years until they grow into adult dogs. 

Problems like your dogs ruining plants, digging pits, biting on slippers, and being hyperactive are rooted in their excitement about being free. You can skip these problems when they’ve been used to freedom. 

Let them loose indoors first.

When training your dog out of the leash for the first time, you should let them loose indoors first. Check what your dog will do indoors to assess where they need training. If they ruin plants or dig, you can curb those bad habits before taking them to the park. Indoor practice can also keep your dog safe and less stressed. 

Keep them busy.

Another way to divert them from bad habits is to give them activities they can be busy with. For instance, you can give them toys to chew on, mind training, or another dog companion to play with. 

Walk them on familiar paths.

If you are ready to take them outdoors, it is best to go to places and paths you are familiar with. Should they run in excitement and explore uncontrollably, at least you’ll know where to find them. Also, keep them far from roads, highways, and other dangerous places to ensure your pet’s safety. 

Unleash them often.

Just like how you train your dog with a leash, it is also best to take it slow when letting your dog loose for good. Keep them unleashed more often and for longer. When you see they are behaving well, they are ready for more walks or even a visit to the park. 

Advantages of Unleashing Them

Training your dog to behave without a leash is as tricky as training them to be in one. Nonetheless, the time and effort are worth it because of these benefits.

  • Discipline: When your dog is free and you have trained them well, they will leave no more ruined plants, slippers, and other home stuff behind. 
  • A chance for physical and emotional bonding: You can give better hugs and cuddles when there is no leash getting in between you.
  • Keeps your dog active: Like humans, dogs also need to be active. It makes your dog’s bones and muscles flexible and strong, keeping arthritis at bay. 
  • Satisfies your dog’s curiosity: Your dog’s mind remains sharp when they can explore. Their strong sense of smell and their wandering paws will allow them to learn about their surroundings. 
  • Allows for mingling with other dogs: Socializing is a part of the benefits your dog will reap when trained without a leash. 
  • Gives you fun and relaxation: Just watching your dog play keeps you happy and relaxed, lowering your risk for heart diseases. 

Practice Pet Care with Perfect Petzzz

Now you know how to train your dog on and off the leash. You can be successful in both as long as your dog understands what you expect from them at all times. 

You and your dog will have more freedom when they are well-trained without a leash. You can explore different places together or even play with other dogs. Meanwhile, you can ensure your dog stays with you and behaves when they’re on a leash, especially if you have errands to run. 

The methods mentioned above won’t be easy at first, but the benefits are well worth the extra effort!

If they seem a bit overwhelming, especially as a new pet parent, you can practice with Perfect Petzzz

Our lifelike cats and dogs aren’t your ordinary stuffed toys because they make breathing sounds. They are the perfect pets if you have allergies or cannot fully commit to additional pet ownership tasks like cleaning, veterinarian visits, and feeding. You can choose from a wide range of breeds, from a beagle or a golden retriever to a calico cat or a tabby. 

Enjoy having pets with Perfect Petzzz!

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