What can I do to keep my dog calm during a leash walk?
Dogs who are highly energetic or tend to lead with their nose can often get out of control on walks. They are easily distracted, in a hurry to get where they are going, and feel the urge to be free from the leash. However, for a dog owner, walks like these are not enjoyable and are often times stressful. Being able to control your dog on a leash will ensure that your dog gets the exercise and time outside that they need while still remaining obedient and calm.
You should start training your dog on a leash as soon as possible. The sooner a dog learns how to calmly walk on a leash, the better the walks will be. Use a training collar or harness and a short leash to keep your dog controlled and by your side when you are training. If your dog is still leading with his nose, you can also try a head halter to gain more control over your dog’s sniffing while on a walk.
One of the other important things to realize is that your dog will pick up on your body cues while walking. If you are stressed out and anxious about the walk, your dog will be too. However, if you are confident and calm, your dog will pick up on these cues and mimic your behavior. Gently and calmly correct any bad behaviors on walks by quickly jerking the leash to snap your dog out of a bad behavior like pulling. Wait until your dog calms down before you begin walking again. This make take time and patience, but is well worth the effort.