Building the Foundation- Loose Lead Walking

Loose lead walking is a little different to walking with you to a relaxed heel. During loose lead walking, our only expectation is that the lead remains loose. Your puppy can be doing as they please and enjoying their walk. This can be much more difficult for some puppies to learn as requires a lot of calmness and great lead handling from yourself. This however in my opinion is the goal for lead walking. ‘Walking with me’ is almost like an informal heel for pet dogs, which is ideal for passing distractions. I don’t believe dogs should be in a heel position for their entire walk, unless absolutely necessary. Puppies should be able to enjoy their walk, being able to sniff around and take in lots of information. And you should be able to enjoy yours without being yanked around. I include both loose lead walking and ‘walk with me’ skills in The Puppy Series as for some puppies, loose lead walking is much too difficult to begin with. You can therefore use ‘walk with me’ as a way to help them not create too much habit with pulling forward to get to everything that passes. Both of these skills take time and some puppies will find them super difficult so be sure to lower your expectations here on how long this may take.