The Dog Leash You Use Should be Good for Both of You
How to choose the right dog leash for you and your pup…
The type of dog leash that is the best for you and your furry walking companion, is the one that works to keep them from pulling on the leash. Sounds simple, but there is more to consider. Your job is to train your pup as early as possible to “heel” and walk at your side, with their focus on you and not all the other stuff going on around you while you walk.
The leash material can be designer fabric that matches your fur baby’s collar, or a metal lead with a comfortable and sturdy handle for you, or a nylon mesh backed ribbon leash. The width ranges from ½ to 1 inch and the length is usually 4 or 6 feet long. A metal lobster clip is the usual end device for latching your pooch’s leash to the metal D-ring on the collar. Leash types also include the retractable leash that allows you to manipulate the leash length with the thumb latch on the plastic leash holder compartment.
For small breed mixes, a narrow, short leash may suffice, depending upon your height and your dog’s size. The basic rule is really that the leash length does not make you have to lean over as you two walk! The retractable leashes are quite handy with leash training, because you can control how far away from you to let the leash out, when you stop walking and your pup wants to sniff their surroundings.
How to teach your pup to “heel also has several options, and the objective is always to have your fur walking companion stay at your side as you stroll. Pulling on the leash and trying to move in another direction is a natural instinct for a dog on a leash, but your training will protect both of you when distractions come along.
1. Use the stop and go method when you train your pooch. Start with your dog at your side and as you walk, if he or she starts to pull, simply stop and bring the pup back to your side and say ‘heel.” Start again, and when your pup takes more steps by your side, reward them with a treat when you stop and say “good.” Then “heel” again and repeat stop and reward as you take more steps.
2. Stop and turn around method means that when your pup pulls and gets ahead of you, stop and head in the opposite direction. Your pup will follow you in the new direction. Keep doing until the doggie stays with you on one steady direction path, stop, reward with a treat and say “good.”
3. Play the walk backwards game. Holding the leash, take a few steps backward. Out of curiosity, your barky pal will follow you. When he comes to you, take a few more backward steps until he or she follows you again. Play this game for 5 to 10 backward trips then, stop, reward with a treat and say “good.” Now when you walk forward, and your pup stays by your side (because he is waiting for you to play the backwards game and get a treat) stop periodically, reward and say “good.”
Once your pooch is thoroughly trained to “heel “and walk perfectly beside you, there is no end to choices you can make for a good leash to walk your proud tail wagger! Just be sure the material is strong; the handle feels good in your hand and that the length works for both of your statures.
There is nothing more wonderful than having your precious fuzzy partner walk with you, to get and give the daily exercise that both of you need. Plus, a pretty damask leash, a sports logo leash or a classic leather leash looks good on both of you for all those special and social occasions!