Loose Leash Walking Recipe

Today at the Dog Blog we have a very interesting take on something very close to all Dog owner’s hearts, loose leash training. This is a guest post, and if you would like to submit an article of your own please feel free to use the contact form to get more information.


Patience, love, lots of deep breaths, steadfastness and attention to detail

Step 1:

Attach leash to dogs collar (preferably a martingale/no-slip or flat buckle)

Step 2:

Wait in front of door you will be exiting until dog sits. Dog will whine, jump and protest; act completely unaffected by the poor manners; dog will eventually give up and sit down; praise lavishly in a high pitched happy voice

Step 3:

Reach for door knob then pause, dog will get up from sit and eagerly go for the door, remove your hand from the knob and stand paying no attention to the dog until he returns to the sit position

Step 4:

Repeat above step as necessary until the dog remains sitting as you turn the knob and begin to open the door just a crack

Step 5:

As the door opens the dog will get up from the sitting position and try to go through the opening; the minute the dogs bottom lifts off the floor shut the door, remove your hand from the knob and pay no attention to the dog until he returns to the sit position; once in the sit position praise lavishly in a high pitched happy voice

Step 6:

Repeat above step as necessary until the dog remains sitting while you open the door completely

Step 7:

Give your dog a release command such as “ok” or “let’s go” and take a single step forward; the dog will jerk forward; stand firm and ignore the dog, dog will continue to pull, might walk close to owner but then will immediately dart forward again; wait the dog out, he will usually give a calming signal such as a yawn, lip lick, or sigh and then return to the owner in a silent surrender. Praise the dog lavishly in a high pitched happy voice

Step 8:

Take a step forward and repeat the above step; the amount of time it takes for the dog to surrender will decrease each time until the dog no longer pulls but only if you NEVER let the dog walk even a step until he loosens the leash on his own, without the use of force or coursing by either walking behind the handler or returning to the left side of the handler and waiting

This recipe was provided by Rachel from TheDogTrainingSecret.com For more information on Loose Leash Training and other dog obedience issues check out their site.

7 Responses to “Loose Leash Walking Recipe”

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  1. Dino Dogan says:

    Cool post…I think many dog owners need this.

    I would only add that the key to succeeding in all this is to understand that time is irrelevant to your dog. So if you are in a rush to get to a grocery store or something, you may want to practice this on a day when you have all the time in the world, cuz your dog doesn’t (and shouldn’t) care that you’re in a hurry. .

    Also, patience is paramount. And when it starts to look like he will never give up, understand that dog is about to give up (engaging in inappropriate behavior like jumping and carrying on).

    In psychological terms, this is known as the extinction burst. The burst of activity right before the dog (or person) gives up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extinction_%28psychology%29

    Example: Imagine you live in a building with an elevator. Most times you step into the elevator and push the button for the desired floor. For years, this never failed.
    Today, you step onto the elevator, push the desired floor-button and nothing happens. Do you give up? Prob not. You will push the button again…and again….and increase the frequency until right before you give up, the button-pushing will reach a fever-pitch of sorts. Then, you give up and take the stairs.
    Thats extinction burst and your dog will go thought the same process. (all animals do)

    This example is from Jean Donaldson’s The Culture Clash (if my memory servers me correctly) and its also what Cesar Milan means when he sez “it will get worse before it gets better”.

    So you have to hang on, be patient and understand that when things look the bleakest, they are about to get better.

    Also, you dont want this to affect you in any way. You must be aware of your physical and mental state during this process and stay in control of yourself. Cuz if you dont, dogs will smell your frustration on you. Read my post on how dogs read our minds at http://dogandogs.com/dogs-can-sense-your-fear-but-how


  2. Jana says:

    Yeah, this really works! I did that quite some time ago with Jasmine, worked like a charm! I call this introducing ‘meaningful consequence’. As long as one can find one, the dog will learn very quickly!

  3. Omar Reyes says:

    I really enjoyed the step-by-step way the information on loose leash walking was presented. A great recipe for success :).

    As Dino said, patience is the key. When I was training Misha to walk with a loose leash I actually walked twice per day. Once was her training session and the other I did for my exercise. Didn’t get very far down the street when she was learning :).

    Well worth the time and effort spent teaching her though.


  4. Amanda says:

    I was doing it all perfectly – except for step 8. Thanks to you, I will be successful in my mission to walk the dog as opposed to the dog walking me!

  5. Ro says:

    Oh my god, thankyou so much!
    Took a bit of time, but my little Theo is walking perfectly now.

  6. Kate says:

    Bravo for this post!

    Indeed it was very helpful to get my princess Trixie to walk on leash…she was uncomfortable the first time but she really doing pretty well now and with no hassle on my side! whew!

    Thanks so much 🙂

  7. This recipe is actually a combination of the “Wait” command and Loose Leash Walking. Steps 1 through 6 are for “Wait” and 7 – 8 are for LLW. You would say “wait” once the dog knows to wait at the door. Once you are on other side of the door, use the release word of “Okay” like it says in this recipe. You can use the word “okay” to release the dog from any command. Some people use “sit” and “stay” at the door, but I think “wait” is better. There is a difference between the two commands.