Tips to Train Dogs to Be Calm on Walks

By: David Codr

Published Date: November 13, 2017

For this Omaha dog training session we worked with 4 year-old Cockapoo Lenny (right) and 4 year-old Lab Doberman mix Otis (left); training the dogs to be calm on walks and stop pulling on the leash.

Little Toby joined in on the fun at the door, but due to a heart issue, his guardian tucked him away for most of the session so I could focus on Lenny and Otis. Otis was inherited from his guardian’s mother and his dominant nature had caused some issues in the house.

I spent the first hour of the session going over basic living changes that should help make it easier to eliminate many of the unwanted dog behavior problems. There were no rules in place and the dogs were often petted when displaying unwanted behaviors like invading space, pawing for attention, jumping up, barking and “using the furniture like a parkour exercise late at night.”

Increasing the dog’s daily exercise, providing good consistent leadership and rewarding desired actions instead of focusing on the things the dogs do wrong will go a long ways towards the kind of behavior modification their guardians were looking for.

I also went over a positive dog training tip to use anytime a dog is too excited to control itself. Since these excited dogs ramped up when the leash came out, I decided to demonstrate how to solve this dog behavior problem. Watch the video below to learn how you can get your dog to stay calm when getting ready for a walk.

It will take a little work, but if the guardians practice this leashing up ritual a few times a day without going for a walk over the next week or two, the dogs should learn the only way they are heading out for a walk is by being calm and waiting in a follower position for the human.

Another activity that got the dogs excited was people knock on the door. With enough repetition, the knock starts to become associated with the excitement of someone new coming inside. As a dog behaviorist I have found an easy way to help the dog in this situation is to train the dog to stay behind an invisible boundary several feet away from the door before opening it. You can find out how to train a dog to stay behind an invisible line with this link.

By the end of the session, the dogs were following the new rules on their own, listening when their humans communicated or directed them and their energy was calm and balanced.

To help the guardians remember all the dog behavior tips and suggestions we made in this in home dog training session, I shot a roadmap to success video that you can check out below.

The guardian accidentally stopped filming the video at that point, but you can get these rest of the tips from this dog behavior expert by watching the video below.

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