Have you ever felt dismayed over the shrinking access for our canine companions? I know that to a large degree we’ve brought it on ourselves by our collective carelessness about proper public and leash-walking etiquette.

Teaching your dog how to walk politely on a leash is more just a convenience. When you can walk in public with your dog following your moves, he’s more likely to stay out of trouble.

The manner in which you hold and deliver your treats is critical to success with polite walking.

  • When you walk, have the treats in your hand but hidden behind your hip on the side opposite your dog. If you hold them in your hand on the same side where your dog can see or smell them, it will be harder to “fade” (slowly eliminate) the presence of the treats later on.
  • To deliver treats, wait for a second after the click! as you keep walking, then bring your hand across the front of your body and feed the treat.
  • Remember to click!, then give him a treat after a brief pause. If you begin to move your treat hand toward him before the click!, he’s just thinking about food rather than what he did to make you click the clicker.

For more information on how to reform a puller into a more pleasant walking companion, purchase Whole Dog Journal’s ebook Walking Your Dog.