What Are the Best Tips for Leash Walking?

Jeremy Laukkonen

The best tips for leash walking can be divided into categories based on whether they can help train an animal, or provide for an experience that is both safe and enjoyable. Leash training is a process that can differ depending on the type of animal, though it is usually a good idea to introduce animals to collars and leashes gradually. Dogs can be walked using either collars or harnesses, though cats must be harnessed. If a dog has been especially difficult to leash train, a head harness may help. It is also a good idea to bring along the necessary means to clean up after a pet, and to verify that it is legal to walk pets in certain areas, such as a parks and trails.

Leashes allow for a safe and enjoyable experience for both pet and owner.
Leashes allow for a safe and enjoyable experience for both pet and owner.

Leash walking can be an enjoyable experience for pets and owners, and can provide both with good exercise. It can also be difficult without the proper training though, and some animals are more difficult to walk on a leash than others. When leash walking dogs, it is important to walk ahead of them to show that they are not in charge. Allowing a dog to run ahead can lead to control issues, which may be a problem if other dogs are met along the way. One way to ensure that a dog does not run ahead is to use a head harness, which is a type of collar that will gently turn the dog's head back around when it reaches the end of the leash.

Rewarding a dog for proper leash walking encourages positive behavior.
Rewarding a dog for proper leash walking encourages positive behavior.

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Training other types of animals to walk on leashes, such as cats, can be even more difficult. The most important tip for leash walking a cat is that a harness must be used instead of a collar. This is due to the fact that a cat leashed with nothing but a collar will tend to be able to escape from it. A properly designed harness can prevent this, allowing the cat to be walked safely. It is also important to introduce a cat to its harness gently over a period of several days, and to not simply strap it on and go for a walk.

Letting a dog walk in front can make it think it's in charge.
Letting a dog walk in front can make it think it's in charge.

A good general tip for leash walking is to verify the specific laws in the area. Many areas require pet owners to clean up after their pets during walks, and may issue fines or citations to any owner who is not carrying a baggy or scooping device. Some parks and trails are entirely off limits to pets, so it is important to check into that as well. When leash walking on a road it is typically safer to choose one with a sidewalk than one without. In the interests of safety, leashes should also be kept short in order to keep pets out of the road.

Jogging with a leashed dog can provide good exercise for both pet and human.
Jogging with a leashed dog can provide good exercise for both pet and human.

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