How To Train An Older Dog To Walk On A Leash

Just because your dog is getting on in years doesn’t mean that he or she will always walk perfectly on the leash.

Even elderly dogs can pull on their leash if they see another dog across the field.

The good news is that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks when it comes to well-behaved walking.

Although it may take longer to get an older dog to respond due their bad habits having been cemented for so many years, as long as you’re patient and consistent in your approach you could find your pet is well-behaved and calm when you’re out and about in only a few short weeks.

So, read this guide and start training your older dog to walk on a leash.

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What Do I Need To Get Started?

First of all, you’ll need a few things to hand before you start training your elderly dog to walk on a leash.

These include:

  • A good supply of doggie trears
  • A quiet space without any unwanted distractions
  • A secure training leash or harness

Now that you’re ready, it’s time to get started, and there are a few different methods you could try. Here are some of the most popular.

Using A Training Leash

  • Switch your regular leash for a training one. These are shorter and so enable you to effectively and speedily correct poor behavior.
  • Secure your dog to the training leash while in your home and use it for around 10 to 15 minutes per day.
  • Once your pet has disassociated their leash with going out for a walk, you can take your pet out on the leash for the first time.
  • Before leaving the house take your pet out of your door and if they become too excited, come back into the house. Repeat until your pet is calm enough to leave the house sensibly.
  • As soon as your pet pulls on the leash, stop immediately and don’t move until your pet is calm.
  • When your pet is walking calmly, give them a treat.

The 180 Method

  • Once your dog pulls at the leash, turn round and go the opposite way.
  • This move shows your dog that if they pull at their leash they’ll not be allowed to travel where they want to.
  • Repeat the process until your pet realizes you’re in control of their walk.
  • Have patience and always reward their positive behavior.

The Heel Method

  • Secure your pet to the leash and head towards the front door.
  • Begin by walking as you would normally, holding the leash tightly and waiting for your pet to use the loose leash up.
  • Say “heel” loudly and firmly as soon as your dog pulls at their leash.
  • Gently but noticeably jerk the leash then stand still until your pet returns to your side.
  • Reward your dog with praise and a doggie treat.
  • Keep practicing until your pet is perfect!

Remember To Be Patient And Consistent When Training An Old Dog To Walk On A Leash

The key to training any dog, regardless of their age, is to be patient and consistent.

It can take hours, weeks or even months of perseverance before your pet learns how to walk nicely on their leash, but eventually you can be sure that those bad habits will be broken over time.

Once your pet becomes more used to the training process and is walking more consistently on the leash without pulling, you can start reducing the number of doggie treats you give them as a reward.

You should still continue to offer a lot of praise every time they behave well, though.

This will continue to give your pet an incentive to carry on behaving well when they’re out and about with you in public – after all, doesn’t every dog love their special human making a big fuss of them!