Walking with your dog is a matter of teamwork.

Here's the deal: You allow your dog to stop and sniff and your dog does their best to adjust to your pace in between.

Use a long enough leash and keep it slack. Your dog will not learn their part of the deal, if you keep a short and tight leash.

Teamwork means cooperation, not confrontation.

Teach your dog to target your hand on cue, so you can move them by invitation, not force.

This will come in handy when you need your dog to go back, forward, to the side or wherever needed.

Start building your skills at home.

Deliver high quality treats at high frequency to reinforce your dog for walking with you.

Once your dog happily trots along, give treats less often and at random times.

Practise in quiet public locations.

Reinforce your dog with treats and praise for keeping the leash loose.

At this stage your dog's focus may still be mostly on you in expectation of treats.

Let your dog sniff.

Transition to other reinforcers for walking nicely, such as access to smells.

Loose leash walking is not heeling. Give your dog the freedom to interact with the environment.

No pulling from either party. You first.

Alert your dog before they reach the end of the leash, so they learn to slow down before you come to a stop.

If you do have to stop because your dog tightens the leash, encourage them verbally and with hand targeting to step back.

Communicate with your dog.

Verbal cues and hand targeting are helpful to move your dog, for example to let people and other dogs pass.

Ask for behaviours your dog has learned, rather than pulling or pushing them.

Venture into busy streets when, and if, you are both ready.

Temporarily increase treat frequency to compensate for the high level of distractions.

Not every dog enjoys this environment. Know your dog and protect them from experiences that make them uncomfortable or fearful.

Nature walks are great for dogs and humans.

Long leashes of fixed length are a good option to give your dog more freedom to explore.

Enjoy your walk together!

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