Teaching your dog to walk calmly on a leash can take time and patience, but with consistent training and positive reinforcement, it can be accomplished. Here are some steps to follow:
Start with the right equipment: A sturdy leash and a well-fitted collar or harness are essential for safe and effective training. A front-clip harness can be especially helpful for dogs who tend to pull.
Start training indoors: Begin in a quiet room in your home with few distractions. Start by teaching your dog to focus on you and follow your lead by using treats or a toy as a lure.
Practice in a controlled environment: Once your dog is comfortable following you indoors, move the training outside to a fenced-in area or a quiet park. This will help your dog get used to the sights and sounds of being outside without being overwhelmed.
Reward good behavior: Whenever your dog walks calmly by your side on a loose leash, reward them with praise and treats. This will help your dog associate walking on a loose leash with a reward.
Keep training sessions short and close to home: Short, frequent training sessions are more effective than long, infrequent ones. Aim for 5-10 minute training sessions a few times a day. When training for neighborhood walks, gradually increase the distance you go from your front door so that you can take your dog home quickly, if necessary.
Remember, teaching your dog to walk calmly on a leash takes time and patience. Be consistent with your training, and eventually, your dog will learn to enjoy walking on a leash with you.