Shelly Wood
Shelly Wood
Anna BartosikAnna Bartosik

Let’s go! – loose leash walking course

Can you imagine what walks would be like if your dog walked next to you and paid attention to you?

course has started
1 March 2023


Previous editions

December 2022

September 2022

Next editions

June 2023

More TBA

Do you dread walking your dog?  


Is it a constant struggle with pulling and a tight leash?  


Does your dog seem to forget you exist when you’re out on a walk?  


Can you imagine what walks would be like if your dog walked next to you and paid attention to you?  


By taking this course you will learn the skills that will help you and your dog achieve your polite walking dreams!   


Pulling on walks is often a frustrating problem for both you and your dog that can be detrimental to your relationship. It can also be dangerous and can lead to injuries to either of you! It’s not all lost though and this course will get you on the right track! Whether the dog is big or small, loose leash walking skills can be useful for all! With a puppy or newly adopted dog who doesn’t pull yet, the skills you will learn in the course can prevent future walking troubles from developing.  


In this course you will learn:

  • How to select the appropriate equipment for walks with your dog
  • How to use reinforcement efficiently on the walk
  • How to teach your dog to pay attention to you
  • How to teach your dog to walk on a loose leash in a variety of locations
  • What to do when the leash gets tight
  • How to teach your dog to turn away from distraction and walk with you in the other direction
  • How to work with distractions 
  • Walking games including Leslie McDevitt’s 1-2-3 from Control UnleashedTM

If we haven’t convinced you yet, here is a more in-depth description of what you’ll find in the course:

Week 1

  1. Basic skills you and your dog will need
  2. Identify your goals
  3. Select appropriate equipment for your walks
  4. Learn about important concepts and terminology including operant conditioning and marker signals
  5. Identify the skills you and your dog will need for loose leash walking
  6. Learn to select the correct environment to set you and your dog up for success
  7. Know what to do when the leash gets tight

Week 2

  1. Teaching u-turns, the 1-2-3 game and directional turns
  2. Learn how type of reinforcement, rate of reinforcement, reinforcement placement and other small changes can make a big difference to keep the leash loose
  3. Learning what motivates our dogs to pull in the first place
  4. The “Three Ds” and loose leash walking

Week 3

  1. How to change speed successfully on a walk
  2. Learn how to pay attention to the environment and how that impacts our success with polite walking
  3. How to build fluency with our polite walking skills in a variety of environments
  4. How other important skills like recall can help us on walks

Week 4 – Working with distractions 

  1. Diving deeper into motivation and distractions
  2. How to identify distractions for the individual dog in front of us
  3. Learn to work in more challenging environments
  4. Learn when and how to teach our dogs to avoid distractions, and when and how we might use some distractions as reinforcers for loose leash walking

Week 5 

  1. Different types of walks including urban walks and more decompression style walks and skill sets needed for both
  2. Building duration with polite walking, and with the 1-2-3 game
  3. Learning how to decrease distance to distractions

Week 6 

  1. Putting it all together – distraction plus duration
  2. Remembering to be mindful of the individual we are working with, and the environment where we are working 
  3. Learn about common challenges and troubleshooting

  We can’t wait to see you on the course!


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