Tag Archives: classes

Teaching Your Dog To Walk on a Loose Leash

Training a dog to walk on a loose leash begins with teaching a dog to be on a leash without lunging, pulling, bouncing or lagging. The owner stands still with the dog on a leash by its side. The dog’s behavior is reinforced, any behavior other than jumping or pulling, these behaviors are targeted for extinction while other alternative or incompatible behaviors are targeted for reinforcement. This behavior is generalized and put on an intermittent schedule of reinforcement before any motion is introduced into the loose leash walking. This helps develop impulse control and attention behaviors for those dogs that may engage in excessive exploratory and stimulation seeking activities while on a leash .

Once the dog is reliably able to be on its leash with the owner in a stationary position we then prompt the dog using a happy voice into motion to move alongside the owner for one step. As the dog follows and reaches the owner’s side the behavior is reinforced, click/treat.  This one step behavior is completed several times on a continuous reinforcement schedule. Great care is taken in marking the correct behavior position through the click and the delivery placement of the reinforcement.


The one step loose leash behavior is gradually increased incrementally, two steps then three steps, then five steps. Verbal prompts and physical prompts, leg tapping, are introduced to help motivate the dog to move alongside the owner in the correct position. The motion of walking by the owner’s side with a nice slack leash is then reinforced on a variable ratio schedule. When the dog is able to walk 30 steps alongside its owner then the verbal and physical prompts are faded and stimulus control is transferred to a verbal cue “let’s go.” The behavior is then generalized and put onto a variable interval schedule using secondary reinforcers, patting and verbal encouragement.



Your local DogSmith offers courses specifically targeting this one yet important behavior.

Take Back the Leash! Walk Nicely
Are you tired of your dog pulling and dragging you around by its leash, but you don’t need or want a formal, obedience arena style heel? Our Walk-Nicely course is just the thing. This 6-week program focuses on just one skill, walking nicely on a leash. This is a very important skill for you and your dog to master. Dogs that cannot walk nicely on a leash tend to get left at home missing out on the huge benefits of daily exercise and spending quality time with you. Teach your dog this crucial skill so you can both enjoy long and relaxed walks together. 

DogSmiths Preparing For “Just For Fun” Rally Obedience Group Classes

Later this year The DogSmith will be rolling out a new dog training service, “Just For Fun’ Rally Obedience Group Training Classes. We hosted a one day Rally  training camp for some of the DogSmiths led by Yolanda Purvis.

This is a short fun video of Bethany Jordan, The DogSmith Panhandle and Southern Alabama, teaching Bentley to heel, sit and down. Bentley is a rescue dog that Bethany is fostering. He is very smart and lots of fun to work with. He would make a great Agility dog as he is sooooo  fast. If you are interested in adopting Bentley you can contact Bethany by emailing her at BJordan@DogSmith.com

No Time for an 8 Week Dog Training Class – ‘Drop-In”

Your local DogSmith offers several group training options starting from puppy classes and progressing to Pet Dog “Canine Good Citizen”™ classes. If you have graduated from a beginner level dog training class and wish to develop off-leash skills focusing on distance and duration behaviors then talk to us about our Off-Leash advanced obedience classes. Want to just have fun? Enroll you and your dog in a ‘Clicks 4 Trick’ class or sign-up for our ‘Just for Fun’ Dog Agility class. These classes are perfect for you both and ensure that your dog gets some much needed mental stimulation. We even have classes for Grumpy Dogs too.

Drop In Classes

Here at The DogSmith we recognize the importance of having a well behaved dog and making your pets part of the family. But we also understand how busy our clients are so we designed the DogSmith “Drop-In” Class just for you. (Courses denoted by (*) are eligible for “Drop-In” enrollment. “Drop-In” enrollment allows you to register and pay for a course while allowing you the flexibility to complete the 8 classes over a 5 month period by attending any of a number of scheduled “drop-in” sessions that fit into your schedule. You will be given a “drop-in” class card that describes the necessary skills required for the course you have enrolled in and provides a record of competency level achieved for each skill. Check with your local DogSmith to find classes eligible for “Drop-in”)