When I first set up F.I.D.O. years ago, it was my ambition to see every dog on Monnow Street walking calmly beside it’s owner and not dragging them along the road or choking as they walked. Walking on a loose lead is one of the main skills I aim to teach dog and puppy owners when they come to my training and socialisation courses.
More than just about any basic command, being able to go out with your dog and enjoy having him next to you is so valuable. For your dog it can make the difference between going out and experiencing the world and staying locked up when your owner heads off to town. Dogs that pull on the lead are a challenge to manage and the temptation is to leave them at home. The trouble is that the more you leave them at home the less socialisation and general experience your dog will acquire and the less likely he is to ever understand what walking calmly is all about.
Not only that, if he never goes out he will not learn how to get on with strangers, deal with unusual noises or be able to handle meeting unknown dogs. For you as his owner, walking with your dog calmly next to you means that your arms will still be the same length when you get home, they won’t be aching from all the pulling and you will be building a close and loving bond with a well socialised animal whose greatest desire is to please you and to be by your side. The video I attach here demonstrate loose lead walking.