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How to Train Your Dog to Bring You His Leash
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Going for a walk might be one of your dog's favorite activities to do with you. Getting your dog excited for walks is probably not difficult. Getting him involved by getting his own leash when he's ready for a walk can be a cool trick. Not only can he teach you that he is ready to go or needs to go outside, but he can also take a simple chore off your hands by getting the leash for you. Imagine the time saved if your dog can walk up to you with his leash in hand ready to go. You could spend extra time putting your shoes on, filling up a bottle of water, and gearing up for your walk. Impress your friends and neighbors each time your dog carries his leash to you to let you know he is ready to go!
Training your dog to bring you his leash is not an incredibly difficult task. However, your dog needs to know basic commands first. Teach your dog to get his leash by teaching him the keyword word such as ‘leash.’ You will use this word every time you expect your dog to bring his leash to you. You can work on your dog bringing you his leash every time you take him outside, so potentially several times a day for several sessions before he completely comprehends the command. This trick could take a few weeks to master but will show the world just how smart your dog really is. Starting with basic a keyword command such as ‘leash’ or ‘pick it up’ will help your dog understand this command a little faster. If your dog is not familiar with the fetch command or not familiar with basic words such as ‘ball’ or ‘go get the ball,’ you may want to work on those first. Have fun with this one. Your dog will look smart and be able to help you out with a simple task.
Your dog should have a leash ready for him that is the right size for his breed, size and weight. Be prepared with lots of treats to offer him. Each time you practice this simple trick, be ready to take your dog for a walk even if it is short and sweet. You will need him to understand the ‘leash’ command means he gets the leash and as a reward, he gets to go outside and walk with you. Have fun and be positive. Be prepared to reward your pup for great behavior and learning another cool trick.
The Commands Method
Introduce the word ‘leash’ as a command word and teach your dog exactly what you want when you say the command.
Starting with a leash sitting on the floor, ask your dog to ‘take it.’ If your dog does not know the ‘take it’ command, you can place the leash in his mouth. Offer him a treat once the leash is in his mouth and use the command ‘drop it.’
If your dog still has the leash in his mouth, use the command ‘drop it.’ If your dog doesn’t know ‘drop it,’ he should drop the leash in exchange for the treat you offer. Work on this command if he does not yet know it.
Walk to your door and ask your dog to take the leash using the ‘take it’ command. Once he brings it to you, use the ‘drop it’ command.
Once your dog brings the leash to you, offer him a treat, forcing him to drop the leash.
Repeat these steps several times using the ‘take it’ and ‘drop it’ commands.
Once your dog understands the command ‘leash’ means to bring you the leash, you can stop using the take it and drop it commands and start only using the leash command.
Practice these steps in small sessions several times a day for a few weeks until your dog understands when you say the word ‘leash’ you would like him to pick up his leash, bring it to you, and drop it into your hands.
Reward with walk
When your dog is successful at bringing you the leash, be sure to reward him with a treat and a walk outside.
The Fetch Leash Method
Use a fetch command to teach your dog to fetch his leash and bring it to you.
Show your dog the leash and use the word ‘leash’ several times while talking to him. Repeat this word every time you put the leash on him and several times a day as you show him his leash.
Place the leash on a hook or a table where your dog can easily access it and begin to use the words ‘fetch leash’ as a command your dog should understand. As long as he knows the word fetch and has taken the time to learn the word leash, this should be a breeze.
As your dog is able to bring the leash to you using the ‘fetch leash’ command, be sure to reward him with a treat.
Each time your dog brings you his leash on command, take him for a walk outside.
Repeat and practice
Teaching your dog to fetch a leash is not much different from teaching your dog to fetch a stick or a ball. You are simply teaching your dog the new item rather than the fetch command. Be sure to practice using the leash command every day so your dog does not forget your expectations when you say the word ‘leash.’
The While Walking Method
Teach your dog the command leash while the leash is on him and you are on a walk. While you are walking, place the leash in your dog's mouth and use the command word ‘leash,’ teaching him what the item is called and when you say the word it goes into his mouth.
As you walk together, repeat the word ‘leash’ every so often. Your dog should get to the point where he puts the leash in his mouth on his own. If he does not, continue repeating step one by placing the leash into his mouth and saying the word at the same time.
Once your dog has practiced, on command, he should be able to pick up the leash and put it into his mouth.
Now begin to practice with the leash off your dog. Place the leash on a hook or on the floor and use the command ‘leash.’ Your dog should pick it up and put it in his mouth.
Reward and practice
Be sure to reward your dog with a yummy treat each time he picks up the leash on command, and practice several times a day with the command so he remembers his new trick.
Keep your leash in the same location where your dog can easily access it. Each time you say the command, ‘leash,’ your dog should be able to go retrieve the leash and bring it to you ready for a walk.
Each time your dog brings you his leash on command, be sure to reward him with a nice walk.
By Amy Caldwell
Published: 10/06/2017, edited: 01/08/2021
Training Questions and Answers
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My dog doesn't like to give things back to me, he will go get his ball "tenny" then take off with it or be like "whatever I don't care." What should I do?
Jan. 19, 2021
Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer
1133 Dog owners recommended
Hello Abby, Check out the article I have linked below on teaching Fetch, especially the section about teach drop it using treats or a toy trade, and teaching come. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-to-fetch/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Jan. 21, 2021
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My dog is extremely stubborn and I don’t know how to go about it. She’s not only a German Shepherd, but also a Chow Chow, Rottweiler, Pitbull, and Boxer. She’s an extremely smart dog, but it’s difficult to train her because she just doesn’t want too.
July 10, 2020