How to Train Your Bull Terrier Dog to Walk on a Leash

Medium
3-6 Weeks
General

Introduction

There is nothing quite like the fun you and your pup will have going out for nice long walks. At least, that is what we want things to be like as our pups grow up. Of course, without the proper training, your pup is not likely to behave, especially when he is charging around at the end of his leash.  However, with the proper training, you would be amazed at what you can teach your pup to do.

Walking properly on the end of his leash should be one of the first things you work on teaching him once he has mastered the four basic commands, 'come', 'sit', 'stay', and 'down'. Learning how to walk properly on a leash is not a difficult concept, but it can take your bull terrier a little time to master it. Be patient and work with him every time you take him out for a walk and it really won't be that long before the two of you can go practically anywhere together. 

Defining Tasks

There is more to walking on the end of a leash for your pup than trying to drag you along with him every time you go for a walk. Once properly trained, your pup will be able to walk with you without pulling your arm off. In turn, this will make it much more pleasant for both of you. Most people start their training in their own backyard before moving to the outside world.

If you can't start out in your backyard due to space limitations, you may find the next best thing is to try and pick a time of day when there are fewer vehicles, people, and other dogs around. The important thing here is that it is much easier to get your pup to follow instructions when there are fewer distractions around to take his mind off what you are trying to teach him. 

Getting Started

Once your pup has mastered the four basic skills of 'come', 'sit', 'stay', and 'down', he is ready to move on to things like learning to go for walks on the end of his leash without trying to tear your arm out. The one thing to keep in mind during the training and afterward is that you should never try to use punishment or admonishment to train your dog; positive reinforcement has been proven to be the best method. You should also lay in a few supplies and training props, including:

  • Leash and collar
  • Treats 
  • Clicker (optional)
  • Time
  • Patience

Time and patience are the two most important tools you can have in your kit. Bull terriers are very intelligent but tend to be a bit more stubborn than some breeds, so don't expect miracles. Just keep working with your pup as often as you can, and he will figure it out. 

The Meet Your Leash Method

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Step
1
Leash time
By now your pup should already be used to wearing his collar. So now it's time to introduce him to his leash. The easy way to do this is to let him run around the house with his leash dragging behind him while you are playing with him. Be sure to give him treats while you are playing with him. This helps him to equate the leash with fun and treats.
Step
2
Introduce the cue
Teach your pup the cue word or sound you will be using on walks. Do this by keeping your dog on a leash in a quiet room. Give him the cue word or noise you have decided on, the moment he turns to you, give him a treat. Soon he will not only turn towards you, he will start coming over to you for the treat when you make the sound.
Step
3
Make him work for it
Now that he will come to you when you use the cue, start making him work for his treats by backing up a few paces at a time. This makes him come to you for his treats. Keep doing this until you can walk a few paces and he will walk with you.
Step
4
Inside practice sessions
Practice having your pup come to you and then walk with you for a few steps. When he does, be sure to praise and treat him. Work on this for a few days until you can do one or more laps around the house successfully.
Step
5
Taking it outdoors
Alright, it's time to take those first magic steps on a leash in the outside world. Remember, there are going to be a lot more distractions for your pup to deal with outside. But, if you start to notice your pup is giving into these distractions, simply give him your cue word or noise and reward him when he looks t you instead of the distraction. Practice makes perfect, so the more you take your pup for walks the faster he will master this important skill.
Recommend training method?

The During Dinner Method

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Step
1
Clip the leash
Choose a time when your pup is having his dinner and clip a leash on his collar. This lets your pup associate the leash with something good (in this case his food). Do this for 2 or 3 days.
Step
2
Moving around the house
It's time to take this show on the road. Pick up the leash and follow your pup around the house, leaving plenty of slack in the leash. Continue increasing the amount of time you do this until your pup gets used to you and the leash being there.
Step
3
To the outside world
Time to take on the outside world. Start out in your backyard and let your pup walk around for a bit, dragging his leash behind him. After a few minutes of successfully doing this, pick up the leash and give your pup a treat. You can use the treat to lure him to your side, where he should learn to walk in the 'heel' position. Repeat this step until your pup seems comfortable with walking on his leash.
Step
4
If he tugs
If your pup starts to tug on his leash while you are walking, turn around 180 degrees and walk the opposite direction. This will force your pup to turn his head and naturally the rest of him will follow as he has no choice but to follow you. Keep repeating this until your pup will walk beside you without constantly tugging on his leash.
Step
5
Rewards and practice
Be sure to give your pup plenty of treats as you work with him and practice several times a day. It won't take long before you and your pup can proudly walk down the sidewalks and hiking trails without having to worry about him misbehaving.
Recommend training method?

The Stand Still Method

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Step
1
Stand and wait
Start this training by clipping your pup on his leash and then just standing there with him. Each time your pup moves in such a way as to ease the tension on the leash, praise him and show him the treat you have in your hand.
Step
2
Place the treat
Place the treat on the ground next to your left foot. Let him eat it and then move out to the end of the leash and put a little tension on it. When he turns and releases the tension on the leash, give him another treat.
Step
3
First movement
With your pup standing by your side, toss a treat out in front of his nose to a point around three feet away. Let your pup go and get it. When he turns and comes back to you looking for another treat, lay one down by your left foot. Repeat this until your pup seems to have mastered this phase of the training.
Step
4
Turn and add distance
This time, toss the treat past your dog and after he is on his way back, turn and walk a few steps away from him. When he does this, stop and give him a treat. Start adding to the distance until you can go anywhere safe in the knowledge he will be right by your side.
Step
5
The rest is up to you
The rest is all about repetition. Not only is learning this skill part of teaching your pup good manners, it lets your pup know who is in control at all times. Walking often is a good way for you to get in lots of good exercise.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

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