You’re out on a walk trying to make it a peaceful stroll instead of a half jog as your dog pulls you along. You try pulling on the leash and shouting to him, but he’s insistent that this will be the quickest of walks. It’s a problem and one that needs addressing. It would also be helpful for when you start the walk and open the door. Currently, he leaps out onto the sidewalk and then straight onto the road. You need him to slowly leave the house so you can avoid him getting run over before you’ve even stepped out of the house.
Training him to walk slowly will also be vital for helping you assert your control and position as the pack leader. If you can control his walking, you’ll find it easier to control other behaviors you aren’t so keen on too.
Training your dog to walk slowly won’t be easy, unfortunately. This is particularly the case on walks. This is often the highlight of his day and he's understandably excited and eager to tear around and sniff everything he can. Training, therefore, will consist of motivating him to walk slowly and using a mixture of positive and negative reinforcement to achieve the end result. If he’s older he should have mellowed out somewhat over the years and reigning him in may take just a couple of weeks. Puppies are often more excitable and energetic and getting a handle on that energy may take a couple of months.
Get it right though, and you’ll be able to enjoy peaceful walks and have him trotting slowly in a range of situations. You’ll also find training him to ‘stay’, ‘sit’ and any other number of commands will take less time too.
Before you declare war on speed, you’ll need a few things. A short or an extendable leash will be needed. You may also want to use a body harness to reduce the strain on his neck. Make sure you top up on his favorite food or treats, they’ll be used to incentivize the slow walk.
You can train while you’re on your walks each day so you don’t need to set aside any time. You do need to walk him somewhere where he won’t get easily distracted by pets, people, and traffic, though.
Once you’ve got all of that you just need a patient attitude and you’re ready to start!