Dog Walk Etiquette: Training Your Dog to Walk on a Leash

When you live in any community, big or small, it is necessary to keep your dog on a leash when you are out in public. It seems easy, right? Unfortunately, many dogs resist the leash and it can be a struggle to have a pleasant walk when they are squirming and miserable. The case for leashes is important, though, to keeping your pet and others safe. It’s a necessary part of training your dog, in fact.

This is why your friends at Redwood Veterinary Clinic are here to give you some expert tips on training your dog to walk on a leash. Let’s get going!

Tips for Training Your Dog to Walk on a Leash

Leash walking is something all dogs need to know, whether they spend a lot of time outdoors or not. In fact, municipal laws dictate that dogs should be on leashes when they are in any public areas that are not deemed off leash dog parks.

There are some basics to know before you venture out with your bestie.

  1. Choose the right leashWe recommend a harness and leash system when you are training a puppy or leash resistant dog. It gives you more control while training and prevents any injuries to the neck and trachea. These should be used for tiny breeds for safety. However, a traditional leash and collar are fine if they are made of sturdy nylon or leather. Avoid retractable leashes as they have been known to cause injury.
  2. Start in the backyard Instead of taking your dog right downtown, avoid noisy and busy areas by practicing in the backyard, getting your dog used to the feeling of being on a leash. Use your commands, such as “sit” and “stay” to see how well they respond. Move to the front yard, then around the block when they continue to gain confidence.
  3. Stop and start Any time your pet starts to get antsy or pulls, get them to sit down. Stay until they are calm, then say, “let’s go” and continue on your path. Wait for them to calm down each time before moving forward. This will train them to know that they can only move when they aren’t pulling ahead.
  4. Cross over when you see other dogs – If your pet reacts to dogs or other animals, cross  the street when you see them approach. Likewise, move your dog over to a lawn and have them sit until the other animal has passed by with their owner.
  5. Turn around when there is trouble brewing If your dog reacts to another dog, person, squirrel, or any animals in the midst, turn and go. This avoids any negative interactions with others and gets your pet’s attention to rest on you once again, rather than the trigger.
  6. Reward your pet While you are training them to walk on a leash, give them a small treat as a reward. Each time they follow a command or walk without pulling, give them verbal praise and a treat. (Extra points when they behave while a pesky squirrel runs by!)

The Leash Reactive Dog

Some dogs are prone to escape or resistant to a leash when on them. In some dogs, it can be a fear or phobia for them to feel confined in any way. There are certain causes for this behavior, including:

  • Lack of training with basic commands
  • Undersocialization
  • Fear of strangers, other animals, noise, etc.
  • Traumatic experience in their development
  • Frustration over one too many stimuli in their surroundings
  • Other dogs that are off leash can create tension and fear

If your dog isn’t jibing with the leash, please reach out to us. We can offer suggestions and a behavioral consult for your pup.

Success with Leash Walking

With a lot of practice and consistency, your dog will soon learn how to walk on the leash with ease. Much of this requires practice, understanding triggers or barriers to your training, and redirecting your dog with rewards based training. If you have any questions about leash walking your best friend, or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us.

We are an Essential Service Offering Curbside Care

Redwood Veterinary Hospital has always believed that protection of good health, both human and animal, requires a multifaceted community-based approach. As our community addresses the challenges of COVID-19 together we want to keep you informed about how we’re doing things a little differently these days. 

Designated by the State of California as an essential service, Redwood Veterinary Hospital continues to provide critical care to sick or injured animals as well as wellness care, such as all important health check examinations and vaccinations. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted how we deliver healthcare to animals. We call this new approach “Curbside Care”. Below we explain how this will affect your experience at Redwood Veterinary Hospital in the months ahead.  


Fireworks, Parties, and Thunderstorms: Addressing Noise Anxiety in Pets

Most pets are sensitive to loud noises because their hearing is much more acute than our own. This sensitivity to sound is what causes some emotional and physical disturbances when your pet hears loud noises. Couple that with the unpredictability of some of these sounds, is cause for stress in some animals.

The team at Redwood Veterinary Hospital is here to address noise anxiety in pets to help you identify the triggers and minimize the symptoms in your little one.


Redwood Veterinary Hospital is Celebrating 41 Years of AAHA Accreditation!

This year at Redwood Veterinary Hospital marks our 41st year of accreditation by AAHA and we couldn’t be more proud! This is no small accomplishment and we want to make sure that all of our friends and family know exactly what that means and why they should care. It is one thing for us to be proud, but we know you’ll join us once you know what AAHA accreditation means for you and your pet(s).

AAHA Accreditation

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) was founded in 1933 to help ensure the best care for our animal friends possible. Today AAHA is respected internationally as a leader in the veterinary world, setting standards of excellence for veterinary care and services. 

While the AAHA guidelines and standards for high quality veterinary care are available to the entire profession, not every veterinary hospital follows them. All veterinary hospitals in California are legally required to meet certain minimum standards of care. AAHA accredited hospitals, like Redwood Veterinary Hospital, are required to meet higher standards of care. This takes considerable time and effort and generates a lot of pride here at Redwood. 


Retrospective: Our Top 5 Pet Blogs of 2019 

Can you believe another year has come and gone? And what a year it was! At Redwood Veterinary Hospital, we have been blessed to care for so many wonderful fur friends and partner with their loving families. Our goal is to always give our pets the greatest quality of care in veterinary health for a long and happy life. 

The aim of our blog is to provide relevant, informative content on all things relating to pet health. We also throw out the occasional entertaining and light-hearted blog for good measure. We are pleased that we have had so many loyal readers, and we look forward to providing excellent content for pet owners. 

So, now to our top 5 pet blogs of 2019!


Turkey Day Tips: Thanksgiving Safety for Your Pet

The time for turkey and family is around the corner, as well as all of the other holidays that follow, and the shopping and festivities that fill the calendar. That is why it is a good time to talk about pet safety when it comes to holidays. Thanksgiving brings with it risks to your pet that you may not be aware of.

In order to have the best Thanksgiving for your four-legged family members, your friends at Redwood Veterinary Hospital have some tips and recommendations for the big feast.


Tricks or Treats? Halloween Pet Safety

Two dogs dressed as sheet ghosts sit on a porch, which has been . decorated for Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner, and many of us are eagerly anticipating the decorations, the jack-o-lanterns, costumes, and eating lots of treats, of course. As pet owners, we naturally want to include our best fur pals in the fun. But for some pets, Halloween can be a truly frightening, and risk, time of year.

While many pets do like to be included, it’s wise to be cautious about where, when, and how you expose them to the festivities. Read on for some Halloween pet safety tips from Redwood Veterinary Hospital, and avoid a fright night for your pets. 


Is Canine Heart Disease Linked to Grain-Free Food?

Grain-free and boutique dog foods have been getting a lot of heat lately because of a possible link to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs. The relationship between certain types of food and DCM is very complicated, and continued research suggests we still have a lot to learn.

In the meantime, however, dog owners are understandably concerned about canine heart disease and the right nutritional choices.


Redwood Veterinary Hospital’s Top 5 Blog Posts of 2018

With a new year on the horizon, it’s a wonderful time to pause and take stock of all that we’ve accomplished in 2018. At Redwood Veterinary Hospital, that includes remembering all the people and pets we’ve helped and the friendships we’ve made. We can’t help but feel grateful for this past year and we’re looking forward to seeing more pets and their owners in 2019.

We’re also remembering our favorite blog posts at this time of year, and looking back at the posts that you found most helpful and fun, too. So we’ve compiled our top 5 most popular blog posts from 2018, and we hope you enjoy them, here.


Deck the Halls: Holiday Pet Safety

Holiday pet safety can help prevent a holiday pet emergency

‘Tis the season of tinsel, trees, and turkey – oh my! – and time to spend with family and friends, as well. With a full 70% of pet owners considering their pets as family of course we know that some of the holiday festivities will include our pets.

Although we love to have our furry family help us celebrate the winter holidays, there are some hazards to be aware of when it comes to holiday pet safety. And so without further ado, Redwood Veterinary Hospital in Vallejo, CA gives you our best tips and tricks for avoiding a holiday pet emergency.