How to get your Cat to Walk on a Leash

My cats love to be outside, but without the leash they will both take off running for the hills. They are fine as long as they go where they want to, but making them go where I want, is a whole other story, which usually ends in one of them flopping down and refusing to move!

Here’s some easy steps to get your cat to enjoy walking on a leash.

What you will need: an H-shaped harness that will comfortably fit your cat, a lightweight leash, and your kitty’s favorite treats.

For the first couple of days, you will just want to put the harness in an area that your cat frequents, such as near her food bowl or bed. This will allow her time to get use to the harness.

After a few days, try putting the harness on your cat. Immediately give her treats so she forgets about the harness being there and praise her. After she finishes her treats, let her walk around in the harness to get used to the feel of it. Distract her with a game or toys if she seems uncomfortable. When your kitty relaxes, remove the harness.

Repeat until your cat is comfortable just being in the harness. Next, attach the leash to the harness and let you cat drag it around. Keep an eye on her to make sure the leash doesn’t get caught up on anything. Play a game of follow with your kitty’s teaser wand and when she walks praise her and give her a treat.

When your cat is comfortable with both the leash and the harness, it’s time for you to pick up the leash. Keep the leash slackened and walk around behind her as she goes about her business. Don’t restrict her movement, but just follow her. You’ll want to do this for a few days until your cat is comfortable with the idea of you following her around.

Now it’s time to get your cat to go where you want her to go. Encourage her to follow you with praise and treats. (Note: in no way will walking your cat be like walking your dog!) Allow your cat to wander, but don’t pull or jerk her on the leash this can scare her and throw your training in a tailspin. When she reaches the end of the leash, she will either come in your direction or just plop down on the ground. This step may take the longest for your kitty to get the hang of, so be patient and always reward the behavior you want with praise and treats.

Once your kitty has mastered walking on the leash indoors, it’s time to head to the great outdoors! If your cat has never been outside allow her to take her time getting used to the sights and sounds. When she is relaxed, you can try going for your first outdoors walk. Allow her to explore, chase leaves and have a good time basking in the sun.

Why You Should Keep Your Dog on a Leash & Leash Training

Dog Training

I have a neighbor who lets his little Maltese and his Collie run free. It bugs me to no end, considering the city does have a leash law. The Collie I don’t mind so much, he keeps his distance, but that Maltese is a mean little bugger. What if the kids are playing outside when he decides to come by? I don’t want one of them getting bit! He has tried to bite my fiancee more than once!

When a dog is on a leash, you are in control. It shows the dog that you are the leader because you decide where you’re going and what is allowed on a walk. Not only that, but it keeps your dog safe by not allowing him to chase squirrels, etc. on a doggie whim. What if he ran off after a squirrel into the street and oncoming traffic? More likely than not he would ignore your commands and keep chasing the squirrel, right?

Teaching your dog to walk properly on a leash is not a hard task. It can be done with a few basic dog obedience classes and a little patience. The first commands to teach your puppy are sit and stay. The most important thing is to never reward your puppy for pulling on the leash.

Things you will need to train your puppy include: Lots of yummy treats, a 4-6 foot leash, a regular buckle collar or a puppy harness, and lots of patience.

To begin leash training you want to do it either in the house or in the yard, and be sure to have lots of yummy treats on hand! Once these first commands are learned, you can give your puppy the command and then put on his leash. If your puppy bolts as soon as the leash is clasp on, stand still and allow the puppy to calm down and stop pulling, jumping, etc. This could take a few minutes, so be patient. Once the puppy calms down, call him to you and when he comes, have him sit, then praise him for being good and give him a treat.

Take your first step, but don’t go toward the door. If your puppy stays calm and doesn’t pull, praise him and take another step. If he doesn’t , stand still until he calms down, call him to you, and have him sit. Once he sits, praise him and give him a treat. Repeat the process until you are able to walk with a calm, non-pulling puppy. When you feel you and the puppy are ready for an actual walk, try the great outdoors and remember if puppy starts pulling, stop and wait for him to calm down, call him to you have have him sit before proceeding on your walk.

If you do this consistently, the dog learns two things: (1) if he stays near you or looks at you, he gets treats and he gets to keep moving, and (2) if he pulls on the leash, it’s a pain in the butt because he doesn’t get to keep moving AND he has to come back to you and sit.

** If your dog is RUNNING at full speed toward the end of the leash, you could inflict physical damage to his neck if you allow him to check himself against the leash without giving him any slack. Allow your arm to absorb most of the force so the dog is surprised but not harmed.