Tips for Mastering the Dog Walk

Jimi takes us for a walk and gives us tips on how to properly walk with our dogs!

10 Steps to Master the Dog Walk

  1. First things first, make sure you have a good leash and collar for your dog.
  2. Select a quiet area with less distraction. You can work your way up to areas with more distractions later.
  3. Remember the dog is walking with you, not in front or behind you. Think of when you are walking with a friend…you don’t walk ahead or behind them!
  4. Do not give hard pulls or “pops” to the leash if your dog is having a hard time. This only confuses the dog.
  5. Make sure there is always slack on the leash.
  6. Slowly move directions and change speeds so the dog gets more comfortable with change. Feel free to zig zag and walk in different patterns.
  7. If the dog walks too far ahead, stop and slowly turn around and guide the dog in the new direction. Then loop back around and continue on your way.
  8. If the dog is doing well, stop and CALMLY praise the dog.
  9. Pay close attention to your dogs posture and tail. If your dog becomes distracted or startled by an object along your walk, take the time to calming introduce your dog to that object and show them it’s harmless.
  10. Implement walking over objects into each walk. Walking over different types of terrain and surfaces is great!

We are here for you!

We’d love for you to share your dog walking experiences with us in the comments below. We do our best to answer every question posted!



  1. Bryn July 28, 2013 at 6:24 am - Reply

    Nice Videos and tech, I really enjoyed the reinforcment of staying calm and low distraction to start. It so easy to get to far advanced.

  2. Danaë Fish August 21, 2015 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    This video is very helpful for people with skittish dogs, but my dog pulls me no matter what direction I am going, so when I try to follow you advice and turn in a different direction she just pulls me that way. Do you have any advice on how to work on this behavior, so that I am not just walking in a small circle?

    • YDG December 29, 2015 at 8:47 pm - Reply

      Hi Danaë. Sorry for the delayed response! The best thing to do is start back at the very basics of leash cooperation and teach that first before you can expect to walk your dog outside with numerous distractions. This means consistently putting a leash on your dog at all times, even inside the house. We show this in detail in our training course that can be purchased here on our website.

  3. Tanja Lombard August 21, 2017 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    I would love to do your online training. Please get in contact with me via email.

  4. Jeff Gibson January 1, 2018 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Our German Shepherd walks in a “zigzag” pattern, in front of me. First off, I am disabled. I had a stroke back in April of 2017 and am able to walk now, but slower than my wife and boys. When they take him for a walk, he trots along normally, in front or beside them. When I walk him, in the back yard, he walks in the zigzag pattern I mentioned. I’m pretty good at understanding dog mannerisms and think this is due to my having to walk slower. Am I even close on this one?

    • Dog Guru January 2, 2018 at 5:53 pm - Reply

      Hi Jeff, a dog that’s properly trained even in basic leash cooperation should not have an issue walking with you at any pace. If your dog is pulling and walking in a zig-zag pattern in front of you then there is no clear communication and understanding established with the dog of how they should walk with you. It’s simply the fact of your dog not knowing how to walk with you, not because you walk at a slower speed. Hope that makes sense. Thanks for your comment!

  5. Cathy January 20, 2019 at 7:12 am - Reply

    Our dog class makes all the dogs and handlers walk around in a big circle and then weave in and out of each other – I have concerns about this because the dogs tend to lunge at each other?

    • Dog Guru January 20, 2019 at 1:49 pm - Reply

      Hi Cathy! You are correct in being concerned. We do not recommend group classes because of situations like you described. Dogs that are lunging at other dogs or people have deeper behavioral issues that need to be addressed on an individual basis and they should not be brought into group settings until resolved. We would advise that you work with your dog one-on-one using a structured training program. Feel free to check out our online training program if you haven’t already. Let us know if you have any other questions. Thank you and Happy Training! –YDG

  6. Sherry Kuhn February 12, 2019 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Hi Jimi….this is Sherry Kuhn in Missouri (friend of Shirley Robertson) I’m not sure you will remember me. We talked about my Standard Poodle puppies last summer.
    I kept one of the puppies, Ruby is her name. She is now 8 months old. She’s doing great. I have been working with her here at home on some beginning obedience but I know I could do better at what I’m doing I tried getting her into beginning obedience classes at the only thing available in my area which is Petsmart and I was very disappointed with the instructor. So therefore, I’m going to do this myself. I just was wondering how you suggest I do this. Is there a video that you have that I can purchase? I am not a competitive person so I will not be competing in anything with her I just want a very well behaved dog that I can take anywhere.
    Her mother, Pearl, has had basic obedience… I taught her that but I know they both could do much better if I could instruct them properly. Just wondering what you suggest .
    I hope this finds you doing great and I look forward to hearing from you… Thank you Jimi
    Take care,
    Sherry Kuhn

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