Training Tip Tuesday – Leash Skills


By: Margaux Meyer

The Volunteer Trainers at Ruff Start Rescue have started a new initiative to post a quick and easy tip every Tuesday! Look for a new tip every Tuesday or use the hashtag #TrainingTipTuesday on social media to find them all!
For this week, let’s talk treats: Treats are easy way to make walks a little easier! Dogs get excited on walks— everything is new and interesting, and suddenly the person walking them is not nearly as interesting as that spot a bunny was 4 hours ago. Treats help keep you interesting, engaging and rewarding.
The most common mistake I see is not enough treats. Use a treat pouch for easy access and storage. I bring 1-2 cups of treats total, and a combination of high value and lower value. If you’re worried about weight gain, you can use part of the dog’s breakfast or dinner.
Be generous with your treats — if you have to give a treat every single step to keep the dog engaged, that’s okay!
Keep your training sessions short and slowly reduce treats over the course of weeks. Practice when and where it’s easy! Try practicing inside or in a yard to get the cadence of step, treat, step treat down before there are distractions (for you and the pup!). Not every walk needs to be a training walk, especially if you live in an apartment where you have to walk for potty breaks.
Blog and graphic by Margaux Meyer, one of Ruff Start Rescue’s volunteer trainers, who focus on supporting our fosters and helping create successful dogs. She owns and operates A Better Walk Dog Training (