Training your Greyhound to walk on or off leash can be a tricky task, but if done correctly and with patience you’ll find that it’s true that you can even teach an old dog new tricks.
On Leash Tips
When you start walking your Greyhound you’ll need to decide whether a collar or harness works best. Many people prefer a full harness, as it puts less pressure on the dog’s throat if they pull, and it adds an extra sense of security. Slipping out a collar is a lot easier than getting out of a harness, but trust us, both are possible!
For starters, let your dog wear its collar or harness around the house, but ensure that you supervise this so they don’t get caught in anything. Then, when they are comfortable, clip the lead on and take them for a short walk.
Before you leave the house wait at the door and then give the command to walk. Once outside, make sure that they never lead. You must always be one step ahead. A great way to work this in to training is to place the lead in one hand with it running behind your legs. This way, every time the dog tries to over take, you can pull them back sharply, stop and wait for them to fall back in to step.
As you and your dog get more familiar with walking on leash you can start issuing commands like stop, sit and wait. Ensure that the dog fully completes this action before you start walking again, and if they don’t, simply repeat the command, wait for them to do so, and then reward their good behaviour. Never raise your voice or smack your dog, just reinforce the positive behaviour and ignore the bad.
Off Leash Tips
As Greyhounds can run so fast, letting them off leash takes a giant leap of faith, and you’ll need to know that your dog is entirely comfortable with you. If you’ve only recently adopted your dog rather wait a few months before letting them loose, and only do so if they don’t appear skittish or nervous in their surroundings.
To begin, find an enclosed space, as this way your dog cannot run off and get lost. You can then start testing your dogs recall skills by calling its name and waiting for it to come back to you. Only call once, and on return, give your dog a treat. If your dog doesn’t return, try again.
If you’re having trouble with recall, call your dog and hide. Generally they will panic a bit when they cannot see you and come and find you. When they do, give them a reward.
If walking on and off leash is a struggle, you can also always call in a trainer, as sometimes we all need a professional helping hand!
Often adopted Greyhounds take longer to learn how to walk on a leash or how to recall, but even if you start as a puppy, putting in the time and effort is worthwhile. Much like playing Bingo Australia, the more you put in, the more you’ll get out.