iHeartDogs is reader supported. Some of the links below may be paid affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on a product at no additional cost to you.
5 Vital Strategies to Help Your Border Collie with Loose Leash Walking
Border Collies are highly intelligent and active dogs that require daily exercise, and going for walks is an important part of their routine. However, their high energy levels and strong herding instincts can make them prone to pulling on the leash during walks, making it difficult to control them and potentially leading to injuries for both the dog and the owner. If you own a Border Collie, you may have experienced this behavior and know how challenging it can be. In this article, we will explore some practical tips to help you train your Border Collie to walk calmly on a leash and make your walks more enjoyable.
1. Start with Basic Training for Your Border Collie
“But wait,” you say. “I just want my Border Collie to stop pulling on the leash! Do I really need ‘basic training’ too?”
The answer is: it depends. While its possible to train your Border Collie to stop pulling on the leash without training other commands, all training becomes easier if you start with a solid foundation, such as training your Border Collie basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” (as an aside, if you’re looking for a solid overall training program, we really like the K9 Training Institute’s program or SpiritDog’s program, both of which include modules on leash pulling)
Before heading out for a walk, spend some time training your dog inside your home or in your yard. Use positive reinforcement methods such as treats, praise, and affection to reward your dog for good behavior. This will help your dog to associate good behavior with positive rewards.
2. Buy a No-Pull Harness for Your Border Collie
A no-pull harness is an excellent tool for training your Border Collie to stop leash pulling. Unlike a traditional collar or harness, a no-pull harness is designed to discourage your dog from pulling by gently applying pressure to their chest. When your dog starts to pull, the harness will tighten, and your dog will feel a slight discomfort that will discourage them from pulling. Using a no-pull harness can be a safe and effective way to train your Border Collie to walk calmly on a leash.
We love the Rabbitgoo brand no-pull harness on Amazon, which has almost 150,000 reviews.
Consistency is key when training your Border Collie to loose leash walk. It’s essential to use the same techniques every time you take your dog for a walk. For example, if your dog starts to pull, stop walking and wait for your dog to calm down before continuing. Be patient and persistent, and your dog will eventually learn that pulling won’t get them where they want to go.
4. Use Positive Reinforcement like Training Treats
Positive reinforcement is one of the most effective training techniques for stopping leash pulling. When your Border Collie walks calmly by your side, reward them with treats, praise, and affection. This will help your dog to associate good behavior with positive rewards, making them more likely to repeat that behavior in the future. Avoid punishing your dog for pulling, as this can make the problem worse by increasing their anxiety and frustration.
Our test pups LOVE these bacon flavored Pet Botanics training treats. They are small enough size that you can give a lot of them, and not overdo calories.
We’d also recommend a handy training treats pouch you can wear on your belt during walks.
5. Try an Online Dog Training Course for Your Border Collie
If you’re struggling to teach your Border Collie loose leash walking, it may be time to seek professional help through and online dog training course. A professional dog trainer can provide you with personalized advice and techniques to address your specific issues. They can help you to identify the root cause of your dog’s pulling and provide you with effective solutions to correct the behavior. With the help of a professional trainer, you can teach your Border Collie to walk calmly on a leash, making walks more enjoyable for both you and your furry friend.
Our 2 Favorite Online Training Programs for Border Collie Leash Pulling
- SpiritDog makes an excellent and affordable training course called “Loose Leash Walking” that’s an excellent resource for Border Collie owners. The course promises to teach your Border Collie to stop pulling in 10 minutes a day. You can also get feedback from real, professional dog trainers.
- K9 Training Institute Makes an Excellent, Well Rounded Dog “Masterclass” that includes modules on loose leash walking. While it’s a bit pricier than SpiritDog, it offers a solid foundation and solutions to nearly any behavior challenge you might face. The course uses the same material that professionals use to train service dogs, so the quality of the material is top notch.
In conclusion, training a Border Collie to stop pulling on the leash requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. With the right training techniques, you can help your dog learn to walk calmly on the leash and make your walks more enjoyable for both you and your furry friend. Remember to remain calm and patient during the training process and to reward your Border Collie for good behavior. With practice and dedication, you can help your Border Collie become a well-behaved walking companion and enjoy many pleasant walks together.