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How to train a Springer spaniel to walk on the lead

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If you have a Springer spaniel, you know that they love to run and play. But when it’s time to walk on the lead, they can be a bit challenging. Here are some tips to help train your Springer spaniel to walk on the lead.

Start when your Springer is a youngster and take him out for short walks regularly. When he pulls, stop, sit him down and wait until he calms down before you move off again. Visit different places and be consistent.

Start when he is a puppy

As soon as your Springer is old enough to take out you should introduce him to the lead.

Don’t expect him to like it or to walk properly on the first few occasions.

He will pull, struggle and generally behave like a fish on a line to try and get away from this restriction on his freedom.

Be gentle and encourage him. Use the lead in moderation and try him with it in the house before you venture outdoors.

A few minutes at regular intervals throughout the day will help him to quickly become used to the lead.

What’s the best type of lead for a Springer?

There are a few things to consider when choosing a lead for your dog.

The first is the material. You’ll want to choose something durable that can withstand being pulled on by an energetic dog.

Rope based leads are a good option, they are strong and comfortable for your dog to wear.

Another thing to consider is the length of the lead.

For a Springer, a shorter lead is usually best so that they don’t have too much freedom to pull you around.

This will help to prevent them from getting tangled up or getting into trouble.

Finally, you’ll also want to make sure that the lead is comfortable for you to hold onto.

A padded grip will make it more comfortable for you to keep a firm grip on your dog.

Recommended leads for spaniels

Ancol Heritage Nylon Rope Slip Lead Green 1.22m X12mm Sz 4-8
  • Heritage nylon rope slip lead
  • Ideal for quick control of your dog while out walking
  • Very strong polyester rope
  • With traditional hand sewn ends
  • Lead size 4-8
AllPetSolutions Blue Reflective Rope Dog Lead | Training Puppy Slip Lead for Dogs | Adjustable Dog Lead | Dog Slip Lead | Strong Reflective Dog Leash | 1.4m
  • High Quality – made from a strong durable material to give a peace of mind
  • Comfortable – Easy to grip and hold onto for maximum control
  • Reflective to help make your dog more noticeable in the dark
  • Adjustable Slip Loop – can be used for any sized dog
  • Available in a variety of colours to keep your dog looking stylish
Grand Line Durable Slip Lead Dog Leash, 1.5M Reflective Training Dog Lead Slip Rope, Anti-choking Adjustable Pet Slip Lead for Small, Medium, Large Dogs and Cats (1.5m*0.6cm, Grey-Green)
  • Versatile – Designed for dog training, traveling, camping, running and climbing.
  • Superior Length – The length of 1.7m provides a comfortable distance for your dog to roam.
  • Premium Material – The leash is made of strong and durable nylon, perfect for all types of training and comfortable to hold.
  • Portable – At 70g, the leash is lightweight and convenient to carry.
  • Available in 2 Sizes – 0.6cm rope diameter is available for small and medium dogs. 1cm rope diameter supports large and extra-large dogs.

Take him out to different places on the lead

It is important for your Springer to experience different places, sights, sounds and environments while training him to walk on the lead.

Your aim is to encourage your Springer to behave calmly, no matter where you are.

Springers can be excitable and will often react to distractions such as other dogs, animals and people and will pull to try and say ‘hello’.

Work with your dog and encourage him to be calm. Sit him down and reward him for being patient and for not pulling.

Follow some simple principles

Start with a short leash and gradually increase the length of it as your dog gets used to walking on the lead. Make sure the leash is comfortable for you and your pet.

Don’t pull or jerk on the leash, as this could cause your pet to become fearful of being on it. Instead, reward your Springer for following you and staying close with treats, praise or a favourite toy.

Take frequent breaks during walks so your dog can explore and sniff when needed.

This will give them the chance to get used to walking on the lead without feeling overwhelmed or restricted.

If your pet stops while walking, don’t yank them forward.

Instead, stop and offer encouragement until they start to move again.

Use a rewards-based training program to teach your spaniel proper leash etiquette, like walking at your side without pulling on the lead.

Take walks with other pets or people that your dog knows, as this can help them stay focused on walking rather than barking or chasing other animals.

Finally, make sure you are giving your Springer spaniel plenty of exercise and mental stimulation during the day so they don’t get overly excited when it comes time to walk on the lead.

How to stop a Springer spaniel from pulling on the lead

Springer spaniels are high energy dogs that love to run and play and this enthusiasm for life can make them excitable and prone to pulling on the lead.

If your Springer is pulling then there are a few things that you can do that will help to stop this behaviour.

how to train a springer spaniel to walk on the lead

Make sure that your dog has a properly fitting lead or harness

A loose lead or harness can encourage your spaniel to pull as he may think that he can escape and run free – so ensure that his collar, harness or lead fits properly.

Snagging or looseness can be as bad as a tight fitting device and both can cause discomfort and potential chafing, irritations that could encourage your Springer to pull in an attempt to get free.

Keep your walks interesting

It’s important for a Springer to run free. This allows him to explore and chase after his nose, checking for scents and burning off excess energy.

A spaniel that is constantly restricted to walking on a lead will become frustrated and will constantly pull in an effort to break free and run.

So, make sure that you provide your Springer with sufficient free running exercise to satisfy his desire to hunt.

Always walk your Springer on the same side

Consistency is important too. Whenever you walk your Springer on his lead make sure that you stick to walking him on the same side of your body.

So, choose a side ( most people have the left ) and walk him on that side of your body every time.

Control the pace

Every breed of spaniel pulls on the lead, and Springers are no exception.

When your Springer begins to pull on his lead either slow down the pace or stop and make the dog sit down.

The idea is to show your Springer that pulling equates to a reduction in pace ( and therefore longer to get to his free running exercise ) or, that the walk stops completely when he pulls.

When he has calmed down then recommence the walk and, when he pulls, stop again.

Continue this as often as is necessary to show your spaniel what is needed.

Change direction

Hold the lead in close and walk your Springer next to you. As he begins to pull change direction.

So, if your Springer is walking on your left, turn to the right. This will encourage him to walk closer to you ( without him realising it ) and will naturally break his pulling.

You can practice this regularly to encourage him to reduce pulling and by turning across his path as well ( turning left ) you will help to embed this aspect of training more fully.

Use treats

Rewards are a great way to encourage good behaviour such as walking to heel. Provide treats for your Springer when he is walking properly and be sure to give plenty of praise too.

This will help him realise that by walking at your side without pulling on the lead, he will get a reward.

Treats and reward-based training work very well with Springers, so make use of them to further encourage your dog to stop pulling on the lead.

Final Words

Lead training for spaniels is not difficult it just takes patience and consistency.

With a bit of practice, your Springer will soon be walking on a lead like a model dog and you’ll both enjoy the walks together much more.

So don’t give up -with plenty of patience, focus and rewards you’ll be able to stop your Springer from pulling on the lead in no time.

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Last update on 2023-03-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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