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How to Easily Leash Your Dog

Putting a leash on a dog collar or harness may sound easy, but there are several problems that could arise, especially if it’s new for your dog (or you!). An overexcited dog may struggle to stay still, making the process tricky. If he’s not a fan of constraints, he may become aggressive when you attempt to attach a leash. 


Luckily, learning how to put on a leash safely and effectively is possible. In essence, training includes a few simple things: 

  • Putting on a dog harness or collar
  • Introducing the dog leash
  • Finding the D-ring/leash ring
  • Attaching the leash to the ring
  • Rewarding your furry friend. 

In this article, we’ll go through each step in detail, for both harnesses and collars. Keep reading to learn how to put a leash on a dog effortlessly. 

Putting a Leash on a Dog: How to Make it Right

If you’re wondering how to train a dog to put on a leash, you aren’t alone. Lots of pet parents want to know the best way to go about it. However, training a dog to accept the leash is within your grasp. With a bit of time and patience, you can easily learn how to make the process simple and stress-free. Here is a step-by-step guide to help make training your dog to accept a leash easy.

Step 1Choose the neutral location for the first couple of tries. Make sure there are no distractions and that you can devote your full attention to the training. 

Step 2Give a simple command like “sit” or “leash” to calm down your pet and let him know what to expect next.

Step 3Give your dog a high-value treat to keep him motivated and engaged. 

Step 4Choose an appropriate accessory to connect the leash to. You may use a standard collar; however, it is recommended that pet owners choose dog harnesses instead of collars since they’re safer and more comfortable for the dog. 

Step 5Find the leash ring, also called D-ring, on the harness or collar.

Step 6Attach the leash clip to the ring.

Step 7Reward your dog for his patience and for reacting calmly to your actions. 

Step 8Give a release command like “all done,” “okay,” or “good job” when you are done so he knows he can stand and move. 

Training your dog to be used to having a leash put on will differ depending on whether you are using a harness or collar. Your dog’s temperament will also affect training, so you’ll need extra patience if you need to put a leash on an aggressive dog. Below, we’ll take a closer look at how to attach a leash to each of these accessories. 

Training Your Dog to Accept their Leash with a Harness

Dog harnesses are a superior pet accessory that every dog parent should own. Compared to collars, they are safer, more hard-wearing, and more comfortable for your pup. Plus, they make leash training and sports activities with your dog a breeze. 

Depending on the type of dog harness, your dog may need a bit of time to get used to it. Be patient as you and your dog adapt to this new accessory. 

Training your dog to accept a leash is an essential step in learning to walk and exercise together. Here are the things you’ll need to make putting a leash on a harness a simple task. 

  • A feature-rich dog leash will make any activity fun, comfortable, and safe for both of you. 
  • A correctly-sized dog harness is critical for ensuring comfort and safety during daily walks, sports, or training. 
  • A tasty dog treat that you know your dog loves will motivate him to work with you during training. Try high-value treats like bits of cooked chicken. 

Follow these simple steps to leash your dog with a harness. 

  1. Go to a neutral location that your dog is familiar with, either indoor or outdoor. Make sure distractions are limited. 
  2. Reward your dog for staying near you. 
  3. Show your dog the harness and allow him to sniff it. Give him a treat when he reacts calmly and stays with you. 
  4. Gently put the harness on your dog and reward him when he stays. 
  5. Show your dog the leash and allow him to sniff it. Reward him for staying with you. 
  6. Find the D-ring on the harness and clip on the leash. The ring will usually be at the back of the harness unless you opt for a no-pull training harness. This type of harness has a D-ring at the chest to reduce pulling. Reward your dog when he stays calm. 
  7. Use a simple release command like “Ok” to let your dog know he can now move. You can use the command when removing the leash as well. 

How to Put a Leash on a Dog Collar 

Putting a leash on a dog collar is very simple, even easier than putting on a harness. Don’t forget that it’s always best to use a good dog harness with a leash since a standard collar won’t provide the control or safety you and your dog need. However, leashes can still be used with collars, as long as you do so safely. 

Here’s what you’ll need for successful dog leashing: 

  • The proper dog leash will provide comfort and security for your dog
  • The right dog collar should fit your dog and be neither too tight nor too loose
  • High-value treats will enhance the training process and motivate your dog to quickly adapt to the leash and collar. 

To make the leash-training session comfortable and stress-free for both you and your dog, follow these simple steps for how to put a leash on a dog collar. 

  1. Begin in a location that is familiar to your dog, indoors or outdoors. Make sure the space is safe and has limited distractions. 
  2. Get your dog’s attention by calling her name and rewarding her when she comes or stays nearby. 
  3. Bring out the leash and let your dog have a look and a sniff. Give her a reward when she stays where she is. Make sure to follow the next steps slowly so she doesn’t get startled or hurt. 
  4. Attach the dog leash clip to the collar’s D-ring. 
  5. Give your dog a treat after the leash is attached. 
  6. Use a short release command to let her know it’s ok to move from her spot with the leash on. You can use this same release command after the leash has been removed, as well. 

Expert dog trainers recommend using a simple word or command like “leash” when putting the leash on to help your dog know what to expect. 

Effective training relies heavily on the tools you choose, so take care to select the right leash and collar for your dog’s needs. Traditional and retractable leashes are best. 

Is a Retractable Leash Better Than a Regular Leash?

If you’re wondering if a retractable leash is better than a regular leash, it’s a good idea to consider all of the pros and cons of retractable dog leashes. This will help you decide if it is the right choice for you and your four-legged friend. 

Pros: 

  • Retractable leashes provide more freedom for your dog to explore and sniff
  • They allow for more exercise, which is excellent for your dog’s health
  • A retractable leash is a great tool for training, especially for sports activities
  • Retractable leashes have an intuitive design and are easy to use with any dog 

Cons: 

  • Retractable leashes could pose a danger to your dog if they aren’t used correctly
  • Like regular leashes, it’s possible that they could cause injury
  • Retractable leashes aren’t ideal for puppies

Overall, the pros outweigh the cons, making retractable leashes a perfect choice for any adult dog, especially those going through leash or obedience training. They’re safe when used correctly, allow ample space for the dog to explore, and are versatile enough to use in the countryside as well as the city. When learning how to train a dog to put on a leash, you can’t go wrong with a retractable leash. 

Get the Perfect Dog Leash from Pet & Cuddle

If you’re willing to put in the time and work, leash training your dog is a no-brainer. It will help keep him safe while on walks and encourage teamwork between you. A great dog leash will make the training process easier for both of you. 

At Pet & Cuddle, we know dogs - and we know what they need. All of our specially designed retractable leashes and comfortable harnesses are created to make training and activities easy. Each of our retractable designs offers plenty of leash length and an easy-to-use lock/release button, so you can give your dog as much space as he needs while you run, jog, hike, bike, or do other sports together. Ideal for loose-leash and short-leash walking, these leashes are made from durable materials that will stand up to even the most adventurous and energetic dogs. 

If you’re ready to experience the Pet & Cuddle difference, check out our pet accessories, including durable harnesses and top-rated retractable leashes

Questions About Leashing Your Dog 

Still have a few questions about choosing the best dog leash or how to get a dog on a leash? We’ve got you covered. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about putting your dog on a leash

How to get your dog to walk on a leash? 

Getting your dog to walk on a leash involves training, so you’ll need to make time and have plenty of patience. The right dog leash and correct harness will go a long way to helping your pup learn to walk on a leash. Make sure to have some tasty training treats ready!

Check out our step-by-step guides to different leash training techniques

Can I keep my dog on a leash all day long?

It’s usually ok to keep your dog on a leash throughout the day if you want to prevent destructive behavior like chewing. However, you should never leave a dog leashed overnight or when you aren’t around; the leash may get tangled and cause a choking hazard. 

Are dogs required to be on a leash?

Whether or not you need to leash your dog public depends on where you live. Only Michigan and Pennsylvania have state-wide laws that require dogs to be under the owner’s control when off their property. Check with your local government for leash requirements in your area. 

Is it hard to put a leash on a dog?

Putting a leash on a dog is quite simple. It may take extra time and patience to train an aggressive, nervous, or active dog to accept the leash. Proper training (and lots of patience) will help. 

Is it okay to keep dogs on a leash in the house?

If you need to keep your dog on a leash in the house to prevent him from acting out or misbehaving, make sure to supervise him at all times. A leash can quickly get tangled and harm your dog, so always keep an eye on him while leashed. 

Is leashing a dog good?

Leashing your dog is a great way to improve obedience, impulse control, and teamwork. Additionally, proper leashing enhances your dog’s safety and security during walks and can limit accidents. 

How to keep your dog from tangling its leash?

Proper leash training will make sure that your dog gets used to walking on a leash. The more accustomed he is to being leashed, the smoother each walk will go, and the less likely he will get tangled up. High-quality retractable dog leashes are one of the most effective tools to keep leashes from tangling.