Three Behaviors To Train Before (And During) Your Dog's First Walks

fearful dogs Apr 24, 2023

So you're getting ready to take your shy pup on their first walks (or maybe you've already started.) What can you teach them to help your walks go more smoothly? 

Walks with fearful dogs is something I love to talk about! If you're looking for more, check out past blogs on training your fearful dog to leave the house for a walk, where to take your dog on their first walks, our favorite walking gear,  and preventing barking and pulling on your first walks

Here are three behaviors you can teach your dog at home, that can make your walks easier and more enjoyable for both of you. 


Behavior To Teach #1: Look At Me

 This behavior is sometimes called "watch", or "attention", or "look", or "name response".  We talk about training this behavior in this blog on the "name game". 

This is a great behavior to teach any dog, and it's so simple. You say your dog's name, and when they turn to look at you, you toss them a treat. That's it!  Practice this at home first, before trying it outdoors. 


Behavior To Teach #2: Look At That (Quiet Noticing)

 In this training game, you simply say "Yes!" when your dog notices something, and then give them a treat. To prepare for walks, you could play this game at a window that faces the street, or even the backyard- you can reward your dog for (quietly) looking at squirrels or birds. 


Behavior To Teach #3: Move With Me

 Polite leash walking happens when your dog moves with you, at your pace. You can start training "move with me" at home, without a leash. I have some examples of this in the video below, and more extensive training lessons in our training membership, Confidence Builders Club. 


If you and your dog enjoyed these training games before and during your first walks, or if you tried them and struggled, we'd like to hear from you! You can comment below this blog, shoot us an email ([email protected]), or message us on Facebook or Instagram.