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Passing the leash to your child. Is it the right time for them to take the lead in walking the dog?

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

As someone who works closely with families and has my own, this question arises frequently. But how can you determine the right time?

Firstly, consider whether your dog already walks calmly on a leash. If the answer is no, then I strongly advise against it. However, your child can certainly assist in the training of loose leash walking.

If the answer is yes, the next factor to consider is your child's age. While my general guideline is 12, it ultimately depends on the individual child. They should be capable of following instructions and knowing how to handle emergencies.

For instance:

- Do they know what equipment is necessary for a walk?

- How should they respond if an off-leash dog approaches, with or without an owner?

- What steps should they take if the dog's collar or leash breaks and the dog becomes free?

- How should they handle a situation where the dog gets injured during a walk?

- Are they aware of the protocol for interactions with other humans and dogs while out walking?

- Are they comfortable cleaning up after their dog goes to the bathroom?

Although the list may appear daunting, it is crucial to address these questions and establish a solid plan. Have a family meeting and come up with your own list of questions. Keep it fun and simple!

If you still feel uncertain or require assistance in training your dog and family in leash skills, don't hesitate to seek additional support! You can reach us by email at or phone at 315-572-3278.

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