How to Train Your Lab to Walk Beside You: The Essential Guide

Jane Davis

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You may want your lab to walk beside you for several reasons. Maybe you’re worried about them running off or getting lost, or you just don’t want them pulling on the leash and straining to get to other dogs or people.

Whatever the reason, training your lab to walk by your side is crucial to having a well-behaved dog.

One of the common challenges people have when training their dogs to walk beside them is that they don’t know how to start.

They put the leash on the dog and expect them just to know what to do, but that’s not how it works. You need to be patient and take things one step at a time.

The best way to overcome these challenges is to be consistent with your training and rewards. Reward your dog every time they do something right, and stick with a training method until it is perfected.

Start by getting your pup used to the leash

One of the first things you need to do when training your lab to walk beside you is to get them used to the leash. Leashes can be intimidating for dogs, so it’s essential to introduce them to them gradually.

Put the leash on your pup and let them wander around the house. Once they’re comfortable with it, start working on commands like “sit” and “stay.”

Getting your Pub used to the leash 

Putting the leash on your pup inside the house will help them get used to it. Once your dog is comfortable with the leash, you can start introducing the command “no pulling” while they’re on it.

When dogs first learn to walk beside you, they tend to be nervous and excited about exploring their surroundings.

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Luckily, there’s an easy way to fix this problem. The more time you spend training your lab, the better they’ll behave. Once your dog knows how to walk beside you without pulling or lunging at other dogs, it’s time to start taking them on walks around the block.

Start small and work up to longer distances gradually. The more walks you take with your pup, the better they’ll get at walking beside you.

Reward them with treats

Reward them with a small treat when your dog walks beside you without pulling or lunging at other dogs.

This will help reinforce the good behavior and motivate them to do it again. When training your lab, they must get rewarded every time they do something right, not just the first few times.

Don’t give up

One of the most common challenges when training their dogs to walk beside them is giving up too quickly.

Preparing a lab takes time and patience, so be patient with your pup and take things one step at a time. Another challenge people face is that their dogs might not be very well-behaved. This can be

Gradually expand their territory

Slowly expand the distance you walk with your dog to overcome these challenges

Gradually increase their territory by taking them around the block on their leash. Practice makes perfect for training a lab, so be patient and consistent with your pup. With time and practice, you can teach a lab to walk beside you like a pro.

Introduce commands like “sit” and “stay”

It’s important to teach your dog some basic commands. This will help keep them safe and make sure they behave well. Commands like “sit” and “stay” can be beneficial, so make sure you spend time teaching them to your pup.

Teach them how to sit

One of the first commands you should learn is “sit.” It’s easy to teach your pup how to sit, and it will help keep them safe.

When they’re sitting, say the command “sit” and reward them with a treat when they follow your command.

Teach them how to stay

Another helpful command is “stay.” When you tell your dog to stay, give them a hand signal to tell them what to do. If your dog knows how to sit, this step will be easy.

To teach the “stay” command, start by standing in front of your lab with their leash in your left hand and a treat in your right hand. Place the treat on the ground next to their front paws and bring your left hand up with your palm facing them.

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When they’re sitting, say the words “stay” and “don’t move.” After saying this:

  1. Wait until they’re calm and still before bringing the treat back to you. If they follow your command, give them a treat and praise them for staying in that position.
  2. If they stand up, make sure you say “no” and repeat the process until they remain still for several seconds.
  3. Practice this command every day until your dog consistently knows how to follow it.

Reward them with treats

Once your dog learns to sit and stay, start rewarding them with treats. Treats are a great way to reinforce good behavior. Every time your pup does something right, reward them with a small treat. This will help motivate them to keep being well-behaved, especially after you’ve gone through some challenges.

Take them for extended walks around the block

One of the best ways to train your lab is by taking them for extended walks around the block. This will help them get used to their surroundings and learn how to behave while on their leash. It’s also a great way to get some exercise! Make sure you walk slowly and reward your pup every time they walk beside you without pulling or lunging.

Gradually Expand their Territory

Another option is to walk with your pup for shorter distances and reward them when they behave well. Gradually increase the distance you walk each time until they can walk beside you on a long leash without pulling or lunging.

Practice Makes Perfect!

It will take some time and patience before your lab learns how to walk on their leash. Your pup will learn how to behave on a leash with time and practice! Please make sure you take them for walks regularly and give them lots of treats every time they walk beside you.

The importance of practice

It’s essential to practice in areas with few distractions at first, but eventually, you will need to train your lab in more distracting environments so they can behave well in public.

How to make practice fun

Avoid “practice” sessions that are too long or seem like a chore instead of a chance to spend time with your lab. Let them romp around in an open field, play outside, go for a walk, have fun tugging on toys and chewing bones, and just being a dog. If you’re having fun, they will be having fun too.

It is important to remember that dogs love praise and treats – if you keep your training sessions short – 15 minutes or less – and end them on a happy note, then they won’t dread the time spent together with you. Avoid negative feedback such as reprimands for not learning commands fast enough. Picking up on new tricks will take time.

When they don’t seem to be picking up on anything you’re teaching them or aren’t improving, take a break and come back again later after some time has passed for their minds to clear so they can focus on learning new things.

How to correct bad behavior

If your dog is committing a behavioral transgression such as lying down when they should be standing, or barking excessively at the mailman, try to avoid correcting them in front of guests. The better approach is to ignore their misbehavior and give lots of attention when they’re quiet and behaving well, so they will understand what you expect from them.

Never punish your dog physically or yell at them. This will only make them fear you and cause them to behave even worse. Instead, correct their mistakes with a strong voice, remove the dog from the situation if needed and give them a few minutes to calm down before trying again.

How to keep your puppy motivated

The connection between rewarding good behaviors and practical training is clear – dogs learn very quickly how to behave if you give them a treat or affection every time they do something right.

As your lab progresses with their training, slowly phase out the treats until they learn proper behavior for free. Then use affection and praise to reinforce good behavior, so they’ll start behaving well without getting anything in return.


Dogs are intelligent creatures trained to walk beside you with patience and consistency. The first step is getting them used to the leash, then working on commands like “sit” and “stay.” Gradually increase their territory by taking them for walks around the block and rewarding them with treats when they walk beside you without pulling or lunging. Practice makes perfect! Don’t give up too quickly, and remember to have fun with your pup!


Q: Do I need to take my dog for walks every day?

A: Yes! But, there is no magic number as to how often you should walk your dog. They should be fine as long as they get plenty of exercise, including mental stimulation and time to run free. However, it’s essential not to forget that young puppies still have developing bones and may need shorter walks several times a day instead of one long walk each day.

Q: How do I train my labrador retriever not to jump?

A: It will take some time and patience before your pup stops jumping all over guests – be patient! Set boundaries with your dog, such as no jumping on furniture or beds. Teach them how to behave by rewarding good behavior with treats and affection, but know when it’s time to take a break if they’re not learning as quickly as you want them to!

Q: How do I make my labrador retriever stop barking?

A: The first step is identifying the triggers – for example, does your lab bark excessively at strangers or other dogs? To avoid this happening, socialize them early and often – get other people and pups together so they can learn how to behave around others. Never reprimand them in front of guests – instead, ignore your puppy’s barking and give them attention when they are quiet. Reward good behavior with treats or affection, but be patient – it can take time for a lab to learn new behaviors, so don’t get discouraged if it’s not working immediately!

Q: How do I stop my labrador retriever from chewing on my shoes?

A: It’s essential to start training your puppy as early as possible – puppies that aren’t taught what is and isn’t acceptable to chew will continue doing it throughout their entire lives. The best way to avoid this is by keeping all of your shoes put away in a closet or closed-off room and having designated ‘chew toys for them. If they’ve already chewed something inappropriate, say “no” firmly and take the item away from them. Give them an alternative object to chew instead of your shoes!

Q: What is the best way to get my puppy used to the leash?

A: The first step is getting your pup used to wearing a collar and walking on a leash. Take them for short walks around your yard or house while they’re still young, and make it fun by playing games like peek-a-boo and tag. Get other people and dogs involved if possible so that they socialize early.


Jane Davis

Hi, my name is Jane Davis, and I love dogs. I own a labrador retriever named Max. When I was growing up, we always had dogs at our house. They provide us with such unconditional love and companionship, and I can't imagine my life without one by my side.

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