How to Train a Wheaten Terrier to Walk on a Leash

Wheaten puppies are easier to leash train than adults.
i dog on leash sign image by Tammy Mobley from

The wheaten terrier has his own agenda, which makes him difficult to train. The 35-pound wheaten displays a surprising amount of strength when he pulls you and his leash to instinctively chase small animals. Consistent training with positive reinforcement makes walks far more enjoyable for you and your furry companion.

Step 1

Start walking your wheaten on a leash in the house. In the outdoors, cars, squirrels, people or any strange sound guarantees your wheaten's attention will be focused elsewhere. Keep your wheaten on a six-foot leash and practice walking from room to room. The wheaten is a stubborn breed, so expect resistance while training him to walk on a leash. If your wheaten moves ahead, slow down; if he turns right, you turn left. This shows your dog that you're in control of the destination and speed of the walk. Once your wheaten is patiently walking room to room without pulling the leash, practice in the backyard. Proceed to walks around the block when your wheaten is walking without pulling his leash. Throughout the training process, give him treat and enthusiastically tell him he's a good dog when he's walking at a steady pace, paying attention to your commands.

Step 2

Stop and ignore your wheaten when he pulls on the leash. Hold the leash firmly with both hands and keep your feet planted on the ground. Do not budge, talk or make eye contact with your wheaten. Keep the leash straight and tight. As soon as your wheaten loosens the leash, give him a treat and say “Good dog!” and immediately continue the walk. If he pulls again, repeat the same steps and ignore your dog. Walking is rewarding for your dog, so stopping is ruining his fun--especially if he had his eye on capturing a rabbit in the park. Continue to stop and ignore your wheaten until he stops pulling on the leash.

Step 3

Tell your dog to sit and stay every 10 to 15 yards. If your wheaten is working on commands during the walk, it helps him stay calm and focused. A sitting dog is unable to pull on the leash. If you're dog is too distracted to practice commands while on a lengthy walk, return to walking room to room inside your home or practice in the backyard. Have your wheaten sit more frequently if you're distracting him from a small animal. Hunting is what your wheaten was bred to do, but practicing the sit command gives him a secondary outlet to focus his attention during walks.

Step 4

Praise good leash walking behaviors. If your wheaten is walking with a loose leash, staying by your side and looking back at you, tell him “Good dog!” and give him a treat while you walk, according to the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America. Give treats only if your dog is not pulling on the leash.

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