Walk Like a Champ

Learning to walk on a loose leash is hard, but this course breaks it down into four easy to practice sections.

Get started todayA Harper membership is $8.33/month (billed annually)

The search for the perfect walk

You’ve probably felt it—that blissful moment when you forget your dog is with you and you’re just enjoying the walk. Maybe it only lasted a few seconds, maybe it only happened because your dog slowed down so she could get a better look at the squirrel across the street, but that doesn’t make the feeling any less real.

That feeling is what we’re after. That is great loose-leash walking.

We all know that great walks with your dog don’t just happen. Dogs don’t show up knowing how to walk by our side on a leash.

The truth is it takes work and a lot of patience to get on the same page. You have to earn it together.

This course is going to give you the mindset, gear, techniques, support, and confidence to achieve great loose-leash walks with your dog.

What your pup will learn

  • Give attention when they want something
  • At your side is a good place to be
  • How to move with you and stop with you
  • A cue to come close to your side
  • To ignore distractions
  • How to walk like a champ

What you’ll learn

  • Elements of great loose-leash walking
  • How to always get your pup’s attention
  • Ways to prevent leash pulling
  • Helpful cues for managing your walks
  • How to minimize reactions to distractions
  • How to walk like a champ

Browse the lesson plan

Stage 1: Preparation

  • Introduction to Walk Like a ChampArticle 1
    What’s this Walk Like a Champ course all about?
  • What is Great Loose Leash Walking?Article 2
    Let’s set some realistic expectations for your dog and yourself.
  • Why is Walking On a Leash So Hard?Article 3
    Find out what you’re up against.
  • The Strategy for Training Great Loose-Leash WalksArticle 4
    See how the pieces of our four-step process all fit together.
  • Collars vs Harnesses vs Head HaltersArticle 5
    Learn about these popular restraints and figure out which one is right for you.
  • Supplies for Training to Walk Like a ChampArticle 6
    What do you need and what’s a nice-to-have?
  • Walks are not ExerciseArticle 7
    Blowing up one of dog parenting’s biggest myths.
  • Get the Energy OutArticle 8
    A spoonful of exercise helps the medicine go down.
  • Training Walks are not like Regular WalksArticle 9
    Why and how to separate the two.
  • Focus on the Section Not the GameArticle 10
    It’s about the forest, not the trees.
  • Glossary of Cues for Training Loose-Leash WalkingArticle 11
    A handy reference guide of loose-leash walking cues you’ll use with your dog.

Stage 2: Attention

  • Introduction to AttentionArticle 9
    What’s this Attention section all about?
  • Don’t Be Boring on Your Dog WalksArticle 10
    How do you keep your pup’s attention?
  • Raining TreatsGame 1
    When you need to get your dog’s attention or give her some exercise, make it rain.
  • Every Game is Not for Every DogArticle 11
    Can a game that’s meant to help actually hurt your progress?
  • Face MeGame 2
    Build your pup’s instinct to check in with you.
  • Using Your Dog’s Name to Get AttentionArticle 12
    How Harper thinks about the name cue.
  • Distraction GhostingGame 3
    A fail-proof method for avoiding life’s toughest distractions.
  • Using Leash Tension for Good Not EvilArticle 13
    Turn leash pulling into something useful.
  • Leash Pressure CueGame 4
    Teach your pup that a tight leash means ”come back towards me.”
  • Moving On from AttentionArticle 14
    How do you know you’re done with Attention and ready for Position?

Stage 3: Position

  • Introduction to PositionArticle 15
    What’s this Position section all about?
  • Should I Walk My Dog On the Right Side or the Left Side?Article 16
    We’ll look at the pros and cons of walking on either side.
  • Value For Profit PositionGame 5
    Show your pup that good things happen when he’s by your side.
  • Value For Profit Position OutsideGame 6
    Test your pup’s value for profit position in the real-world.
  • Putting the Profit in Profit PositionArticle 17
    Building value for being at your side.
  • Profit Position SpinsGame 7
    Reward your pup for finding profit position, even as you rotate.
  • Profit Position Black HoleGame 8
    Teach your pup to find profit position from any angle and any distance.
  • Moving On From PositionArticle 18
    How do you know you’re done with Position and ready for Moving?

Stage 4: Moving

  • Introduction to MovingArticle 19
    What’s this Moving section all about?
  • Walk TogetherGame 9
    Build value for profit position while in motion.
  • Walk Together OutsideGame 10
    Practice your new informal heeling skill outside.
  • Take It OutsideArticle 20
    Practicing in the real-world is the only way to improve.
  • Profit Position on CueGame 11
    When you need your pup to come in close, use the profit position cue.
  • Nice & Easy StopsGame 12
    A system for telling your pup you’re about to stop.
  • Moving On From MovingArticle 21
    How do you know you’re done with Moving and ready for Distractions?

Stage 5: Distractions

  • Introduction to DistractionsArticle 22
    What’s this Distractions section all about?
  • Leave ItGame 13
    Build your pup’s ability to ignore a distraction when asked.
  • Go SeeGame 14
    A communication tool for telling your pup it’s okay to explore a distraction.
  • Be Consistent With Your Dog’s PermissionsArticle 23
    Unlock your dog’s best self with permission rituals.
  • Polite ApproachesGame 15
    Eliminate overexcited pulling towards distractions.
  • Polite Walk-By’sGame 16
    Learn to calmly walk past distractions, even other dogs.
  • Avoid Dogs Greeting Dogs on WalksArticle 24
    An unfortunate lesson learned at Harper.
  • Speed BumpsGame 17
    Multiple techniques for slowing down a speedy leash puller.
  • Moving On from DistractionsArticle 25
    How do you know you’re done with Distractions?
  • What’s Next After Walk Like a Champ?Article 26
    The course may be over but your work isn’t. What should you do next?

What’s in every Harper subscription

  • All 30+ curated courses
  • All 100+ training games and guides
  • Step-by-step video instruction
  • Always-on dog trainer chat
  • Reminders to develop a training habit
  • Training journal to track progress
  • Support from a dog parent community

Frequently asked questions