Read this guide before you begin leash training a puppy!
I still remember when my human mom and dad adopted me. It was one of the best days of my life. The next few weeks were filled with fun and adventure. We played a lot of games to get to know each other. One of my favorite games was what you two-leggers call “leash training a puppy.” Everyone told me that I was playing the game all wrong. You see, I thought leash training a puppy was similar to tug-of-war. I didn’t realize the leash didn’t need to go in my mouth!
It took some time, but eventually I learned that leashes were for keeping my parents close to me at all times, so they don’t get lost. Now we walk together as a family peacefully, and I can go (almost) wherever they go!
If you’re looking for some tips on leash training a puppy, I have a few. These ideas come from both me and my parents so that you can get the human and canine perspective.
What to consider before leash training a puppy
Remember to be patient any time your dog is learning something new. Puppies are learning so much at once, so any training can feel overwhelming. Be sure to keep a positive attitude and break training sessions into small amounts of time. Just as training sessions should be short, they should also be frequent. The more we are reminded to do something, the easier it will be for us to remember. Oh, and above anything, please be patient. All puppies are going to pull until they’re taught not to. Many puppies (like me!) are going to want to play tug-of-war instead of walking.
Tips for leash training a puppy
- Try to start all walks in a relaxed state. Often dogs get very excited to see a leash. They know it possibly means they’ll be allowed to go out and explore. Introduce the leash when your dog is calm and keep a relaxed attitude yourself throughout the entirety of your walk.
- Can you tire your dog out before taking him on a walk? Part of the reasons puppies pull or bite a leash while walking is because they have extra energy. We love to play! If you can toss the ball around with your dog for a while before a training session, he might be able to exert some excessive energy.
- Invest in a proper collar or harness for training. I’d love to recommend one to you, but like babies, all puppies react differently to various types of dog gear. Some dogs prefer regular or choker collars, while others prefer harnesses that latch on top or in the front. You’ll just have to try out a few to see what works best for your new four-legged friend.
- I’ve said this before, and I will say it again. Rewards are so important during any training session. Keep healthy treats available when leash training a puppy. Positive reinforcement will help your dog learn how to enjoy spending time with you on a leash.
- Keep up the pace! If you’re walking slow, your puppy is more likely to become distracted. I mean, there are so many smells out there! How can we not stop and sniff every single piece of grass?
When your puppy finally learns how to walk on a leash without leading or pulling, reward him! My suggestions are investing in a nice collar, leash, and ID tag.
What are your tips for leash training a puppy? Let us know in the comments!
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