With leash laws all over the world becoming more and more strict, it is important to teach your puppy to walk on a leash. I know that you may be thinking to yourself, “how hard can putting a leash on and walking be?” Yes, you are right, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist, just a little puppy knowledge.
You aren’t so much teaching your puppy how to walk, but instead, how to behave properly while on a leash. I’m sure that you’ve seen those owners being dragged down the street by their dog. Now how looks like the boss in that relationship?
Not only will proper leash behavior enforce the puppy/master relationship, but it will also help to keep your puppy safer and more manageable. Walking your dog can be such an enjoyable daily activity and you want to start it off right from the beginning.
If you follow the simple steps that I’ve outlined below, you should have your puppy leashed trained within a week or less. Remember that you are not the only one who needs to follow these steps. Anyone who plans on walking your puppy should follow these simple steps too.
Step 1 - Begin your leash training at the same time as your other puppy training commences (DAY 1). Go to your local pet store and purchase a comfortable, light weight collar that a leash can easily attach to. This will let your puppy get use to something being around their little neck.
Let your puppy get use to their new collar for a day or two before you introduce the leash.
Step 2 - When your puppy seems comfortable and happy with his new collar it is time to introduce the leash. Show the puppy the leash, and quickly attach it to his collar. Let him have a little time to drag the leash around by himself before you take control of the leash.
Step 3 – Once your puppy is use to his collar and new leash, it is time for you to take control of the leash. Simply pick up the other end of the leash and gently lead your puppy around your home. You should concentrate on your puppy being next to you, and not dragging them behind you, or having your pup drag you.
Step 4 - Keep it loose! What do I mean by this? A tight leash shows that someone is pulling the other. You are either pulling your puppy, or they are in front of you and pulling you along. Either way, this is not the best way to use a leash. You want he leash to remain lose, which shows that you are walking together.
Whenever the leash is loose, reward your pup with treats or praise.
When the leash begins to tighten, stop walking immediately. You don’t want to pull or yank at the leash. Simply call your puppy back over to you and praise him when he comes over. If you have taken a dog obedience class, you may want to use the command “heel.”
By stopping when your puppy pulls the leash, you are teaching him that he isn’t going to get to continue the walk if he pulls.
Step 5 - The leash is too lose – what’s happening? You will find a very limp leash when your puppy decides to take a break all on his or her own and either sits or lays down in the road or grass. The same rule applies here as in step #4. Simply call them over to your side, and reward them when they come.
To me, leash training was always the easiest of all of the dog training steps. It is all about patience, consistency, and persistence.
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