Learning how to walk properly on a leash is one of the most crucial skills you can teach your adorable pup. Not only does it helps you achieve a hassle-free walk for your pup’s much-needed exercise, but it also helps improve his overall responsiveness and obedience.
Here is a step-by-step guide in training your pup to walk on a leash so you can both share many happy walks together.
Adapting Your Puppy To A Leash and Collar
1. Choosing a collar and leash
Light and flat collar and leash are great to start with and lets your pup to get accustomed to having a collar around his neck. You do not need to get crazy about choker collars and other designs, particularly when pups are still timid and small.
2. Allow your pup to get used to his collar
It is quite common for pups to get nervous when putting a collar on them for the very first time. There are some puppies that may even throw a temper tantrum or try to bite and chew on their collars. Here are some strategies you can try if your buddy does not seem to like a collar choking on his neck:
- Distract him by trying to put the collar on while you are out in the yard or playing with him.
- If your dog seems to hate the idea of something on his neck, then maybe he felt discomfort with it. Try loosening it up a bit and see if it works.
- Bring out his favorite toy or treat and give one to him as soon as you put his collar on.
Introduce the Leash
Some dogs just simply shut up and will not move or get excited with the sight of the leash, while some can go crazy and throw a loud tantrum. When attaching the leash for the first time, drop the other end on the ground and let your pup round around with it.
Play with him or introduce your pup to another dog and let them play while his leash is still connected to his collar. Just make sure that it does not get tangled in the process. Then, occasionally pick up the leash and call your pup, offering him treats when he obeys.
Leash Training Your Puppy
1. Create Or Choose A Calm Environment
As I have mentioned before, most dogs get excited when seeing a leash and tend to spin, whine or bark endlessly. If this sounds like your pup, then stand perfectly calm with his leash in your hand until he eventually calms down.
2. Carry Treats With You
You need to get in the habit of carrying chewable and small treat for your pup during training. Large treats can take longer to chew and may disrupt the whole training process.
3. Be Patient And Supportive
Let your puppy adjust to the idea of being on a leash. If your pup seems nervous bend down and pets him. You can also offer treats as you walk. Also, be patient as he gets used to being on a leash.
4. Stop Bad Behavior
Now, try walking with him. With pups who are not used to walking with a leash, bad habits can arise. You can address these habits every time they occur. Just make sure that you do not yell or get angry or hit your pup.
- If your puppy lays down or sits
If your pup resists going for a walk, you need to take a few steps away. Then, call him and offer him a treat. If he comes, give him the treat. Start walking again. If your pup resists walking again, repeat the process until he gets that walking comes with delicious treats.
- If your puppy pulls on his leash
Most puppies get so excited with the outside world that they forget they are on a leash and ends up tugging or pulling his leash. As soon as this happens, stop walking and stand perfectly still. Do not yank his leash and just let him know that when he keeps on tugging then he will get nowhere. Call your pup back to you and give him treats when he obeys. Repeat this process every time he pulls his leash so that he quickly learns not to.
5. Stay In Front
This establishes that you are in ultimate control and will increase your pup’s obedience on the leash. You might need to shorten his leas in order for him to stop moving too much, Continue to shorten his leash over time until he is used to walking just behind you or right at your side.
6. Pay Attention To Other Dog Owners
IF you are walking on the park or along a sidewalk, chances are you will come across with other dog owners walking their dogs. Be prepared to deal with any undesired behavior from your pup. Just keep walking forward with your dog at your side and completely ignoring the other person. If he does not pull on the leash to greet and play with the other dog, reward him with treats.
7. Walk Your Pup Frequently
Continue to take your puppy for walks, multiple times a day. This should continually reinforce a good walking practice for your pup so that he does not forget his walking training.