Training A Puppy To Walk On A LeashTraining A Puppy To Walk On A Leash

The good thing about training a puppy to walk on a leash is that you can prevent any problems before they eventuate. It's much easier to start leash training early on with a puppy, than to re-train an older dog with established leash behavioral problems.

Having a properly leash trained puppy makes life much simpler and safer for the dogs future. And of course it means that taking your dog for a walk is an enjoyable experience, for both you the owner and also your dog.

How To Train A Puppy To Walk On A Leash

The first step can take place as soon as you get your young puppy home. Just get your pup familiar and comfortable wearing a collar. A simple buckle collar is fine for this purpose. Put the collar on when you feed your puppy or when you are playing with him. Most puppies don't have a problem with the collar, it may just take a little getting used to. If your puppy is rolling around or trying to scratch the collar off, don't take it off him at this time. Wait till he has settled down or forgotten about it, then take it off.

The next step is similar to the first, it involves the leash. This time get your dog used to the look and feel of his leash. For young puppies all you need is a light weight, thin leash. You can upgrade to a fancy leather leash when your puppy is properly leash trained if you like. Put the leash on your puppy and just let him check it out and drag it around with him (always under your supervision). Once again your goal is to make your puppy comfortable with the leash and not fear it in any way.

When your puppy is comfortable wearing the collar and dragging the leash around (may take up to a couple of weeks) it is time for you to pick up the other end of the leash. Make these first leash training sessions short, sharp and fun. And always keep in mind that your goal is to communicate to your dog that pulling on the leash is never acceptable. Therefore you must never reward his pulling by giving in to him. Be consistent with your message to him and always praise his good behavior (in this case, walking on a loose leash).

To start with just walk around the house with the leash in hand, and your puppy trotting along side you. Give him plenty of vocal praise, petting and even a few treats. At this early stage puppies love to follow their owners around, you should use this to your advantage. If your puppy pulls on the leash (which he will, don't expect him to just know this stuff) immediately stop. Don't yank him back over to you with the leash, just call him over and praise him when he comes. Then set off for more of a stroll and repeat this correction each time your dog pulls on the leash. It must be every time he strains on the leash, you have to teach him that when he pulls, it gets him nowhere. The same correction applies when your puppy sits down while you are walking. Don't yank him forward to you, just stop and call him toward you.

This leash training method results in your dog not pulling and you not pulling, just a nice loose leash hanging down between you and your dog. It will take a bit of persistence and patience on your part, but it is well and truly worth it.

by Chris S
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Chris Smith is a dedicated dog owner and creator of

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