Pups are not born understanding how to walk on a leash; they must be taught. Leash training your puppy is an exciting time for both of you, as your dog is exploring the world around them, and you are becoming your pup’s teacher and trusted advocate.
When leash training your dog, you want to do it gradually. Do not take them outside right away, as it could be dangerous. Ensure they master the appropriate command and that your puppy knows how to come to you when you want them to.
It is essential to train your dog how to walk correctly on a leash for their safety. If you want to see how to leash train your dog, check out this article.
Leash walking your dog gives you both exercise. You should teach your pup good leash walking skills so that they can be accepted into public places or other situations. It will help your dog learn their boundaries, and you should have some notion of what you are trying to achieve before training.
Leash training is essential because it is a safety issue. If your pup is not leash trained, they could slip out of your grasp and get hurt. Pulling on the leash makes it challenging to hold onto the dog, and you may drop it. Dogs are often legally required to be on a leash when in public.
When taking your pup out in public, you will find that dogs are more well-behaved when kept on a leash. You can teach your pup to be compliant by guiding them in the right direction. Proper training is necessary to help your dog feel safe on their leash.
Leash training can begin as soon as you take your puppy home. You can leash train them when they are about four to six weeks old. At this age, they are curious about the world, and they are learning all the time. However, remember that puppies can get bored or tired and need a break. It is advised that you rest every ten to fifteen minutes.
Treats are a powerful motivator for dogs. You can start by training them in the house and get them acclimated to wearing a harness and a leash. You can allow them to wear them in the house while you play with them and give them treats. That way, your puppy will positively associate with the leash training and be more responsive when you train them.
Once your puppy gets used to sporting the harness and leash and has received all their vaccinations, you can officially start leash training them. Do not take them outside yet, as they are still learning. There are a few items you will need to leash train your puppy:
Only take your dog outside once they have mastered the skills necessary to be safe. You also need to be patient with them and help them to have fun learning.
Pick a command that you will teach your dog to let them know they will get a treat if they come to you. Find a good place in the house to teach them the command. Make sure it is free of clutter and distractions. Place the leash and collar on your pup.
Use the command to get your puppy to come to you. Give them a treat when your pup turns toward or looks at you. Repeat the process until your dog looks at you and comes to you for a treat.
When your dog walks toward you, back up a little and give them a treat once they get to you. Keep practicing until your puppy comes to you and walks with you a little upon hearing the command word. It will soon be second nature for them to come over to you. Continue giving your pup treats to motivate them.
Once your dog fully understands when to come to you, practice walking a little in the room you have designated “the teaching area.” Hopefully, by now, when your pup feels and sees the leash, they will associate it with walking. Continue to give them treats and pets as they demonstrate that they know what you want them to do.
Your pup has mastered the command and is ready for the big league. It may be a challenge initially, but keep practicing until they get it. Keep the first few walks short, as puppies will be safer learning in small increments.
During the walk, if your dog seems to be going to bolt, say the command and move a couple of steps away. Give your puppy a treat when they come toward you. Learning to walk on a leash in your home is one thing, but when your puppy starts to learn to walk on a leash outside, it is up to you to keep them safe and focused. Take breaks whenever necessary.
Heel training ensures that while walking your dog, they stay on one side of you and do not dart back and forth to either side. Your pup should remain on either your left or right side the entire time. It is a safety precaution for them. To teach your dog how to “heel”, you can:
It takes time for your pup to master the heel command. Be patient with them and always use treats and pets as a motivator.
Many times, some issues arise when you are leash training your puppy. Always remain calm even when you teach them, as they tend to learn better that way. The most common problems that can occur during leash training are:
If your puppy is pulling on the leash, stop walking and calmly call them back over to you and keep walking. Give them a treat when they listen. Do not continue to walk if your puppy is pulling on the leash, as it could hurt them. If your dog pulls, they are anxious to get more exercise.
Distract your puppy from whatever they are lunging at with a treat. Try to do it before they actually lunge. Make sure your pup does not walk toward the object or animal. It is your job to keep them safe.
Some dogs bark excessively at other dogs or people when they are on a walk. Make sure there is a distance between your pup and the person or animal. If they start to bark, use a command to get them to be quiet. Then, give your pup a treat or positive reinforcement.
Your dog is interested in the world around them. Puppies who are introduced to walking outside may want to chase after every bird or squirrel they see. You must become more aware of your puppy’s natural curiosity and prey drive.
Dogs who pull may just be excited to be outside. It is not a way for your dog to display or achieve dominance, even though some people think this. Remember when you were a kid, cooped up in a classroom and could not wait for recess?
Puppies are the same, as they love to go outside and play. It may get to a point where your puppy is excited to see the leash! If your pup constantly tugs on the leash while walking, it may be because they are excited to go for some exercise.
Leash training your dog can be pretty challenging, but with perseverance and hard work, you and your pup can do it! Remember to be encouraging and patient with your dog and keep them out of harm’s way.