As pet parents and new dog owners, it’s important that you train your furry companion properly and get your puppy to walk on a leash. This is one task you shouldn’t ignore and must tackle for a rewarding relationship and future with your dog.
The truth is that leash training isn’t always an easy task and can be quite difficult, at least initially with young puppies. You’ve likely seen other owners getting dragged down the street by their dog or puppy and may be looking to avoid this situation. In this case, take some time to learn how to start leash training a puppy and puppy training tips for doing so successfully.
The Importance of Dog Leash Training
There are many reasons why you should leash train your puppy. For starters, walking your dog and getting them regular exercise is vital to their health and happiness. It not only improves their health but provides mental stimulation, and chances for socialization, and it’ll help prevent obesity.
If you want to have some fun walking your dog and getting fresh air then leash training your puppy is a must. You not only want to keep your new dog happy and healthy but also safe.
What Age Should I Start Leash Training My Puppy
You may also be wondering at what age it’s appropriate and recommended that you begin leash training your puppy. Ideally, you should start as soon as you bring your puppy home, which should be at least eight weeks old. They’re in a learning state and stage and with the right motivation, training, and food; your pet will soon become a leash walking expert.
Getting Started Leash Training
The first thing to do is have your puppy wear a collar and drag a leash with them inside the home; of course, that should only be done when the puppy is supervised. You need to get your puppy used to the feel and the weight of the collar and the leash before you can really begin any type of training with them.
The easiest place to start teaching your puppy to walk with you in the house. No BIRDS or SQUIRRELS or PEOPLE or TRASH to distract them in the house. It is a much easier learning environment to do it where they normally are than in public. If you do take them out to walk, I wouldn’t expect much in the beginning in terms of learning, your puppy will be way outside of their current grade school level to even try and learn.
As you wonder about how to start leash training a puppy, you’ll want to make sure you have the right supplies to start. There are some items you’ll need to ensure success. For example, have a four to six-foot non-retractable leash and a collar, preferably a martingale collar. In addition, be prepared to give your puppy food and have a lot of patience when you’re first getting going.
Training Your Dog to Walk on A Loose Leash
When you train your puppy your goal should always be a loose leash. That is defined as no tension at all in the leash (tension creates frustration and can lead to behavioral problems). Your dog is being trained to walk within the length of the leash and there should be no pulling from either of you.
When you begin leash training, have a training pouch and some FOOD, no treats, use what they are supposed to eat each day, and a regular leash and collar to get started. Whenever your puppy is in the vicinity of where you want them to walk in the long term (preferably by your side within the length of the leash) then you would say YES and reward them with food.
If your puppy pulls or does anything outside of walking with you, STOP THE WALK. Do not continue, as soon as you feel any tension on the leash you want to stop the walk. Wait for your puppy to come back to you, say YES, and reward. Then I want you to sing happy birthday twice or the jeopardy theme song (aloud or in your head). Truly, this is important. You don’t want to resume the walk until your puppy is calm and that requires time. Anything else would be rewarding the pulling.
Leash Training Outside
As for puppy walking outside, take them outdoors and repeat the steps you took inside. View walks outside as a training session instead of an exercise in the beginning stages. Start with short walks. Don’t go blocks, go as long as your puppy can walk with you. Follow the above steps. DO NOT GO FURTHER than a block or two in the beginning.
Stopping Unwanted Behaviors
It’s also possible that you experience your dog taking part in unwanted behaviors while trying to leash train it. The reality is that puppies and dogs alike can have all kinds of bad habits while walking. Always stop walking. Do not say NO and wait for the puppy to return to you to say yes and deliver the reward. We do not say NO to a puppy, no matter what the behavior at this stage.
Enlist the Help of A Dog Training Expert
You can always also enlist the assistance of a dog training expert which will help you find puppy training success. Here at Dreamy Skies Dog Training, we can work together to identify your unique learning style and the best ways to connect you and your family with your dog so you can have the relationship you’ve always hoped for.
You now have a better understanding of how to get a puppy leash trained and some advice and tips to apply. It’s an essential part of your bond with your dog or puppy, and you’ll keep them healthy and happy by walking them safely and getting regular exercise.