Puppies are very receptive to training and picking up new skills. By harnessing their enthusiasm and excitement, you can use this time in their young life to teach them a whole host of new things. How to train a puppy to walk on a leash is one of the most important aspects of training your little dog.
It can prove challenging when your puppy doesn’t have a clue about what you are doing, but they pick things up very fast.
Making sure you have the right equipment
Before you begin, make sure you have a comfortable and correctly fitted collar for your puppy. By around twelve weeks of age, your puppy should be wearing a collar.
When mastering how to train a puppy to walk on a leash you must get your pup used to wear it before introducing a leash to the equation. Ideally, you will need two types of leash.
One should be a flat leash of suitable length to walk alongside you, and the other should be the retractable kind with a long-range which will be used as your puppy progresses to walking outdoors.
Train A Puppy To Walk On A Leash: How to start
First off, manage your expectations and don’t expect your pup to be walking on a leash from the first few tries.
Introduce a leash to your puppy when you are at home.
The best time to do it is when they are eating a meal. Attach the leash to their collar and leave it hanging loose while they eat.
Wait until they have finished eating and let them investigate it for a few minutes.
You can then remove the leash. As your pup is eating when you introduce the leash, it will help them associate it with something positive.
After a couple of days, take a loose hold of the leash after your puppy has finished their meal, and follow them around whilst holding the leash.
Only keep a loose hold of the leash and don’t attempt to use it to control or direct your pup.
Your puppy will eventually get used to the feeling that you are on the other end of it and they will soon get the hang of not physically getting under your feet!
Still, indoors, begin to train your young dog to walk next to you on their leash by slowly walking next to them. Do not hold the leash too tight or too loose.
When your puppy walks alongside you give them lots of praise and a treat.
Introduce your chosen verbal command to tell them to walk next to you and when they do so give them a treat.
Don’t pull hard on the leash, just apply gentle pressure to guide them to walk beside you.
If your pup begins to pull the lead or tries to run away, turn around and walk in the other direction.
Keeping your dog on the outside of your turn so that they are gently pulled to follow you and have to speed up to keep up with you.
Be prepared to go over this process several times.
When your puppy can walk around with you in the home or yard safely and reliably, you are ready to take them outside to continue their training.
How to train a puppy to walk on a leash
- Patience is key to any aspect of dog training; different dogs learn at different rates, so be prepared for training to take some time, and do not get annoyed or frustrated with your pup
- Try to ensure that you train your puppy in a quiet environment. Puppies are easily distracted, and they get excited if a lot is going on around them
- Don’t conduct your training sessions when your dog is excited or has lots of excess energy. Tire them out a little first with play, then give them time to calm down before starting a training session
- When you encounter issues such as pulling on or biting at the leash, make sure you address them straight away. If will be much easier to out-train these problems when they are small than when they are an adult dog