How to Train Your Puppy to Walk on A Leash
Updated: Sep 7, 2021
Ask any pet parent, and they’ll you how nice it is to go on a long walk with your pooch by your side. It is not just a great way to enjoy some fresh air but also to provide them with some exercise and an opportunity to discover new smells and sights.
But how do you make sure your puppy walks nicely on a leash, without any tugging or pulling?
A lot of people assume that puppies have the innate ability to walk properly on a leash, which is not true. It is a skill that needs to be taught, which means they need to be trained.
We’ll be honest here. Leash training isn’t the easiest task, but it is incredibly necessary if you want to enjoy your daily walks and adventures with your little pupper.
Here are a few tips to do that:
1. Get them used to the leash and collar
Before you embark on your first walk with your pup on a leash, let them get used to wearing a leash and collar. Start by letting them wear it for short periods of time, especially during playtime or when you give them treats. Allow him to drag the leash around attached to the collar. They should become comfortable with the leash and also associate it with positive experiences.
2. Teach a cue
When walking your dog, it is very important to teach them cues to come back to you or behave in a certain manner. For instance, you can teach them to come to you by introducing them to a sound cue that means “food is here.” Some people also use the “heel” command, which you can use to teach your puppy to walk beside you on a loose leash.
3. Start with short training sessions in familiar places
Young pups do not have a very long attention span, so you shouldn’t expect them to be too invested in leash training for more than a few minutes. In the beginning, train them in familiar places like your backyard. Take them for a walk around the house – a place with smells and sights they are already familiar with. This will keep them from wandering around in all directions looking for new exciting odors.
4. Reward good behavior
When your dog walks alongside you, reward their behavior with treats and praise. If they get distracted and refuse to leave a spot, instead of pulling them, reward them when they come to you on cue. Intervene and redirect their attention only when they resist. You can adopt the same approach when they pull or tug at the leash.
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