Leash training is not only the first step in canine obedience training, but also a compulsory task to handle your dog in any situation. It is imperative to give this training for the pet as soon as you got it home or better if you do this when it is still a puppy. Training your puppy to walk on a leash is a process which mainly requires the owner’s constant patience, especially at the very early stages. Needless to say, the confidence in both your puppy and yourself is the key factor which helps you to maintain the role of pack leader throughout the entire ordeal.
First introduction to collar
Start the course with a proper collar which won’t make your puppy trip over itself. As soon as you get the right one, gradually expose the little pooch to his collar. Of course the initial respond to the collar might be very negative because it restricts his freedom. Therefore, if you want to distract him from that feeling, some treats or toys for him will do the trick.
When putting on the collar, ensure that it fits your puppy’s neck properly. It should not too tight or loose so your little buddy won’t pay attention to the existence of the collar too much.
At the first sign of his veiled hostility towards the collar, you need to have it on his neck right before mealtime. His hunger will draw his attention to the food immediately. Keep him distracted by other things like his favorite food if he still tries to scratch or bite at the collar.
Moreover, take advantaged of the time when your dog does its daily activities to practice leash training. This is an effective way to produce positive leash associations for your little buddy.
After your puppy gets accustomed to the band around its neck, it is high time for you to attach a leash to the collar. When they are connected, let your puppy run or roam around freely but under supervision. The target is to make your pup forget about the presence of the leash. Once the goal has achieved, pick up the end of the leash and then encourage him to play something enjoyable or take part in fun canine training. Keep in mind that positive initial associations with the leash will ensure proper behaviors in the future.
As soon as your puppy is accustomed to the leash, he might start to pull on. This behavior is understandable and what you need to do is to discourage this with positive reinforcement. For example, you can treat your little friend when walking him on the leash to encourage him walk naturally beside you.
Always remember that your consistency with regular routines for your puppy is the key to success in leash training. The calmer and methodical you remain, the easier the process will be.
It is important to expose your pup with leash to other dogs as carefully as possible. At first, you should only carry out walking training when there is no one else around to avoid startling your pup. After some times, begin to walk the pooch around your home and gradually introduce it to some possible distractions. Consequently, your puppy will tend to perform well in any unfamiliar situations which involves with other dogs.
To teach your dog how to heed your commands when having him on the leash, you should start by putting the puppy on the leash and waiting for it to begin to pull. Once this happens, you need to pull on the leash, drawing your pup towards you. This helps your dog realize that he should not walk you but follow you as long as the leash is put on his neck. Always give him some tasty treats whenever he acts properly to encourage this behavior.
More intensive practice
After instructing clearly the basics, you may want to give your puppy a try to walk on a leash in the outside world which is full of distractions. This is a chance not only for him to show his courage, but also for you to see the effectiveness of the training you’ve carried out.
While walking him on the leash, make sure he walks with short steps and keep an eye on your puppy at all times under strict instruction. It is very helpful to use the “Come” command when he starts to walk in wrong direction. If your puppy starts to perform more and more badly, stop use the leash and bring your little pooch home in your arms instead. This will help him not to get confused about which behavior is right and which is not.
Puppy’s leash problems
One common problem of leash training is that your puppy keeps pulling on the leash despite all the instructions. In that case, never allow yourself to go in your puppy’s direction and keep standing still until it gives up its intention. Besides, keep in mind that the more you pull your pup back, the more he will resist. It is better to wait until he is tired of playing this “tug of war game”.
If your puppy lunges out at something while walking, distract him from that thing by his favorite games or activities. Then you can award him some treats for his obedience. This will help to put an end to your puppy’s excessive barking while walking as well.
When it comes to creating proper etiquette, just remember to be always patient with your puppy so he will learn that appropriate behavior leads to longer walks.
Featured image credit : labargeorge