Activities, such as taking your dog for a walk or going to the vet, are all made easier if you train your dog to use a leash properly. With proper leash training you will be in control and you will be able to handle your dog in any situation.
Leash training should start as soon as you bring a new puppy home. Dogs vary in the length of time it will take to train them to use a leash. Some dogs will learn within a couple of days, others may take one to two weeks. Remember that consistency is the key.
Teaching a puppy leash training is a skill for both owner and the pup. While an owner is able to understand the principles involved, a puppy can not. It is important that an owner not misconstrue their behavior as bad. They should not punish their puppy nor do anything that will make the puppy respond to the leash as a bad thing.
Puppies are apt to fight any training. In order to start this training, a puppy needs to first be introduced to and become comfortable with a dog collar. A buckle type collar is best and should be securely yet comfortably fastened. The puppy will try to get out of it at first, and here it is important that you encourage him or her. Do not punish them or scold them. Within a few days your puppy will be completely at home with the dog collar and you can start their training.
The problems encountered with training a puppy to use a leash:
- Just as a puppy will fight a collar at first, so too will they fight the leash. A puppy will bite the leash, refuse to move or pull ahead. In any of these instances there are appropriate training techniques designed to overcome their resistance.
- Leash training can be challenging yet it is necessary for their safety. It is also important to remember that this training is only one part of puppy training. If it is conducted correctly leash training will ensure that your puppy grows into a happy and well behaved dog.
- This training should be short and fun initially. The goal is to instil in the puppy that walking on a leash requires acceptable behaviour. Translating a consistent and positive message to your puppy will provide good results.
Watch this video on How to teach your puppy NOT to pull on the leash:
Punishment V’s Reinforcement:
Training a puppy to a leash should never involve punishment. Shouting, scolding or smacking are simply unacceptable. The more a puppy is punished the more they will associate leash walking as a bad experience. If this happens it will be almost impossible to train them to walk correctly on a leash. Pulling, pushing or carrying a puppy will not enforce good behaviour.
Praise him or give him treats. There is nothing wrong with tempting a puppy with treats while there is everything right with praise and love. After all most puppies want to please. If they associate walking on a leash with praise and fun they will be first in line at the door come walking time.
Patience and consistency is key. It is also suggested that this training begin early on. Right from day one it is not too early to start. If training is done in the correct way with the right techniques a puppy won’t fear or dread it. If their first experience results in fear or stress you can rest assured that they will forever dread the leash.
What you want to accomplish is a puppy or dog that views walking on a leash as a treat, not a punishment. Once a puppy understands what is expected from him or her it is important that an owner allows her lots of practice. Start off with small and short sessions and be consistent and chances are you will find puppy leash training as a pleasant experience for both the master and the doggy.
The American Kennel Club have some great articles on leash training your dog also and you can see a good one How to train a puppy to walk on a leash right here.
Thanks for reading and if you like it – why not share it.