When we see a well-behaved dog walking on a leash, we might not think of it as anything special. But it’s a skill that takes some time for both puppy and parent to learn. With a little bit of patience and calm direction, you can have your dog behaving on a leash and following your lead. Here are some steps to make leash training easier.
We can’t stress this step enough. All dogs have different temperaments and skills. Some pups have an innate understanding of walking on a leash, and others will take some time to adapt. When we make leash training enjoyable for a pup, they will associate it with fun and play– and that’s exactly what we want.
Pick the Right Collar
We might care what our dog’s collar looks like, but they only want it to be comfortable. Start off with a light flat collar along with a light leash. Once your dog learns the basics and is comfortable, you can try other types of collars.
Introduce the Collar Early
Your pup needs some time adjusting to a collar, so introduce it to them when you’re at the house enjoying time together. The key is to help your dog forget they’re even wearing one by having it be snug but not too tight or irritating. If your dog is scratching at the collar, distract them with a toy and see if they relax.
Let Them Drag the Leash
The next step is to get your pup comfortable with the leash. A simple way is to attach the leash in the house for short amounts of time, and just let them drag it around a bit. Make sure to play with them and reward with a little treat. Your pooch will associate leashes with fun.
Once you’re ready to head outdoors, remember to be patient! You’re introducing your puppy to the world, and it’s seeing, smelling, hearing all kinds of new things. Everything is exciting and new for a young pup, so they can get distracted. Remember to be patient and understanding with your pup. If they pull on the leash, try standing in place and wait for them to calm down. If they start to lunge at other people or dogs, have a toy ready to distract them back to you. This can also work in motivating them to walk if they’re hesitant to keep going. Be calm with your pup and they’re sure to learn!