Teaching your puppy proper leash manners has benefits for both of you. It will allow the puppy to be safe while exploring its surroundings. Also, it enables you, the owner, to enjoy calm and refreshing strolls with your furry best friend. In some states, the law requires a dog to walk calmly on a leash. However, even if calm walking isn’t an obligation, it’s still the only polite and civilized way of walking a dog.
Puppies are tiny and super-cute at an early age, and you might think you’ll handle them with ease even when they grow up. Some puppies, however, grow into huge, powerful tanks full of love. While love only gets bigger and stronger, so do their bodies. If you don’t teach your puppy how to walk on a leash, it will be easy for them to pull the leash from your hands when they grow up. You might end up being dragged all over the place, and that’s not a pleasant feeling. It is also very dangerous if they run out in traffic or get tangled while being excited about something. Fighting with other dogs is also a possibility if the puppy is beyond your control outside.
You need to make sure your puppy is safe, and the best way to do that is to teach him how to walk calmly on a lead. Even friendly puppies can get scared in some situations, especially in big crowds. Dogs don’t have an instinct for proper walking on a leash – they have to learn about it. It’s vital to teach your puppy how to nicely walk while it’s still young and small because adult dogs are harder to train. Start with the training as soon as the puppy arrives at your home.
Prepare for Baby Steps
Leash puppy training doesn’t happen overnight. You must prepare for baby steps and arm yourself with patience if you want to succeed. Here are the most important steps:
Introduce the puppy to the collar: Your puppy has to get accustomed to the collar. When you introduce him to it, try to do it in a calm environment. Ideally, you will do it when the puppy is happy and when it has a lot of other things to focus on while you’re putting on the collar. Put it on at mealtime and let the pup walk around the house with the collar. The most important thing is to interact with the puppy and put his mind off the fact there’s a collar around his neck.
Introducing the lead: Dogs often go crazy when you first attach the lead. Many of them fall into full-blown temper tantrums, while some just shut down and refuse to move. When you put on the leash for the first time, drop it immediately and let the puppy walk around the house or yard, dragging it. It needs to associate the lead to feeling comfortable. Keep an eye on the puppy at all times, so it doesn’t get tangled. Occasionally, pick up the lead and call the pup. When it comes to you, don’t forget to reward it with a treat.
Encouragement and rewards: You should always reward good behavior. Have your pup’s favorite snacks and toys at hand while training. Hold the treat, so the puppy pays full attention to it, then say something you always plan on saying, like, “Let’s go!” Then start moving while still holding the treat. The puppy will follow eventually. Once it realizes that walking calmly alongside you results in getting rewarded, things will start going smoother.
Patience is Key
You need to remain calm and patient when you start leash training your puppy, and this is essential for the practice to work. If you do everything gently and calmly, the puppy will pick up on your mood and start responding correctly. Give the dog enough time to process all the information you’ve placed in front of them. He needs to understand what the collar and leash are and what they do. Under no circumstances should the dog realize they deny him his freedom. Once it starts associating the lead with fun times spent outside, it will begin to feel happy when you put it on. Training should be fun and encouraging for the puppy. You need to stop with it when you see the puppy is getting bored, nervous, or overwhelmed.
Training a puppy to walk on a leash should be enjoyable for both of you. Make sure the dog is in a good mood before you start training, and make sure you encourage positive behavior all the times. Rewards are essential, as well. Dogs are intelligent creatures. All it takes for them to learn how to walk on the lead is a little patience, a lot of time, and a lot of treats.