Teaching your puppy to walk on the leash isn’t just convenient; it’s also necessary. Walking your dog provides essential exercise for a young pup, but for older dogs, too. It helps obedience training and it improves the general responsiveness of your dog.
The only way to successfully leash train a puppy is to be consistent and patient with the training. If you’re wondering at what age to start leash training a puppy, you should know that the sooner you start, the better it will be for both you and your pup. Leash training an older dog is much harder than training a puppy. If you have the opportunity to teach your puppy how to walk on a leash while it’s still young, you should make the most of it.
Choose the Right Walking Equipment
With so many different types of leashes and collars on today’s pet market, owners often make the mistake of buying the most popular one. You should always buy the collar and leash that your puppy responds to best.
The most common type of collars are neck collars, and they are a very good choice for obedient dogs who don’t pull. However, if you’re wondering how to get a stubborn dog to walk on a leash, you should consider getting a harness. Harnesses are less likely to hurt your dog if he pulls. If you’re looking for the best collar for an 8 week old puppy to learn how to walk, a harness may be your best choice.
There is a wide variety of leashes to choose from on the market today. Many owners prefer retractable leashes because it seems like an easier option for the owner and a more comfortable one for the dog. However, you should know that retractable leashes promote pulling because they reward the dog with more space for every pull. Using a retractable leash is no way to teach a young puppy to walk. A standard leash gives you more control. Some dog trainers use slip leashes as best options, too.
Let the Dog Adjust to the Leash and Collar
Make sure your puppy is used to wearing a collar or harness before you take him out for a walk for the first time. Most puppies don’t get the best reaction when you put a collar around their neck and it will take some time before they stop trying to get rid of it. Put the collar on and let the puppy walk around the house to get accustomed to it. Once he stops paying attention to the collar, he’s ready to meet the leash.
Practice Walking in the House or Garden
Having a lead attached to their collar or harness is another thing every puppy needs getting used to while they’re young. It’s a new sensation for them, and it may scare or confuse a young pup. If you’d like to know how to leash train a dog that won’t walk, you should know that a dog’s instinct is to stop and pull back when you pull the leash. Attaching the lead and pulling it won’t do the trick. You need to attach the leash and follow your puppy around the house or garden so the lead is always loose. After some time, take it off and play with the puppy, then attach the leash back on.
The puppy shouldn’t even notice the leash is there after a while, so you need to make sure you walk wherever the puppy wanders around the garden. Make sure the leash is loose and comfortable for the dog.
Teach Your Puppy How to Heel on the Leash
If you want your puppy to be interested in leash training, you have to bring some treats into the game. Put the collar and leash on, say your dog’s name and show them a treat to get their attention, and then praise them and give them the treat when they come to you. Take a couple of steps forward, encouraging your pup to walk with you. Every time they walk right past your leg, say, “Heel!” and give them a treat so they associate the word to tasty treats and walking next to you. Treat him and praise him every time they walk calmly with a loose leash, but stop walking whenever the dog starts to pull. Don’t pull back. Stop walking and don’t start again until the dog stops too. Remember you have to be patient and consistent.
Sometimes, your pup won’t be in a mood to train, and all you need to do is work harder on encouraging them. Make sure your voice sounds enthusiastic and happy, and soon enough, the pup will pick up on the sensation and start playing along. The most important thing about leash training a puppy is to make sure the dog is having fun while learning new things. If you are too busy you can always consider hiring a dog walking agency, and let them teach your pup how to walk.