When it was the right time to leash-train my dog, Dongar, I found it quite difficult to get that done. He was too friendly with other dogs, so he would pull really hard, which was an issue for me since he’s a very strong dog! Plus, he used to eat dirt as if his life depended on it! I had so many issues training him until I figured out the perfect way to nail it. He’s now a fully trained dog that walks like a model canine citizen.
If you want to perfectly leash training your puppy, you’ll have to follow these five steps:
1. Choose the Suitable Collar and Leash
When you want to train your timid little puppy, you’ll need to find the right collar that won’t annoy him and would grant him the comfort he needs to freely move and be a dog! So, you shouldn’t suffocate him with tight or uncomfortable choker collars.
The leash needs to be light and flat, at least at the beginning of your training, you can change to other types of collar and leash later on.
Your little puppy may have some trouble getting accustomed to his new leash; therefore, you gotta take baby steps. Mainly, you want your puppy to forget about having the collar around his neck, so start by attaching it when you’re at home, or whenever you go out, even if you’re just getting a breather in the back yard. Try to take his mind off wearing the collar, keep him occupied and don’t put him in situations where he might get concerned, or frightened, or have a temper tantrum.
2. Reward Your Puppy
Leash training your puppy sometimes it’s very hard. To help your leash training, You should develop a system of rewarding in case of good behavior. Since no dog has ever learned to be perfect on a leash in one day, so some rewards would do no harm. We suggest that you reward your puppy with some edible or chewable and tasty treats; e.g., chunks of hot dog or small pieces of cheese. Keep in mind that the treats should not be big or distracting from his training.
Food is not the only reward you can give your puppy, as you can also reward him with some toys that he likes to play with!
Rewarding your puppy should be reasonable and controlled because you don’t want this reward system to lose its value. Therefore, reward him only when he does a good behavior or when you want to grab his attention from a distracting environment, for example, when you’re in a park, and your dog starts acting up, some edible rewards would be beneficial to get him back on track and return his focus on you.
3. Patience and Encouragement
“The one thing I find about training dogs is that there are no hard and fast rules. Some dogs take to a collar and leash easily, and some do not.” said Martin Deeley.
So, you should realize that there is no time range in which your dog should have mastered walking on a leash. And accordingly, you need to be as patient as possible.
You might find yourself start getting upset, but with time, you’ll find out how much it was worth it. Patience is the main key to excel in this process.
Moreover, your dog may get upset as well, and in this case, you’ll have to encourage him. For example, you can bend down and pet him, you can use the previously mentioned rewards, or you can just give him a break every once in a while.
You can start with your training at home so that your puppy doesn’t make a scene when going out in public. When you find your puppy ready enough, take your training outside.
Remember not to be too lenient nor too strict, give him orders, but don’t go too harsh on him or he’ll associate the leash with things that get him scolded and upset.
Moreover, being consistent is one of the most important points to abide by. You need to schedule your training. To train him occasionally or frequently would only make things works. You should train your puppy in a regular basis; we suggest more than once a day if possible, or else neither of you will take it seriously, and accordingly, you’ll find no positive results.
Plus, as we suggested you should boost good behaviors by rewarding your puppy, you should also work on stopping bad behaviors.
Basically, you shouldn’t lose your cool and get all angry with your puppy; all you have to do is address every bad behavior each time it happens.
- For example, if your dog keeps pulling the leash, all you gotta do is stand still and stop walking; as you want to let your dog know that pulling the leash will absolutely get him nowhere no matter what.
- Another bad behavior is when your dog sits or lays down. In that case, you should take some steps away from him, call his name, and offer him a treat.
With the consistency of boosting good behaviors and stopping bad behaviors, in no time, you’ll find your dog enjoying walking on a leash. And, you will be proud of your success to leash training your puppy.
5. Obedience Training
When you do leash training your puppy, you have to stay in front to show that you’re in charge and you’re taking control, so that the dog becomes obedient for your orders.
There is a basic command that you need to apply in your training, which is the “Ask, Tell, and Command” method. Basically, you will first ask your dog to do something; “come” for example. If your dog doesn’t comply, repeat your order with a firm voice, if that still does not work, you should repeat the command again while physically pulling your puppy in your direction. Then, you should offer praise or a treat, whether your puppy came willingly or by you bringing it over. Rewarding, in this case, will help your puppy associate compelling the actions with rewards and will motivate it to re-compel in the future until it becomes a habit.
In a nutshell, training your puppy to walk on a leash is just like training a baby to walk. You’ll need patience, consistency, rewards, as well as discipline.