Leash training is an essential part of owning a puppy. When finding your next pet, it’s important to ensure that you do your research so that you can provide the proper care and training needed. Leash training is one of the most important foundations that you can take on as a dog owner. Not only will it help to keep your dog safe, but it can also be a great way to bond with your new addition and get them used to the outside world. With patience and consistency, you can have your puppy out and about in no time.
What You’ll Need
- A comfortable harness or collar, depending on your dog’s breed and size
- A short leash with a clip on one end
- Dog treats appropriate for the age of your dog
- Patience and consistency!
The first step in leash training is finding the right collar or harness for your puppy. The type of collar or harness you choose should be comfortable for your dog, but also secure enough to prevent slipping out. It’s important to make sure that whatever collar or harness you choose fits correctly – too tight and it could cause pain or even restrict breathing, while too loose could allow your dog to wiggle free. In general, smaller dogs with more fragile necks and throats will benefit from harnesses.
If you’re unsure of what size of collar or harness to get for your puppy, consider consulting a professional such as a vet or pet store employee who can give advice on which size is best for your particular dog. Try to get the highest quality collar or harness that you can find, but also keep in mind that you may eventually need to get a larger size as your dog grows.
Introducing Your Dog To The Leash
Once you have the correct collar or harness fitted correctly on your dog, it’s time to introduce them to the leash itself. Start by allowing them to explore the leash while it’s off of their body – let them sniff and investigate it so they become familiar with its presence. Once they seem calm and composed in its presence, begin attaching the leash whenever they’re around the house so they start getting used to having something attached to their body. You can start off with just a few steps at first and then gradually increase the time they’re on the leash as they get more comfortable. It may take several days for them to become comfortable wearing it for longer periods of time. Make sure that you give lots of praise when they are doing well and reward them with treats every so often.
When they do start wearing the leash outdoors, make sure that no one tries to pull on it – instead encourage calm behaviour by rewarding them with treats when they walk nicely beside you without pulling against the leash.
Teaching Basic Commands
Once your puppy has gotten used to being leashed up indoors, it’s time to start teaching basic commands such as “sit”, “heel” and “come” while outside on walks together. Before heading out, give your dog a few minutes to relax outside with their lead attached so they can explore on their own terms before you start issuing commands. When teaching these commands, be sure to keep sessions short (5–10 minutes) and have plenty of treats handy for positive reinforcement when they obey each command correctly. If your puppy seems overwhelmed or starts misbehaving during a session, take a break and try again later – patience is key when teaching basic commands.
Practising In Public Places
Once your dog knows all their basic commands in different environments (both indoors and outdoors), you can begin taking them out into public places. When taking walks outdoors with your puppy, make sure that any distractions are kept at bay until they become more accustomed to walking beside you calmly – this means keeping other dogs away from yours until they become more familiar with their surroundings, as well as avoiding busy streets or areas where there may be loud noises or a lot of people present that could overwhelm them easily. As always, rewards are key when teaching proper leash behaviour.
At some point during their training period, puppies may try testing boundaries by pulling against the leash or trying other mischievous behaviours such as jumping up at passersby. There’s no reason to panic! Simply remain calm yet firm in correcting these behaviours each time they occur (without yelling) and reward good behaviour whenever possible. Eventually they will understand what behaviours are unacceptable and what ones are acceptable when out in public.
Once your dog has acclimatised, you can start bringing them to parks or dog-friendly stores where there are likely going to be other people and animals around as distractions. Here you will want to focus mostly on reinforcing good behaviour like walking near you without pulling on the leash or barking at other dogs or people. You do this so that when you do encounter these situations in public settings outside of practice sessions, your dog will know how to behave appropriately without requiring much direction from you.
Properly trained puppies that learn how to walk calmly alongside their owners not only make wonderful companions but also create opportunities for both parties involved – owners get enjoyment from experiencing new places accompanied by their furry friends while pups benefit from receiving much-needed exercise and socialisation opportunities. Put some effort into teaching proper leash etiquette today, and you might end up creating an outdoor enthusiast in no time.