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Puppy walking has a wide range of physical and mental benefits for you and your pooches. It’s a way for dog parents and their puppies to bond over an activity, get outside, and get some exercise.
Training your new puppy to nicely walk on a leash (Leash Training a Puppy) at a young age will help avoid bad behavior such as leash aggression or leash-pulling later in life.
The Importance of Leash Training a Puppy
Leash training is an essential lesson for your dog’s training and development. Pups are naturally inclined to sniff and explore… No matter how much your dog likes you, walking on a leash beside you is no simple feat!
By including leash training into other types of puppy training, your pooch will learn to be a happy, safe, and obedient family member.
Leash Training a Puppy
Introduce the puppy to the harness or collar and leash
Begin by letting your puppy get used to wearing a harness or collar and a leash. Let him wear them for short time periods in the house while having fun with him and offering him treats. The puppy must like the collar and leash time since it represents fun and reward.
Create a calm environment
Lots of puppies get very excited upon seeing a leash and will bark, spin, or whine. If this is the case, stand calm with the leash in hand until he relaxes.
Remember to keep calm throughout your strolls; the dog will detect your energy and are more likely to stay calm if you lead by example.
Avoid having an established destination for your walk just in case your pooch doesn’t react well. Take him around your area and allow him to lead the way.
Praise good behavior
When your puppy is walking alongside you on a leash and not pull you in all directions, heap on the praise and give him the occasional treat; never pull your canine along. If he resists leaving a place, pulling on the lead can hurt him.
Rather, focus on rewarding him for coming when you call him to keep strolling along.
If your pooch is especially persistent, you may need to intervene and redirect his focus back to the walk and far from things with all the odors.
Keep a short leash
While this is typically seen as a negative to humans, maintaining your puppy on a short leash is indispensable to leash training success. The less area your canine has to stray away from your side, the simpler it is for him to learn to walk beside you.
As he begins to get the hang of points, you can let out the lead a little bit, either by giving some slack from your hands or with a retractable leash.
Keep him at your side
Comparable to a short leash, walking with your puppy at your side rather than in front of you enables you to control his direction. When dogs are permitted to walk out in behind or front, they tend to stray and smell everything. This will also aid in preventing the leash from becoming tangled beneath him.
Again, you can begin to be more tolerant with him as he becomes more trained, yet it’s ideal for keeping him close while still a pup.
Keep in mind dogs are pack animals. If he considers you as the pack leader, he will ultimately fall in line and be the best walking companion.
Be supportive and patient
Let the dog get used to the idea of being on a leash. If the puppy looks worried, bend down in front of him and pet him. You can give him tiny treats as you walk.
Be patient with your pooch as he adjusts to being on a leash. You don’t have to reward bad behavior, but there are effective and simple methods to manage negative behavior without getting upset or frustrated.
This is the most fundamental part of any puppy training. The puppy is happy and eager to learn; all he requires is to communicate your expectations clearly.
When you continually reward positive behavior and discourage unwanted behaviors, the puppy will develop good behavior. However, if you are inconsistent and allow the dog to pull on a leash regularly, he will have difficulty understanding what you want.
Choosing the Right Leash
Pick an appropriate style of leash for the size of your dog. Light-weight nylon leashes work well for small dogs, while heavier leather leashes may be better for larger dogs.
It is an excellent idea to pass on the need to get a retractable leash. These leashes can train puppies to pull as they reward jumping up, although these might be fine for toy-sized puppies. A 6-foot size generally gives puppies enough freedom without owners losing control.
Now, aim for your pooch not to pull, surge ahead, or drag, but to walk nicely on either side on a loose leash. If you keep the leash tight, the puppy will normally pull against it, so avoid trying to drag. Keep the leash in your right hand, doubling up the added slack so it doesn’t pull, and keep that right hand at your belt buckle level.
You can prevent bad behavior from developing by addressing them every time they take place. Keep in mind; you don’t have to get angry and shout or hit the puppy. There are more positive and constructive ways to reinforce good habits without losing your cool. Some usual examples of bad habits and also how to address them are below.
How to stop a dog from pulling on a leash
If your puppy starts pulling in the other direction, transform yourself into “a big stone.” Stand still and refuse to move until your pooch comes back to you. Do not jerk or tug the leash, and don’t drag your puppy along with you. Head halters and front-hook harnesses are alternate training tools developed for canines that tend to pull.
How do you stop a puppy from lunging?
If your puppy is pursuing something while on a walk– a car, a ball, or another dog, for example, be positive. Try to redirect his focus with a reward before he has a chance to lunge and increase the space between your puppy and the target.
Keep alert and be prepared before the target of his frustration gets too near. This type of habit can be more usual in herding breeds, but any puppy can be startled by something he’s not familiar with or finds exciting.
How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking on Leash
Some dogs have the habit of barking at other pets while on a walk. Oftentimes, this habit comes as a result of a lack of training. Ensure your pooch gets the correct quantity of physical and mental stimulation for his breed and age.
If this is still a problem, use the same process as you would if your canine is lunging, as defined above– increase distance and give rewards before starting to bark; whenever he sees a dog, he gets used to turning his focus to you.
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