If you’re reading this article, chances are you just brought home your new puppy. Congratulations! It’s time to master walking him/her on a leash. You’re in a great position: a young pup is ready to learn and be molded into the perfect dog! Teaching a dog to walk on leash is much easier when they’re young, so be sure to take advantage of this window of opportunity. Step 1: Getting used to the collar The first thing you’ll want to do is get your puppy used to wearing a collar. Start by putting it on him during playtime or feeding – this way he’s distracted and won’t focus on it too much. You want your puppy to associate the collar with something positive, so as soon as you put it on, reward him with treats. If he makes a fuss, try to distract him. Be sure to never remove the collar while he is upset – it should only be removed when he is in a calm state. Step 2: Getting used to the leash Once your puppy is comfortable with the collar, you will want to introduce the leash. As soon as you clip it on the collar, reward your puppy with treats. Again, you want him to associate the leash with something positive. Let him wear it loosely the first few times, never pulling it or even holding onto it. Let him wander around a supervised area. Step 3: Holding the leash Now that your puppy is used to his collar and leash, it’s time to get involved. Grab on to the other end of the leash and let your puppy follow you around. Reward this behaviour with treats so he associates following you on a loose lead with something positive. If your puppy stops or pulls in another direction, immediately stop walking. You do not want to allow this behaviour or else he will learn that you walk where he wants. Never yank on the leash if he stops or pulls as you will negate any positive association with the leash, and you could actually hurt your puppy’s neck. Simlpy start walking again and if your puppy follows, reward him. If he still refuses to walk, call his name. If he comes, reward him and then try walking again. Some puppies will learn to walk on leash within a few days, some may take longer. Don’t give up if your puppy takes a little longer than you had hoped! Just remember to keep rewarding the good behaviours and be consistent with what you expect of him. A note about dog parks: You might be anxious to bring your puppy to dog parks, but this should be avoided until your dog has had all the necessary vaccines. To avoid parasites and viruses, avoid any close contact with other dogs (even ones you know) until your vet has given your puppy the OK to go out and socialize. If you follow your vet’s schedule, your puppy should be up to date by 3-4 months of age and can then go out and make 4-legged friends! Now available in our shop ToniaTonia has owned her own dog walking company and been a full-time professional dogwalker for over 4 years. She is a member of Pet Sitters International and the Pet Professional Guild (the Association for Force-Free Pet Professionals). She volunteers weekly at a local dog shelter where she gets to feed and spend time with many furry friends. She started Dogwalker World to share her knowledge and passion about dogs and their natural instinct to walk and explore. She believes (and knows) that walking your dog can be a fun activity that will only strengthen your bond with them. This website is her dedication to you to ensure that you find the tools and advice necessary to make walking your dog a success! Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.