Puppy Leash Training Made Easy
Recently we added a female puppy to our family. We have an adult dog also. I forgot how much work it is to train a puppy. This Labrador retriever is 9 weeks old and very smart. She has learned her name and she sits on command. We have decided it is time to get started with her leash training.
This is an area that causes many people grief. They expect to put a leash on a puppy the first time and have them follow. This is most likely not going to happen. To begin leash training it is helpful if you can get the puppy used to the feel of the leash. To do this attach the leash to the puppy's collar and let them drag it around the yard. If the puppy has been restrained for a period of time let them get rid of some pent up energy prior to starting the first lesson on leash training.
Once the puppy has pulled the leash behind them for a while pick up the end and gently tug on the leash. It is very important that if you are using a choke collar that it is not in choke mode. Once you have the leash in hand let the puppy get used to the idea that you are connected. Make the leash training fun by running with the puppy and saying its name often. Then take the leash off the puppy and put it away.
The next day repeat what you did the day before but for a longer period of time. Try taking a few steps to see if the puppy will follow. Praise them if they do and gently tug on the leash if they do not. It is important that you are gentle with the tugs at the beginning of leash training so the puppy does not become afraid of the leash. The goal is for the puppy to associate the leash with going for walks and spending time with you.
Each puppy is different, but most will respond well to leash training in a matter of days. During the course of leash training you will also want to incorporate the verbal commands that accompany walking a dog such as come, sit and heel. Once the puppy is responding to basic leash training you can work on getting them to walk on heel. Many people do not complete this step in leash training. They are the people that you see being pulled down the sidewalk by their dogs. This is not a comfortable or fun way to walk a dog. The two of you are fighting against each other in this situation. The dog is hurting its neck and your arm is being stretched. The leash training needs to include walking on heel.