Leash training puppies can stretch patience to the limit and be very frustrating at times, and not just for owners. It can be just as frustrating for the pup, as well as confusing and at times scary.
You, as the owner, need to know how to train your puppy properly. It's your responsibility to make sure his introduction to walking on a leash is an enjoyable and completely stress free experience.
Following are 3 steps that will help you to train your puppy easily and in the shortest possible time.
Step 1- Introduce Him To His Collar
First, purchase a nylon or leather collar for your puppy as these are comfortable, light-weight materials. Your puppy won't be used to having something around his neck and he'll probably scratch at it and roll around on his back trying to get it off in the beginning.
Don't take the collar off. Distract him from the initial discomfort and annoyance of the collar by playing with him or by giving him toys.
Step 2 - Introduce His Leash
When he is completely used to the collar, attach his leash. Soft leather or lightweight nylon leashes are best. Leather and nylon are very pliable and easier on your hands.
While in your home, just let your puppy drag the leash around under your close supervision. This will help introduce him to the leash and teach him that its not a device to be feared.
Step 3 - Start The Leash Training Process
After your puppy gets used to dragging the leash around, pick up the leash, and hold it at waist length. Walk with your puppy around the house holding the leash loosely.
All new puppies like to follow their owners around. Use this to your advantage!.Just let your puppy trot beside you and praise him lavishly. You can even give him treats.
If he pulls back on the leash immediately stop, give one very gentle tug on the leash, call him to you, and when he comes praise him. Also, never keep walking if your puppy runs ahead and starts pulling, otherwise youll be reinforcing unwanted behavior. Again, stop, tug the leash once gently, call your puppy back to you, and don't start walking again until he is sitting or standing calmly next to you.
You want to teach your puppy that if he pulls on the leash, he will not go anywhere. It also teaches him that if he wants to walk on the leash, he has to do so by your side.
You can apply this same method if your puppy suddenly sits down while you're walking. Never yank him towards you. Just gently tug the leash once, call him and give him a reward - either praise or a treat.
Again, the purpose of this exercise is to introduce him to his leash, show him that it is not a device to be feared, and teach him that if he feels a slight tug and comes to you he will be rewarded.
Make your puppy's first leash training sessions short and fun.
A Few Points To Keep In Mind
Remember, dogs are pack animals. In any dog pack, there is an alpha dog. You must always let your puppy know that you are his pack leader. This does not mean you need to yell at your dog or intimidate him. It simply means gaining his respect. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- If you allow your puppy to walk ahead of you on the leash, you are teaching him that he is alpha.
- If he thinks he is the alpha dog, he will defy you in other areas and ignore your commands.
- Always praise your puppy when he behaves in the way you want.
- Never get angry with him. If you feel you are getting annoyed with his behavior just walk away and try again later when you are in a calmer and happier frame of mind.
- Patience, consistency and praise are a must.
- Set up a training schedule that's realistic one you can commit to every day. This way, your puppy knows what to expect on a daily basis.
Leash training puppies properly and showing them that they must obey and listen to their human pack leaders at all times, both on and off the leash, will ensure they grow into obedient, well-trained, easy-to-handle adult dogs.