tips for leash training puppy

7 Helpful Tips for Leash Training Your Puppy

Leash training might not be as exciting as teaching your puppy a new trick that will impress guests, but it is an essential milestone in any dog’s life. Proper leash training of your dog will make it so much easier and more enjoyable to take them for walks and get in their daily exercise.

Today, we are talking about seven essential tips for leash training your dog until they can walk next to you without pulling on the leash, so grab some antlers for dogs and let’s get started.

1. Begin while your puppy is still young

The reason why a lot of dog parents struggle with leash training is that they wait until the dog is too old and they have already learned bad habits. You can actually start getting your dog used to a collar and leash for a few minutes a day as soon as you bring them home around eight weeks old.

While you need to be careful about walking your dog outside until all of their vaccinations are complete, you should still practice leash training inside the house as soon as possible — the earlier you start, the easier it will be on both of you and the more the training will stick.

2. Get them used to the collar and leash first

Before you try to leash train your dog, you need to let them get familiar with wearing a collar and have a leash attached to it. To get started, put on a normal flat neck collar that is the appropriate size for your puppy. Once they are used to that, attach the leash to the collar and let your dog get used to the extra weight and drag.

Once your dog is comfortable wearing a collar and walking on a leash, why not make their collar extra special with a custom dog collar? 4inbandana offers a wide selection of custom dog collars that can be adjusted to fit your dog perfectly, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit that won’t slip off during playtime.

You can even try holding the end of the leash to simulate what it will be like to go on a walk together. The leash may bother the dog at first and it may take multiple attempts before they are used to it. Don’t move on to the next step until your puppy is comfortable!

3. Start training inside the house

Once your dog is used to wearing a collar and leash, you can begin leash training. While the ultimate goal is to walk your dog outside with slack on the leash, you should actually start training your dog inside.

This is because there are a lot of distractions outside that could cause your dog to pull or lunge on the leash, undermining your leash training. Instead, start in a room where there are no other distractions so your dog’s focus will be completely on you.

4. Teach your dog to follow you

Before you take a dog outside to walk on a leash, you need to teach them to walk with you and to come when you call them. Grab a bag of treats for puppies and let your dog know that you have them. Practice moving a few steps away from your dog and giving them a treat and some praise if they follow you.

Repeat this process several times a day with short training sessions until your dog will follow you without the bribe of bully sticks for dogs. You should also practice having your dog come to you on a verbal command so you can rein them in if they see a squirrel or something else on your walks that they want to chase.

5. Take it outside

Once your dog is a pro at following you around the house, put on their leash and try taking them for a walk in the backyard, or around the block if you don’t have a backyard. Try to pick a time of day where there won’t be a lot of foot traffic or other dogs so you can minimize distractions and keep your dog from becoming overstimulated.

Practice walking next to each other while there is still some slack in the leash. If your dog pulls on the leash, stop moving until they walk back towards you. If they lunge to chase something, tell them to come and reward them with a treat.

6. Address common leash training problems

When you first start out leash training, your dog may pull on the leash, try to play tug-of-war, lunge away from you, or bark excessively. If your dog pulls on the leash, don’t yank them back over to you. Instead, stop walking and then call them back over using the command you’ve taught them, and praise them when they walk over to you.

If your dog lunges, redirect their attention with a treat and then continue the walk when they are calm and ready to move on. As you get more experienced, you will get faster at redirecting their attention before they actually lunge. Barking excessively may happen because your dog is not getting enough exercise, so walking them longer or more often can actually make them less likely to bark while on a walk.

7. Always obey local leash laws

Even if you have a perfectly trained dog who always comes when you call, we recommend keeping your dog leash whenever you are walking or exercising in areas that are not gated. Not only do most cities and parks have rules stating that dogs must be leashed, but this also gives you peace of mind so you don’t have to worry about your dog bolting away if they see or hear something interesting.

Even the best-trained dog will still have instincts that may cause them to run — and in the worst-case scenario, you might lose your dog for good if they aren’t on a leash. Always follow local leash laws and consider getting a GPS dog tracker or microchip for extra peace of mind as well.

A leash-trained dog is a joy to walk, and it’s so worth it to leash train your puppy while they are young. Leash training your dog does take time and effort, but it will pay off in the end and make a huge difference in your daily walks together.

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