How to Master Leash Training with Your New Puppy
As an owner of a new puppy, this is one of the first things you should tackle. Once you master leash training, everything else will be much easier. Once leash trained, you will have better control over your dog while working on other complex skills and techniques. The best thing about leash training is that it is probably the easiest thing to teach your puppy, so let’s get started.
You can start leash training as soon as soon as you bring your new puppy home, in fact, the sooner the better. When you first put a collar or harness on him he'll probably try to scratch and pull at it for a while, but try to distract with treats and playtime. Once he settles down and notices it less then take it off. You’ll have to do this several times. The process of desensitization may take a few hours or even a couple of days, so be patient.
Once used to the collar, it’s time to introduce the leash, which shouldn’t be much of an issue because it just clips onto the collar he’s already accustomed to. Start off with a lightweight collar and let him play with it for a while. After he's dragged it around for a bit he probably won't even notice it's there, especially if you're still distracting him with playtime and treats. Pick up the leash and just try to get him used to it with you on the other end. This early stage is the most critical in training. It's also where many dogs will try to pull and, if not corrected, you will have a dog that takes you for walks instead of the other way around.
Whenever he starts to pull just stop dead in your tracks. Don't attempt to pull him back, but rather call him and when he comes to reward him with a treat and plenty of praise. When walking with a loose leash, keep rewarding him with a mixture of treats and praise and he will soon learn what you’re requiring. Pretty simple!
This is all that is required to master leash training for your new puppy, although it will require a bit of patience. Most puppies become adept within about two weeks if done correctly. Use rewards when he does something correctly and doesn't reward when he doesn't. It's pretty easy and you'll be surprised how quickly your puppy catches on. Just remember to never pull or tug him back into position. Stop, call, reward, and repeat and he'll get it. Eventually, try to associate a word, sound or click for a treat so he knows as this will pay dividends later on for more complex training.