When you’re first training your puppy, there are many important commands and skills you’ll want to teach him. As always, it’s best to start with the basics; Sit, stay, come, etc. Once he’s mastered these, teaching him to properly walk on a leash is an important skill that you’ll want him to have as soon as possible. After all, it’s something he’ll use almost daily! The earlier he learns it as a puppy, the easier it’ll be. Here are a few tips to get started!
Introduce the Collar and Leash
First, it may take some time for him to get used to wearing the collar. Start by putting it on for short periods of time around the house. If you introduce the collar and leash during playtimes or while giving treats, he’ll start to associate the leash with positive and fun things, rather than developing negative feelings towards it.
Use a Cue
Once you’ve got the collar and leash on him, you’ll want to teach him a cue that signifies food or a treat is coming. Some people use a sound, such as the clicking of their tongue, or one word to get their attention. Whatever you use, stay consistent so your dog knows what to expect. Once he catches on and starts coming to you for the treat, reward him to encourage that behavior.
Teach him to Come
During the session, as he’s on his way to you, you can gradually start walking back a few steps at a time, to encourage him walking further on the leash. The goal is that with the cue noise, he’ll automatically walk to you. It’s important to first try this in a quiet place, with no distractions so he can really focus.
Take it Outside
Once you feel like he’s mastered this indoors, it’s time to put it to the test on a walk outside. It’s inevitable that on a walk he might run into some distractions such as another animal or human that’ll cause him to want to run off and start pulling on the leash. Use your devoted cue word to get his attention back, and be sure to reward him for the behavior. This will be key for both your safety and his that he knows to come back to you in a dangerous situation upon your cue.
Contact Canine College
If you need assistance teaching your dog to walk on a leash, or any other skills and commands, you can trust the experts at Canine College to help! Check out our training options, including group and private training sessions to work on specific skills that your dog may need help with. Fill out an online contact form or give us a call today at 781-767-3908 to get started!