Leash training a dog is one of the most important components of a dog training program. It should be done as soon as they are vaccinated and it safe to go outside. Ample exercise is essential for your dog hence the importance of leash training. Some dogs learn how to behave on a leash rather quickly, while others require a little more encouragement. Don’t worry though, every dog can be leash trained if you know what you’re doing. These are the most important things to remember when you’re trying to leash train your puppy for the first time.
Get A Comfortable Collar
When you first put the collar on your dog, it’s going to feel a little odd and they might not like it very much. You need to make the transition as easy as possible for them. To do this, make sure the collar you end up going with is one they seem comfortable in (you make have to try a few). If they are picky or scratching at it, that would be a good sign you need to try something different. It’s also important that you get a good quality collar i.e. one that isn’t going to come off accidentally, otherwise, you could lose them. Leather dog collars are often the best choice because they’re not as abrasive as a cheaper nylon one and the fixings on them will be more reliable than a flimsy plastic one.
Put The Collar On Inside
Once you’ve picked out a good collar, you need to let your dog get used to it. Put it on inside the house for short periods and just let them walk around. This will help you to introduce it to them slowly so they’re not getting too distressed having it on for too long. Eventually, they’ll calm down and get used to it.
Create A Cue
The next step is to get your dog to willingly let you put the collar and leash on them without struggling. Find a cue that they associate with food, this could be a word or a click of the tongue. When you make that sound and they come to you, put the collar on and reward them with a treat. Then they’ll get into the habit of coming over and letting you put the collar on them whenever you need to take them for a walk.
Now that they’re comfortable with the collar and the leash and you can put it on them with no trouble, you need to start practicing walking. But the outside world can still be quite overwhelming so you should probably start inside. Just walk them around the house a little and when they’re comfortable inside the house, try it outside in the backyard. That’s a good mid-point because they’re outside but they’re on familiar territory.
Take Them For Their First Walk
At this point, they should be confident enough to be taken out on their first proper walk outside. When you’re out with them for the first time, they’re going to be very curious about the world around them and they’ll want to sniff a lot of stuff. So, you need to be patient with them and allow a lot of extra time. Don’t pull on the lead to get them going because this will cause them to be defensive and they may even bite if they feel very threatened. A firm tug is fine for keeping them away from dangerous things but don’t yank on the leash too hard.
This is going to be a slow process so the most important thing to remember is always to be patient with them.
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