Leash training a puppy is important for both you and puppy. It provides security to your puppy and at the same time you get comfortable knowing that your puppy is safe and protected. Every dog should know how to walk on leash and behave specially in areas of great distraction. Teaching a puppy is easier than a grown up one. Thus, here are some tips to start on immediately with leash training your puppy.
Collars: New puppy needs a collar especially during training period. Buy a flat fabric or leather collar with metal buckle for them. The puppy tends to grow fast so either you buy inexpensive one or an adjustable one.
Leash: Use nylon made soft, non-pulling leather leash so that your puppy don’t try to pull themselves ahead or on the either side during training and walk in the same motion. This tool helps them to self train themselves not to pull.
Backyard or House Lawn: With new puppy it is better to train them at backyard or the house lawn or courtyard as they tends to get less distracted and can focus on their training.
Sniff: Before starting the training make your puppy sniff or smell the collar and leash so that it get accustomed to them but don’t allow them to chew it.
Heel Position: The puppy should walk on one side at knee level, known as heel position. The standard side is left but it is not that important in the beginning. Keep your leash a little loose so that it is not too tight for the puppy to pull themselves. Keep the pace with them and focus on making him walk nicely by your side without dragging or pulling.
Rewards: Try using small rewards to make them understand they are doing their job efficiently. Make him focus on the reward, use specific words and talk to him in a manner he understands you. Keep the rewards in front of them or near their nose for not allowing them to jump for the reward. Allow them to walk a little and then make them sit to reward them. It is good to reward them to communicate the love and appreciation but don’t spoil their habit by rewarding them too mush. It should be given on intervals.
Repeat: Repeat the walk along with making him sit at intervals and rewarding him. Use words like “go”, “sit”, “heel” and others to make them understand the proper way or reacting outside.
Turning: When they gets used to leash walking, work on their turnings. The puppy should know to turn perfectly on either side without getting distracted. Reward them to encourage them.
To the next level: when you are sure that your puppy is trained to walk properly on leash and take turns, you take them out to a distracting place like park, path outside house or walk in your locality to make sure their leash walking is perfect even outside the comfort level.