So, you've got a brand new furry buddy, and now all you need to do is make that bundle of joy behave like a civilized puppy when you take them out for a walk. It may seem like an impossible task, especially knowing how hyperactive puppies can be, but leash training a puppy can be fun and rewarding. It is far easier than leash training an older dog so you should start working with the pup as soon as you get them.
Many people wonder at what age to start leash training a puppy, and the answer is always: the sooner, the better. There are some dog breeds that can walk off-leash in terms of being easily trainable. However, leash training is crucial for your pet to be safe during walks and to enjoy every minute. If you're wondering how to get a stubborn dog to walk on a leash and how to teach your puppy about calm walking, use some of the following advice.
Start with the right collar
If your puppy has never worn a collar before, you should allow them time to get used to it. It needs to feel comfortable, and the puppy shouldn't get upset when you put on the collar. The best choice would be a nylon collar with a strong buckle (preferably metal) or even better – with a clip, and you should be able to put two fingers between the collar and the pup's neck. Since puppies get larger every day, you will most likely buy a bigger collar as time goes by, so you shouldn't feel the need to invest in an expensive collar this early in your pup's life. They won’t be wearing it for a long time anyway.
Introduce the collar properly
When you put the collar on your pup for the very first time, you should immediately give him a tasty treat. It will make the dog realize that the collar brings good things. In case you've chosen a collar with a buckle, you might find yourself messing with it for too long, and this may make your pup nervous. Using a collar with a clip is the perfect choice for initial training because it's faster and it allows you to put the collar on and treat your pup, all in a few seconds.
Don't leave the collar on for too long in the beginning. Gradually build up the portions of time during which the puppy wears it until they get used to it and start wearing it for long periods without even noticing the collar.
Your puppy needs to accept wearing a collar because that's where he's going to wear his ID whenever he leaves the house.
Use a no-pull harness
Some pups are powerful from a young age. If you're dealing with a strong puppy that likes to pull, you should use a no-pull harness. They are training tools that teach stubborn puppies to stop pulling. No-pull harnesses especially work well with older puppies. The front clip pulls the puppy back toward you and focuses their attention on you immediately. Many dogs have completely changed their behavior by using this simple solution.
Choose the right leash
Not every leash works for every puppy. Choose the right one for your furry buddy, depending on the puppy's size. Lightweight leashes are great for small pups, but if you're dealing with a heavier dog, you should go for a leather leash.
Retractable leashes may seem amazing, but they're the worst choice for teaching a puppy to walk calmly by your side. They will encourage the puppy to pull and won't get you anywhere with your training. A well-trained, adult toy-sized dog that already knows how to behave can enjoy a retractable leash, but for a young pup, it's a no-no.
Introduce the puppy to the leash
When you first attach the lead to your puppy's collar or harness, don't go out right away. Instead, start walking around the house first. The most important thing to remember is not to pull on your puppy. The leash is a safety device, so your puppy doesn't unexpectedly runoff. It's not something for pulling him around. If you don't want your puppy to pull the leash, don't be the one who starts pulling first.
Once you put the lead on, give the puppy a treat, so it associates the lead with fine things. Use their favorite treats to lure the dog into walking beside you. It will take some time for the pup to learn to walk with the collar and lead attached, but keep on walking, luring, and rewarding them with treats.
Some puppies get stressed when you take them outside, and they don't want to walk on a leash. In these cases, it's best to leave the treats along the road so the puppy focuses on them as they walk, instead of focusing on fear and anxiety.
Practice walking until it's perfect and always reward good behavior 100
Always have your dog's treats at hand, be it an actual chewy treat, a favorite toy, or something smelly for nosy puppies. You must always reward good behavior if you want to see more of it. If you're wondering how to leash train a dog that won't walk, the answer lies in patience and consistency. The pup must see the training sessions as something fun and joyful, and they must associate going for a walk with great times. Practice walking your baby dog and switch to new levels like changing pace or direction. You'll both have fun and your pup will learn how to behave like a civilized dog when out and about.
However, if you are busy you can always consider hiring a personal dog walker, and if you are struggling to find a good one you may look for pet sitting agencies, for example, The Peaks Pet Nanny dog walkers in NJ and let them teach your pup how to walk.