How to Leash Train Your Puppy: A Guide for First-time Owners
Learning to walk on a leash is an essential skill that all puppies should learn. Not only can it help keep your pup safe, but it can also open the door to new adventures with your furry friend. If you are a new pet owner, leash training may seem like a daunting task, and you may be wondering where to start. Luckily, we are here to help!
In this article, we'll take you step-by-step and teach you how to successfully leash train your puppy.
☺ Pick Your Training Gear
The first step in the leash training your pup is getting them the appropriate gear. Some dog owners prefer to start with a collar, while others find harnesses to be valuable training tools. Pick the one you are most comfortable with and that best meets your dog’s needs. You will also need to make sure the harness or collar is an appropriate size and fits your puppy comfortably. The other essential item you will need is a leash. When picking a training leash, look for a non-retractable leash that is approximately 5ft in length. This will provide the right amount of control and help you guide your dog through the training process.
☺ Try it On
Once you have acquired the appropriate gear, it’s time to let your dog get used to wearing it. Start by putting on their collar or harness and letting them wear it around the house. When they are comfortable with this, you can introduce the leash and practice clipping it on. It may take some time for your puppy to get used to their new gear, so it’s essential to be patient and keep the experience fun. You can use treats and praise to reward good behavior. Positive reinforcement is a critical part of the training process and will continue to be a valuable tool as your puppy progresses.
☺ Teach a Focus Cue
Leash training is about more than just teaching your dog to walk with you. During the training process, your dog will learn many new skills. The most critical of these skills is learning to look to you for direction. To teach this, you will need to decide on a specific cue to get your dog’s attention. This can be a particular word or a unique sound. Once you decide on the cue, practice using the cue with your pup. As soon as your dog makes eye contact, offer them a treat and praise. This will help your dog associate the cue with a reward and make it easier for you to get their attention. When teaching cues, it’s critical to keep your training sessions short. Puppies have a limited attention span, and you don’t want them to get overly frustrated or tired. Instead, practice your cues for a few minutes several times a day.
☺ Practice Inside
Now that you have your puppy’s attention, you can start practicing with the leash. Attach the leash to your dog’s harness or collar and practice taking a few steps around your house. During this time, it’s important to ensure your dog’s focus remains on you. Use your focus cue to get your dog’s attention and always reward good behavior. As your dog gets comfortable with their new skill, you can start practicing other commands during your training sessions. Ask your dog to sit, stay, and come while attached to the leash. Taking the time to practice these skills inside will give your puppy a chance to learn in a safe environment with minimal distractions.
☺ Get Outdoors
After you’ve taken some time to practice inside, it’s time to put your puppy’s skills to the test and head outdoors. Taking your training outside can open up a whole new world of distractions and obstacles. Remember to use your cues to keep your dog focused and bring their attention back to you. Outdoor leash training can be an overwhelming learning experience for a young dog, so it’s essential to be patient and keep your training sessions short. As your dog gets more comfortable outside, you can gradually increase the length of your walks and start introducing them to new sights and sounds.
As with any type of training, leash training is a learning process for both you and your pup. While it’s important to take your puppy’s training seriously, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Remember to be patient and keep the experience fun!
At Voyager Harness, we are committed to keeping your pet safe and helping you enjoy your leashed adventures. Visit us for a wide selection of pet harnesses and leashes. We hope this article will serve as a useful guide as you leash train your puppy and help you enjoy some quality time with your new friend.