Leash training puppies is just one of the many tasks that any new pet owner will have to perform. Teaching your new puppy to sit and stay first will make leash training a lot easier and that very first walk will be more comfortable for everyone involved.
Practice several times throughout each day because as with everything you have to teach your new puppy, consistency is the answer. Older dogs can even be leashed trained.
A leash and a collar is all you need. Some people prefer a harness instead of a collar because they may think it is more comfortable for the puppy because a harness sits on the back instead of around the neck. Whatever you like and feel more comfortable with is okay. Personally, I do not like a harness because when I started to leash train my puppy and he would back up away from me, he would slip out of the harness every time so I leashed trained my puppy with a collar and leash. I also remember that when I first put a collar on my puppy, he scratched and scratched at it but within two or three days he did not even know it is around his neck.
The first time your place a leash on your puppy, he will seem to be afraid of the leash. Tell him in a gentle voice that it’s okay and place the leash on the floor beside him and let him sniff it out. Next, clip the leash to his collar and walk in front of him and gently pull on the leash and tell him let’s go outside. The tugging and jerking will begin, so take the tension off of the leash and keep reassuring him that it is okay and walk over to him and pet him and then stand him back up on all four legs. Gently start pulling on the leash and each time he begins to tug and jerk around, release the tension and tell him its okay and walk over to him, pet him and stand him back up on his legs. Always keep visual contact with your puppy or dog while you are training them. Soon your puppy will see that the leash is no threat to him and will come to like the leash. It does not take long before your puppy will realize that the sight of you with a leash means that he gets to go outside so begin training your new puppy to walk on a leash as soon as you get him.
When your puppy or dog pulls and tugs on the leash, just remember that you are the boss, not him. Walking your puppy or dog does not have to become a battle! When you are leash training a puppy or older dog, use a leash that is short because this gives you complete control of the situation, not them. This will teach your puppy that whether she/he likes it or not, that you are the boss. Remember to not jerk on the leash to make your puppy come to you because jerking on the leash can cause damage to their neck especially the smaller breed dogs such as a Chihuahuas.
When your puppy or older dog is comfortable with his collar and leash on and you take that first walk, train them to walk by your side and not in front of you. This only tells them that they get to walk you, not you walking them and gives them that powerful feeling that they are in total control. This is totally unacceptable. If your puppy or dog does start to walk past you, then give the leash a gentle tug and stop walking and make your dog get back beside you whether on your left or right side. Pick one side and stick to that one side. Once your dog comes back beside you, reward him with words of praise and a pat on the head and start walking again. If he starts his move ahead of you, give the leash a gentle tug and stop walking and make him come back to your side. Repeat this throughout your entire walk and within a week’s time of training, he will walk beside you where he belongs and not in front of you.
I worked as a veterinary technician for 10 years & learned a lot of valuable information.
I am not a licensed vet or a professional licensed dog trainer but I did learn many useful tips and information during my years working for one. The above information is intended for educational purposes only and shall not take the place of seeking professional advice from a licensed veterinarian and/or dog trainer.
No type of guarantee is implied in the above article that using these methods will leash train your puppy or dog. I personally used the above mentioned methods for my own pets which worked for me and may not be correct for everyone else to use.