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Teaching your dog to walk on a leash is one of the most crucial skills to teach any new dog, especially a puppy. It’ll make future walks with your dog safer, and more enjoyable for the both of you.
Getting your dog trained to walk on a leash takes a couple of weeks, so don’t rush it. Each dog is different. Don’t panic if your dog doesn’t seem to “get it” at the start. It’s very important that you take the patience to ensure that your dog is leash trained.
Follow these three simple steps to make your training a breeze:
Step 1 – Get your dog to be comfortable with the collar
Ensure that you get your dog comfortable with its collar as soon as you bring it back to your house. Try not to get a bulky collar until your dog is comfortable.
Some dogs will try to get the collar off by scratching it or rolling around. Distract your dog from the collar by playing with them. Even though you might be tempted to take off the collar, don’t! You should only take the collar off when your dog has gotten use to it.
Step 2 – Add on the leash
Once your dog is used to his collar, it’s time to add on the leash. It’s very important to get him comfortable with it. Your aim is to not to scare your dog with the leash!
Step 3 – Start training your dog with both the collar and leash
It’s now time to start training your dog with both the collar and leash. It’s important to note that these are general guidelines. No single technique works for all dogs so you might have to do some experimenting.
Walk slowly with your dog around your house without pulling on it. This is to get him or her acclimatised to it.
Once your dog has gotten use to it, step up the pace and do some slight jogs or runs, gently tugging along the leash. Tip: If your dog is extremely playful or active, consider playing with it before you do this activity to tire him out. This will make the training much easier.
Mix it up. Do zigzags, unexpected left turns and right turns. Keep your dog guessing, and get it used to following your commands on the leash.
To make your training smoother, it is always good to reward your dog for good behaviour. Use treats and rewards to help facilitate this.
Before going out on a walk, you need to maintain control from the start. If your dog drags you behind when you open the door, you need to calm it down by standing there and doing nothing. This will help set the tone of the walk.
Teaching a dog to walk on a leash might seem daunting. However, it’s an invaluable skill that all dogs need to know. With time and patience, any dog can be trained, so make sure you start early.