Has your family recently brought home a new furry friend? You may have never thought that your four-legged friend wouldn’t want to walk! Leash training a new puppy can pose as a troubling task for some, but we are here to help! We have come up with four tips to help you and your new pup better enjoy your walks:
- Get the right equipment. Introduce your pup to his collar (or better yet, his harness) and leash right away. Ensure the harness fits properly, and avoid equipment that can inflict pain, like electronic shock and choke collars. Let him wear his harness and leash loosely around the house so he can become accustomed to it.
- Use reward-based training methods. Once your dog seems comfortable wearing his harness and leash, you can begin training him to walk with you. Use small pieces of a high-quality treat he loves to encourage the behavior you’re seeking. An audible cue—like a clicker trainer or a simple “Yes!”—followed by a treat will let your dog know he’s doing what you want him to do and will encourage him to repeat the desired behavior.
- Start inside. Using the treats and your audible cue, encourage your dog to come to you while he’s wearing the leash inside. Start across the room from your dog, and when he looks at you, say “Yes,” and give him a treat. He’ll quickly learn that by looking at you and coming to you, he’ll be rewarded. Eventually, you can pick up the leash and attempt to walk around the house with your dog, giving treats when he walks next to you and looks at you.
- Keep his attention while outside. Once he’s mastered walking on the leash while inside your home, you can transition to outdoor walks. Continue using treats and your audible cue to keep your dog on track. If he seems like he’s about to become distracted or lunge toward something, get his attention with the treats and your audible cue. Prevent your puppy from feeling overwhelmed by keeping the initial outdoor walks short.
Before you head outside with your new puppy, give us a call to ensure they are equipped with all of the vaccinations they need to stay healthy and safe!