From your puppy’s perspective the time to go out is one of the most exciting times of the day, so no wonder they can get a little too excited! There are so many interesting things that your puppy wants to go and see or smell outdoors. To top that, dogs think that we humans work very slowly, so keeping the leash slack can be challenging for them.
Having your dog pulling on the leash can have serious consequences, however, when the ground is slippery or if you have a child or an older person walking your dog for example. Dogs don’t automatically know how to walk on a leash, so it’s one of the key skills we humans need to teach them. Below are some key tips on how to leash train your puppy.
- Make sure that you’re the most interesting thing to your puppy
- Give your puppy the freedom to explore their environment
- Stick to the rules and be consistent
- Reward your puppy if they behave the way you want them to
You need to be more interesting to your puppy than the other things happening around you. A great way to do this is to come up with fun tasks for him during your walk. This way your dog wants to be with you on a walk, and doesn’t just see you as a pain in the butt dragging on the leash and slowing him down.
Your puppy should be able to explore and smell things, even a little further away from your side, so use a long enough leash to give him some room to move more freely.
If you sometimes let your dog pull and other times not, it will take a lot longer for him to learn than if you stay consistent. So it’s good to stick to the same set of rules on every walk and your puppy will learn much quicker to follow them.
Reward for the wanted behavior
Dogs don’t really understand the word “no”. Instead of telling your puppy not to pull, show him what you’d like him to do instead, and then reward him for the behavior you’d like him to do more in the future. Like with everything else, positive reinforcement is the key also in leash-training!
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