If you have a new puppy or adopted dog, chances are you want to leash train your dog not to pull when you're on walks together.
Leash training is a basic yet necessary way to keep your dog in control while on a leash. Many, if not all, puppies desire to run and pull while on the leash. So while you may be focused on house training and simple commands like sit, lay, stay, and so on, it’s essential that the leash training starts immediately.
Even with small dogs or dogs that seem to not pull at first, you should use leash training as a way to reinforce good behaviors. This way, as your pup gets older and stronger, they’ll already have good manners on which to depend.
Stay tuned to learn everything you need to know about how to leash train your dog.
Start Inside With the Basics
First things first, you shouldn’t walk your dog in high population areas until they receive all their first-round vaccines. But don’t worry, you can still start just inside your home. Start by getting your pet comfortable with their collar or harness by wearing it around the house. This tip may seem simple, but it’s an essential part of allowing your dog to familiarize itself with the walking supplies and how it feels around its neck.
The next thing you can work on for the next few days is teaching your dog to come to you. Use short commands like “come” or “here.” You can also use your dog’s name. Use the good old-fashioned command and reward system. Once you feel confident that your dog accurately responds to their name or designated order, they might be ready to head out on a walk.
Gearing Up to go Outside
Are you ready to head outside for a walk? When you go, make sure to bring a few small treats so you can reward them for good behavior.
When you first start to leash train your dog, you might find it helpful to limit your walking time. Maybe you take a quick walk around the block or just to the mailbox and back. Remember, your dog still needs ample exercise, especially as a puppy, so you should plan on doing this multiple times a day.
What to Expect
When you go on your first walk together, you might find that there are plenty of new challenges that will present themselves as soon as you get outside. There will be new sights, sounds, and smells to take in, so remember to be patient when your pup is learning.
Always keep an eye on your dog, and if you notice that they are distracted or feel like they are about to be, try stopping, backing up a few steps, and calling out their “come” command. Once they come to you, give them a treat. Repeat this practice throughout this first walk and for upcoming strolls in the foreseen future.
Tips to Help With Pulling
While the above process can be helpful, all dogs need practice and leash training for specific areas. Pulling is one of the most common reasons you might need to leash train your dog. If you notice it, here are some helpful tips to try out:
- Carry treats on one side of you in your hand so your dog will follow next to you.
- Hold the leash across your body with the opposite hand, keeping the leash loose.
- Stop frequently. If your dog stops next to you, give it one of the treats to enforce the behavior. Make sure to hold the treat close to your leg, so they know to stay close to you.
- Stop immediately and lure the dog back to your side when your dog pulls. Take a few steps; if they don’t start pulling, this is another opportunity to reward them.
- When your dog is not pulling, give this action a name. Many dog owners use “heel” or “with me.” Practice using this saying every time they demonstrate proper leash manners to associate it with the behavior.
- Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep up the training even when it proves difficult.
Tips to Help With Barking
When your dog is on a leash, there’s a chance that they might pick up a habit of barking. If that’s the case for you, here are a few practices you might be want to try:
- Many dogs bark at other dogs or humans if they are not well socialized. Check out some socialization tips for your pup to help with their anxiousness.
- Ensure your dog gets enough mental and physical stimulation for its breed and age.
- Try to redirect their attention as best you can before the target gets closer. For example, cross the street, say the dog’s name, or give them one of your treats to chew on instead of bark.
What About Walking Off-Leash?
Many dog owners may feel tempted to teach their dogs to walk off-leash. While we understand its appeal, we recommend always having your furry friend on a leash whenever you are out for a stroll. Many states and counties even have laws against having your dog off-leash, claiming that it is unlawful for a domestic animal to stray, run, go, or roam at large upon any public street, sidewalk, etc., or on private property without the owners’ permission.
For your dog’s safety, we recommend keeping them on a four to six-foot leash and ensuring your pup does not leave your property while unattended.
Heading Out for an On-Leash Adventure? Bring Plush Paws Products Along
After you leash train your dog, you two might be ready for adventures in new places. Hiking trails, dog parks, and friend’s houses are just a few places you can bring your best pal along. So when you get into the car, make sure to bring a Plush Paws Products seat cover! We make our covers fit perfectly for every car model and different areas within the vehicle. Plus, all of our car seat covers keep your car clean, and the cover is easy to wash and reuse.
We also offer pet health products that keep your pets of all ages happy and healthy. Shop with us now to see the difference Plush Paws can make in your life!