leash training a dog

How to leash train your puppy

Are the long, relaxing strolls in the park with your pup, actually turning out to be more like short, stressful and, frankly, wrist wrenching walks? 

Don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with you (or your dog). This is actually completely normal!

If your pup is always pulling away, barking, or stopping at every rock or leaf in your path — it only means they have yet to master the skill of walking on a leash. It’s something that you, as their owner, have to teach them as they grow!

Here are a few tips to get started leash training your puppy: 

  1. Give your puppy time to adjust to the harness and leash.
    Wearing a harness might be uncomfortable or unfamiliar at first. So make sure to let your dog get used to it by putting it on them regularly inside your house, while you play with them, or give them treats. You’ll find out that the more they associate the leash with fun times and sweets — the less likely they’ll be to resist it.
  1. Choose an area suitable for leash training.
    We recommend picking a quiet area around your house that will give you enough space to start training your dog without too much distraction or overwhelm by passing people or cars.
  1. Start by practicing the ‘loose-leash walking method’.
    The goal of this exercise is to train your dog to stay close to you without having to constantly tug at their leash – resulting in a better walking experience for the both of you. Start walking at a normal pace, take a step, then stop. Feed your pup some treats from your hand. Then start again with a few more steps, and reward them. Keep repeating this exercise until your dog seems to get the gist of it.
  1. Train them to come back to you when needed-
    While maintaining a bit of distance away from your dog, gently pull their leash towards you then say “Come” or call them by their name. After your pup comes closer towards you, make sure to reward them with a treat, praise, or affection. It will help in the future when something in your way distracts their attention too much. 
  1. One thing to avoid if your dog is a ‘puller’ by nature.
    Try to avoid using a retractable leash when training as it makes your dog feel as they pull, they get further away. Instead, you want them to walk at a steady pace with you. You’ll want to reserve the retractable leash for once your pup has become more experienced.

If you’re still not seeing any improvements after trying these tips, don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll gladly share other training techniques you can try with your pup — after all, they’re all unique & special in their own ways and might respond differently to different things!

Are you looking for a safe space for your pup to learn and grow? At Companion Pet Lodge, we’ve made it our mission to provide your furry friend with the best care and to teach them so many useful tricks during their time spent at our doggy daycare. Learn more about our doggy daycare and dog boarding services here.