Welcoming a new puppy into the family is quite exciting. And most of us can’t wait to show off our cute little bundle of fur to family, neighbors and friends. So we can be forgiven for grabbing a collar and leash and heading outdoors before realizing… puppies don’t naturally know how to walk on a leash. Neither do they “grow into” this knowledge. They need to be trained. Here are a few simple guidelines that can help you teach your puppy how to behave on those daily walks.
1. Collar and leash training.
Your puppy will need to get accustomed to the collar and leash or harness. Start by letting him wear the collar or harness around the house. You may also want to allow him to drag the leash behind him while he gets used to it (while you are around to supervise). Teach him how to come to you, rewarding him each time he does. As he progresses in his learning, back up a few steps to teach him to walk longer distances in an obedient manner. Remember to have plenty of treats on hand to reward him for learning this task.
2. Teach him to follow, not lead.
We’ve all seen the poor soul who gets dragged down the street by a dog in charge. Don’t be that person.Start by training your pup who’s the - leader as soon as you get him. Put on his collar and leash and walk a few steps with him. To curb the “pulling” behavior he will undoubtedly exhibit, turn around and walk in the opposite directions. It will take him awhile to learn not to pull, but having plenty of reward treats on hand can help.
3. Teach basic obedience commands.
Before you start teaching him to walk, make sure he understands and responds positively to basic commands, such as “sit.” “stay,” “come,” and “heel.” Then put those commands together with walk training for a more obedient pup on the move.
4. Start inside, then move on out.
You can start teaching your pup basic commands and how to walk on a leash indoors. Once he has the hang of it and can follow obediently, move it outside. He should be ready to go for a proper walk between the ages of 3 and 6 months.
Try these simple guidelines and you’re sure to have a safer, more enjoyable walk with your dog for many years to come.
Do you have tips you’d like to share on how you prepared your pup to take a walk? Please share them below!