Puppies need guidance, patience, and love when they first get to their new home. As your puppy settles in their home, they may find ways to entertain themselves. Puppy training is a beneficial way to curb everything from unwanted behavior to crate training, potty training and even walking on a leash. In fact, learning how to leash train a puppy may help ensure a safer walk with your new puppy.
We sat down with Trupanion veterinarian Dr. Caroline Wilde to learn more about how to leash train a puppy and tips for successful leash training.
A pet owner guide on how to leash
train a puppy
Steps on how to leash train a puppy
Start by letting the puppy get used to the feel of the collar. Put the collar on the puppy while at rest, or distracted with a toy or treats. Use positive reinforcement and reward the pup with pats and treats for wearing the collar.
Practice walking with the puppy on the leash inside. If the puppy is reluctant to walk with you, use treats to help coax them to walk with you. Try taking a few steps at a time. Call the puppy and once the pup is walking, try taking a couple of extra steps to encourage them to walk with you. Don’t drag them or yank them on the leash.
When the puppy is used to walking on the leash inside, take them outside. Have treats with you to encourage them to walk with you and pay attention to you. Keep initial walks short and remember to use positive reinforcement.
When your puppy gets distracted, use treats or toys to get to focus on you.
Reward your puppy with treats and praise for walking next to you.
Gradually increase the length of your walks.
Naturally, every puppy is different, some are stubborn, while others take to walking on a leash with no problem. Consider keeping treats with you at all times and if you’re having difficulty opt to head home and enjoy pet enrichment or playtime indoors.
benefits of leash training a puppy
There is nothing like the bond between you and your dog. And having the ability to take a nice walk with your furry friend is an important daily activity for both of you.
For example, a dog walk provides mental, physical, and emotional stimulation, as well as enrichment. In order for your pup to get the most out of the walk, it’s important to have a safe experience for everyone.
“Successful leash training can make
walking safer, as the dog will pay attention to you and be more likely to
listen,” says Wilde.
A well-behaved dog on a leash may help if you need to leave an unsafe environment. You want your puppy to be able to focus.
for successful leash training
So you have your new leash and collar and you’re ready to start training.
Wilde breaks down some essential tips for successful leash training below:
Be patient. Leash training can take time
Keep sessions short
Don’t ever yank or jerk the leash
Different dogs have different needs. There are lots of options to make walking more pleasurable for both you and your pup. Consider a harness or a gentle leader to help guide your pet outside.
Use positive reinforcement, like small treats or petting your puppy. Positive reinforcement is more effective than negative reinforcement and can help build the bond between you and your new pup
Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a trainer. Reputable trainers can make the process much easier if you are encountering any difficulties, or if you just aren’t certain you are doing the right things. Ask your veterinarian what trainers in the area they recommend.
Learning how to leash train a puppy may help
the entire family
Leash training a puppy takes time, effort, and patience. But with that effort, you’re solidifying your bond with your new furry family member and that is priceless. The family dynamic is becoming stronger as you all work together and walk together.
is a digital content writer and editor for Trupanion. She spends her workday writing for the Trupanion blog. She loves writing about pets, being inspired by pets, and luckily gets to hang out with her rescue dogs all day long. In her free time, she enjoys exploring and traveling with her family. Her work has been featured on the DOGTV blog, KitNipBox blog, Get Your Pet blog, Fansided, among many others.