Leash Training Puppies
I LOVE leash training puppies, it’s like seeing a baby figure out a new concept or see something completely new! Puppies are like little balls of clay just waiting to be formed.
The first thing to consider with very young puppies, is that they have probably never been on a leash. Very few breeders spend time making sure all of their puppies are leash and crate trained so we are left with all the fun teaching that comes with having a new pup.
If your pup has never been on a leash, it is important to acclimate him in a positive way! I just attach a small leash and let my pups get use to the feel of pulling it around on their own. Don’t yank or tug, or you might scare your new baby! As he gets use to how it feels to have something draped from his neck you can begin picking the leash up and just applying a tiny bit of pressure then working your way up to taking the leash and letting him feel a pull. Be sure to praise and use treats!
My other favorite part about puppy training is that they have not yet developed bad habits. Puppy training is all about teaching the pup how fun it is to do whatever you are teaching! Positive reinforcement will keep your pup from developing the problems behaviors like pulling, lunging and barking on leash.
How To Be Successful When Leash Training Your Puppy
Pups need to learn from a young age that doing what you want them to (i.e. training) is actually what THEY want, they should be learning to manipulate you to get what they want. The fun part is, that with thoughtful training they aren’t really manipulating you, they only think that they are, YOU are in charge of what you reinforce and what you ignore and what you correct about their behavior which means you are both happy!
No one wants to work without getting paid in some fashion. Even when we volunteer to do something there is always some type of pay off, typically it is the feeling of well-being for doing something good, sometimes it is the opportunity to network or get to know other people. You need to figure out what it is that motivates your puppy to learn and continue showing behaviors you want to see.
Motivators are usually praise and affection, toys and the opportunity to play, and of course great food treats. I recommend using all of these things to get your puppy to enjoy training! Who doesn’t want to be praised, played with and fed yummy treats as a way to say “I like what you just did”.
Make Leash Training Fun
I also thrive on playing games with my puppies! Their lives should be full of fun things that they enjoy doing this helps them to bond to you and to continue to do the things you want them to do. Whenever I work on leash manners with my pups I use great motivators while my pup is showing appropriate leash manners and when they are not paying attention or tugging, I play keep away with them. This teaches them to always have an eye on me and what I am doing and gives them great leash manners. I ALWAYS praise and jackpot for eye contact while my dogs are on leash. Think about it, if your dog is looking into your eyes he can’t be too far in front of you or behind you, and that also means he is not looking at anything else!
Leash Training Tips
- Teach your puppy while he is young, don’t let him develop bad habits
- Find a great motivator
- Praise for good behaviors
- Make it a game
- Encourage eye contact
Leash training puppies is essential! Get out there and learn to work effectively together, utilize good doggy psychology and enjoy the time you spend together, you are laying the foundation for a lifetime of good behavior and fun!