Help My Puppy Won’t Walk on Leash
I get this problem or question, if you will, quite frequently.
I take for granted the knowledge that I have accumulated from over 20 years of dog training.
And, I forget that something that seems so simple and usually don’t last for long can really devastate the owner of a new puppy or a small dog (big dogs don’t seem to suffer from this particular problem very often).
The new owner straps on a collar and clicks on a leash only to witness a puppy/dog who bucks, kicks, squeals, screams, or just remains motionless waiting for the horror to pass…
Does That Sound About Right?
The puppy, who has lived his whole life being able to basically go wherever he wants do whatever he desires then suddenly restraint.
Imagine if someone put shackles on you… you’d probably fight it for a bit, until you realized you weren’t about to die.
I can’t imagine all of my freedoms suddenly taken away.
What would you do?
Sure, some puppies never break stride with it, but others are truly horrified.
We as humans think puppies are born with collars and leashes on, and come from the womb knowing how to act and behave on one.
The truth is THEY ARE NOT!!
And, most breeders don’t put the puppies on leashes (although a few put collars on them).
Do you have children?
You know how most kids go through a stage when they like to run naked, when they can figure out how to get all of their clothes off?
Puppies don’t have the mental facilities to know WHAT and WHY you would put such things on them!
So How Do You Help?
You approach this SLOWLY!
For most people, the puppy is pretty new and fairly small… so there is not any time constraint for getting this done.
Did you Know:
That until your puppy is fully vaccinated (about 16 weeks) it isn’t safe to walk him around your neighborhood or really anywhere that you can’t control sanitation? Puppies have weaker immune systems and can pick up disease easily.
Parvo virus (which is a disease that can kill puppies and non-vaccinated adults for more click here can live in the soil for 7 months. SEVEN MONTHS!!
So don’t be in a rush to get him out in public or take him for a walk in the neighborhood!
First, start by putting his collar on for short periods.
So I would click and treat as I put the collar on and then click and jackpot as my puppy acclimated to it with no scratching or fit throwing!
This makes the collar fun and you reaching for his neck to grab or put a collar on fun (this will come in handy later if you need to reach down and grab your dog!)
Once your puppy can enjoy his collar get him used to his leash!
MYTH: You Must Take Your Puppy Outside to Leash Train
Leash training but acclimating to the leash and the beginning of eye contact and focus and heel should start INSIDE where distractions are less and the environment is most familiar.
So click that leash on your puppy and let him drag it around.
I recommend starting in a safe environment (not near stairs or sharp objects) in case he bucks or tries to run from the leash.
Now click and reward with a treat.
Let him drag it around for a few days, which means click it on and then watch him as he drags it for several minutes, and do this at least 5 times a day.
Next, pick up the handle end and apply the slightest of pressure against your dog and his collar.
Think “barely notice” not “decapitate” as you pick up the leash.
Now click and jackpot.
Do this at least a dozen time a day.
After this, your pup/dog should be ready to go outside on his leash.
Let him wander (basically) wherever he wants provided it is not dangerous and let him know that the leash is nothing to fear.
Do this a half dozen or more times per day until he is excitedly awaiting his leash and wandering around normally outside.
Before You Know It