Leash Training – Puppy Obedience Training
Leash training a puppy, especially young puppies, should be limited to getting it used to being walked with you holding the leash.
Leash Training Puppy Under 5 Months Old
For leash training a puppy under five months of age I always recommend a well fitted body harness rather than a neck collar. You can use a neck collar for the ID tags for now.
I don’t mind if a pup pulls on the leash at this stage. Heeling, or walking without pulling, is part of dog obedience training, which I like to start after the pup is at least five months old.
When leash training a puppy your pup may not want to move when the leash is on, so just let the leash go and let the pup run around and have fun while you keep him motivated using toys, balls, food etc.
When the pup starts focusing on the fun distractions, pick up the end of the leash and run around with the pup letting the pup do the leading for now.
When leash training a puppy at this early age we only want the pup to get used to walking with the leash on. Pulling can be fixed in one lesson if the dog trainer knows how to teach the “heel” position.
Remember, every experience in a young pup’s life needs to be positive; people, places, things, etc. This is why the heel command is not part of the leash training just yet.
Once the pup is walking with a bit more confidence you can start the socialization process by talking him through the neighborhood. Let the puppy stop to look, smell and hear all things in his world; this is what socialization is all about. Not just playing with other dogs.
Leash Training Puppy Over 5 Months Old
When a pup turns five months leash training can include the “heel” command however, this is best done by a professional dog trainer. For leash training a puppy at this stage, timing, the right collar correction and rewards are all crucial to successful teaching.
A professional dog trainer can not only teach your dog the heel command, but can help you perfect the skills and timing needed to keep your dog clear on what is being asked of him as he’s being leash trained.
Progressive Leash Training Strategies
Leash training a puppy should always start with little to no distractions. Then once your leash handling technique is good, and the dog is clear on the command, you can start taking your dog to more distracting places like the park, crowded streets, the kids soccer games, etc.
Once the dog is clear on a command, there is no choice, they must obey.
The leash training technique you learn with the heel command will be universal to all dog obedience training. As long as you continue to practice, and be consistent, the leash training will be long lasting.
About DP Dog Training
Frank D’Andrea’s method of leash training a puppy involves three phases of his dog training philosophy; the Learning Phase, the Correction Phase and the Proofing Phase.
Other DP Dog Training programs include Dog Ownership 101, Positive Puppy Training, Basic Dog Obedience, Advanced Dog Obedience, E-Collar Training, Behavior Evaluation & Rehabilitation and Housebreaking consultations.
Frank D’Andrea is a professional dog trainer with clients throughout New Jersey and New York including Rockland, Westchester, Orange, Bergen, Morris, Passaic, Hudson and Essex.