5 Tips for Leash Training Your Dog

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There are few moments as magical and special as the arrival of a new puppy in your life. The little darling’s are just bundles of joy, energy, and love. It’s hard not to smile around a brand new, cute little puppy. They aren’t all fun and games though, not by a long-shot. New puppies can be a handful to deal with, and a pain in the butt to train. That being said, there’s almost nothing as fulfilling as going through the doggy training process, and seeing the transformation happen. Right before your very eyes, you’ll see your puppy transform from a wild and chaotic ball of mischief, to a well behaved gentle-pup. 

All of this starts with the leash-training. Leash-training is an integral part of new puppy training because it lays a foundation of knowledge and trust between the owner and the pet. This foundation also comes with a list of ground rules and basic commands, all of which translate to extended training, beyond the leash. 

This is one of the reasons that training a puppy early on is so essential, too. The potential of dogs is nearly unlimited, and they’re both incredibly smart, and hard working. Especially if they’re well-loved and well-cared for. Getting the foundational training knowledge established early on, helps acclimate the pet to being trained, listening to commands, and learning new tasks. 

Introduce the Collar and Leash

The very first step a new puppy-owner is going to want to take when leash-training their furry-friend is the equipment introduction. This means letting the puppy get used to seeing and even wearing the leash and collar. 

It’s worth noting here that the habits and attitude the animal displays toward the leash and collar are going to be important to monitor. As a trainer or owner, you don’t want the puppy to build bad habits around their leash or collar, like biting, scratching, or pulling on the leash.  As you’re training your dog, getting a chew proof leash can help.

Another factor to consider when choosing which dog leash you want to start with is the breed of the dog you’re training. Medium and large breed dogs will likely grow much more quickly than small breeds, and therefore you may want to consider acquiring a variety of leashes and harnesses that will fit your needs as well as the dogs. After introducing the leash and collar and any other walking equipment you plan to utilize regularly, it will be time to develop a reward system. 

Develop a Reward System

Reward systems are very important when training animals, because it’s part of the process to get them to not only listen to, but also trust and obey their trainer or owner. There are a few different types of reward systems that are helpful to know and understand, so you can choose the one that will work best for your personal furry-four-legged-friend. The most common of these reward systems is a treat-based reward system, while the other two most popular are based on clicking, and play-time.

A treat-based reward system is easy to implement, and can be convenient too. The concept behind a treat-based system is that the dog is rewarded with a tasty treat every time they perform the task correctly, obey a command, or exhibit positive behavior. 

The click-based system uses a lot of the same tactics implemented in the treat-based system, but also integrates a clicking mechanism used for more precise communication. Finally, the play-time as a reward system, builds intrinsic motivation in the pet as well as loyalty to the owner or trainer.

Which system is right for you may depend on the ultimate goals of your pet-training journey. 

Create a Calm Environment

An underrated aspect of leash-training a new puppy is creating a calm and easy-going environment. Puppies are prone to environmental stimuli and excitement. As such, if you can create a calm environment, they may be able to pick up on your energy, and calm themselves down as well. 

This can be beneficial in helping them learn how to obey you, while keeping them happy and playful. 

Teach the Heel Command

The heel command is essential for leash-training, and is essentially the end-all-be-all when it specifically comes to walking-manners and etiquette. As you begin to train your puppy for on-leash walks, the heel command will be used to bring them to your side. 

By rewarding them when they obey the heel command, and incrementally extending the amount of time between the commands, the dog will begin to learn how to walk at your pace without more than a handful of heel reminders. 

Keep Consistent 

No matter what you’re training for, consistency is key. This is the same when it comes to leash-training a new puppy. By staying consistent and not wavering on your rules, commands, or training regimen, you’ll instill a sense of routine and regularity in your dog as well. This is helpful in creating a reinforced behavioral pattern and bringing the most out of your puppy’s potential. 

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