An important activity for you and your pup is walking. Training your puppy to walk comfortably on a leash will ensure safety for both you and your dog and make your walk more pleasurable.
Get started with these tips…
Begin at 8 weeks
The best time to start training your puppy is 8 weeks of age. First, familiarize him with the collar and leave it until he’s comfortable wearing it.
Introduce the leash
Once you’re ready to introduce the leash, clip it to his collar and let your puppy simply drag it around for about 10 minutes a day (under your supervision). This will help him get used to the feel and weight of the leash. Do this for about a week.
For the next five to seven days, hold the leash loosely and follow the puppy around, again, for 10 minutes a day. It’s OK if he pulls on the leash – you’re still getting him used to the feel of it.
Once your puppy is comfortable with the leash, it’s time to take control. Carry one of his favorite toys or treats while holding the leash and begin walking. If Fido comes along, immediately reward his behavior with a lot of praise and affection. If he’s reluctant, lure him with his toy or treat. Remember to always praise him when he’s moving in the right direction!
Do you have the right leash or lead? Make sure you choose the best weight and length. The weight should depend on how strong your dog is and how much he tends to pull. Get heavier leashes for stronger dogs.
For length, a 4′ leash is suitable, although most trainers prefer a 6′ lead. A retractable leash is also a good option if you want flexibility for different walking situations.
Keep at it
Work consistently with your dog and he’ll be ready for the many wonderful walks in his future. For help choosing a leash, ask a Pet Supermarket associate.