How To Train A Puppy To Walk On A Leash

Yes, it is true that going on a walk in a peaceful neighborhood is a joyous way for dog owners to spend some quality time with their pet dogs. But, many puppies will find going on a walk to be frightening, given their small and timid bodies. Even the mere sight of a leash and harness can scare a puppy away. As a result, those who are owners of puppies will need to help them to feel at ease with going for a walk.

With that in mind, I am going to walk you through how to train a puppy to walk on a leash. But, before we get started, let’s have a few things ready. You will want a leash that is comfortable for you to handle and the BAAPET Dog Leash is by far the most comfortable one out there. You will also want a no pull harness with a front clip because it is designed to minimize neck injury to your puppy.

I would get the BARKBAY one. You will want to get the small size to ensure that it will fit just fine on your puppy. The harness can also be adjusted for your puppy if needed. Delicious treats will be key for getting your dog to feel comfortable going for a walk. Canine Carry Outs Dog Treats is a great option and comes with different kinds of flavors like hot dog, chicken, and bacon and cheese. You will want to break the treats down into small pieces for your puppy.

(Photo courtesy of Manokaran M via Wikimedia)

1. Put Your Puppy At Ease With The Harness And Leash

Your first step will be to get your puppy comfortable with the harness and leash. Get started by playing with your dog inside your home. A ball like the Jolly Pets Soccer Ball should do it for you and your puppy. I would get the small/medium one for your puppy which is about six inches in diameter. After a few minutes of playing with your puppy, gently put on the harness while he/she is playing with the ball.

Make sure that the harness fits comfortably on your puppy. It shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. I would try and put two of your fingers between the harness and your puppy to check to see if it is the right fit. Make sure that you praise your puppy and give him/her a treat right after you have put the harness on. Let your dog play around while wearing the harness. That will help your puppy get used to having a harness on.

After a little bit of time has passed, go ahead and gently attach your puppy to the leash. Praise and reward your puppy with a treat as soon as the leash has been attached. Don’t hold the leash just yet. Just leave the leash on the floor and let your puppy to move around with it attached. Wait a couple of minutes and then call your puppy by name to get him/her to come to you with the harness and leash on.

If your puppy comes to you, praise and reward him/her with a treat. If your puppy doesn’t come to you after you call his/her name, I would encourage you to learn how to train him/her to come to you whenever you want him/her to.

If your puppy acts frightened when you are trying to put on the harness or attach the leash, you may need to show him/her the treat first so that he/she knows you have it. Just don’t reward your puppy until he/she allows you to put on the harness and attach the leash.

2. Get Your Puppy Eased Into Walking At Home First

(Photo courtesy of Jonathan Kriz via Flickr)

As soon as you are certain that your puppy is feeling at ease with the harness and leash, you can start to get your puppy at ease with walking. You will want to start out in a place where your puppy is feeling the most at ease – inside your home. You will also want to start slow. So, to get started, take two or three steps backwards while holding the leash attached to your puppy. If your puppy follows you, praise and reward him/her with a treat.

You can then start to gradually increase the number of steps you take backwards. Remember to praise and treat your puppy each time he/she follows you. As soon as you are able to get your puppy to follow you as you walk backwards, it is time for you to turn 180 degrees around and start walking your puppy forward.

Start out by only taking two or three steps forward and then you can gradually increase the number of steps that you walk forward. As before, praise and reward your puppy with a treat each time he/she follows you forward. Once your puppy is at ease walking forward with you, it is time for you to move outside into your yard. Once you and your puppy are in the yard, repeat the same process as you did inside your home.

3. Put Your Puppy At Ease With Walking In The Neighborhood

Once all is well with getting your puppy at ease with walking at home, the next step is to move into your neighborhood. Be sure that you start out slow in the neighborhood. So, start out by only walking past one house with your dog on leash at first. If your puppy follows you past the first house, praise and reward him/her with a treat. You can then gradually increase the number of houses that you and your puppy walk past, praising and rewarding him/her each time that he/she follows you.

Also, if your puppy wants to take the time to sniff the area or meet another person and/or dog, let him/her do that as it will also help him/her to feel comfortable with being out in the neighborhood. There is no need to rush this. Just take as much time as you need to help your puppy feel at ease with walking in the neighborhood.

These are the steps that you can take with how to train a puppy to walk on a leash. It may take some time before your dog feels at ease with walking while being attached to a leash. So, it helps to have some patience with the process. What are your thoughts? Does your puppy feel at ease going for a walk in the neighborhood on a leash? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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