Puppy Leash TrainingA well-behaved puppy becomes a well-behaved dog. One of the most basic, but most important, puppy training techniques is leash training. When your puppy grows up and can walk on a leash without pulling your arm out of socket, you’ll be glad you trained your puppy at a young age.

Here are some helpful tips to teach your puppy how to walk on a leash without pulling or tugging:

  • Find a comfortable collar or training harness. Do not choose a collar or harness that is too tight or too loose.
  • Let your puppy wear the collar or harness around the house until he gets used to it. This may take a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days. But eventually, he will get used to it.
  • Hook the leash up to your puppy and let him get used to it also. If he doesn’t seem to be bothered with the leash, he’s ready to go outside to be trained. If he’s afraid of it, try to comfort him, but keep the leash hooked up until he knows the leash is not a bad thing.
  • When leash training your puppy, your goal is to keep slack in the leash. If your puppy keeps the leash tight by pulling and tugging, then he’s not properly trained yet.
  • The easiest technique is to just start walking. If you puppy starts to tug or pull on the leash, give it a quick little tug, then turn and walk in a different direction.
  • When you start to head in the opposite direction, don’t drag him along. Wait for him to catch up. As long as the leash is not tight (the leash is slack) then you can keep walking.
  • As soon as the puppy starts to tug or pull at the leash again, give the leash a quick little jerk and turn around again.
  • Repeat this process until your puppy understands that he is not taking you for a walk, but you are taking him for a walk.

Puppies and dogs love going for walks, and should be exercised frequently. Walking a dog who is constantly pulling you along is no fun. If you follow these simple tips when your puppy is still young, you and your dog will have countless enjoyable walks for years to come.

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8 Comments on 8 Tips for How To Leash Train a Puppy

  1. Mr Dogy says:

    Additionally, you should keep a very short distance between you and your dog, which is very difficult to do when using a retractable leash. When you have too much distance, your puppy will have no idea that you are even walking with him.

  2. when to use a training collar on a pup? says:

    I have a 14 week old very sweet golden retriever puppy. He walks okay with the little leather collar – pulls when he’s interested in something but mostly walks without pulling. When can I begin training him with a choke collar? I have a small nylon for his still-small size but I understand they are easily fearful at this age & I don’t want to traumatize him either. But I want to start training him to stay close (using the method you described) as soon as I can. When??

  3. Donna says:

    My puppy “Nikki”, a 14 wk old female Rat Terrier has about driven me over the edge. I can take her outside and she will potty on command by saying “Be Quick”, however; she still squats and poops in the house. I have been diligent on my housetraining, so I thought. I do not work and am a stay at home mom. I have another Rat named “Penny” and I can not remember for the life of me that she or I had these problems. I am with her 24/7, watch for all the signs that she has to go and take her out to the same spot in the yard everytime, reward when she goes outside, feed on a schedule, etc. etc. etc. WHAT ELSE CAN I DO OR BETTER YET – “WHAT AM I DOING WRONG”?

    Another dilima; I finally got “Nikki” to wear a collor, after nearly a month of buying and trying different styles. Now, the problem that I am having is leash training her. When I attach the leash to her collar, she acts as if it is a punishment. Her whole behavior changes – sadened eyes, ears and nubbin tail down and her entire body stiffens. I have tried attaching it to her and just trying to play with her to assure her that it’s okay and that it is not a punishment but she freezes and cries. What shall I try next??

  4. Gabrielle says:

    Donna, if you have a crate here’s what you shud do-
    Keep him in there if you run errands, if he gOes to the bathrOom in there, he will not like it. Keep him in there until ur ready to give him a bath.but first, take him outside to see if he had to gO more. That’s how I potty
    trained my well behaved dog…

  5. jessy says:

    potty training is the last thing most puppies learn so just be patient/

  6. savannah says:

    Actually choke chains arent good at all for dogs…it can hurt their throats really bad…best thing to use is a harness…

  7. becky says:

    They use harnesses on sled dogs so they CAN pull… It’s the strongest part of their body and gives them the most leverage. If you are having pulling problems with a dog, a harness is NOT the way to go. Keep the collar close to the top of the neck/back of the head, where they are most sensitive and require the least amount of pressure.

  8. Cici says:

    I’m puppy sitting during the day for a neighbor’s Lab-Chow mix puppy, who is about 3-1/2 months old. The neighbor had not been able to get the puppy to walk on the leash, as she would just sit and not move. For the first 2 visits that I came (I make 2 visits a day), I just hooked the leash on the collar and let her wander around the backyard while I watched her. Then, when it was time to go back in, I picked up my end and said, “Let’s go inside!” Then she would head toward the door as I held the leash. The next day, on her morning visit, I hooked the leash on her and opened the door for her to go potty, and I went with her as I held my end. I kept hold of it as she went to her potty spot and did her business. See, she was focused on going potty rather than having a leash on. Then we just wandered around the yard as I kept hold of the leash. Now, she goes potty on the leash in her own yard before we go walking. That’s good manners for the rest of the neighborhood, and saves us or anyone else from picking up messes from her as we walk.

    On the afternoon visit, we went out front to the walk and down the driveway. I just had her follow me, calling “Come!” and giving her lots of love and praise as she came to me. We did that for about 10 minutes, then we went back to the yard where I told her to sit as I unclipped the leash. The next day, we started taking short walks, just to next door and back. As she learned how much room she had to go, she would reach the end of the leash as I held it loosely, and as she reached the end of the leash she would go off balance as I let the leash just go limp and she knew, “Oops!” Then we turn and go the other way, until she tries to get ahead again. Now she stays close by– though a fascinating smell or a stick or something will divert her attention. She is allowed to check it out briefly, then I say, “Let’s go!” or “Come!” and we continue on our way. Hey, if we two-leggers can go sight-seeing, why can’t a four-legged “kid”? A walk is supposed to be fun, after all!

    I’ve worked with her for a total of 5 days, and “Mom” worked with her on the weekend. Today was my fifth day with the puppy, and we took our first walk together all the way around the block (6/10 of a mile)! She has even learned to politely sit or lie by my feet when we stop. Now, it’s a matter of perfecting being calm and relaxed– but that will come with practice and maturity as she grows up and gets used to all the new smells and sounds of the neighborhood! Keep training lessons short and fun, and always make being on a leash a pleasant experience.

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