Leash Training a Puppy

So you just got yourself a new puppy! They’re the cutest little thing you’ve ever seen, and you’re eager to train this dog to be your new best friend. You’re playing with them, feeding them - going through all the motions you usually would. However, one crucial thing that you shouldn’t forget is how to leash train them. That’s why in this article, we’re going to be helping you out - we’re going to go over how exactly to leash train a puppy so that you’re not left without a clue of what to do. So without further adieu, let’s get right into it!

Related: When Do Puppies Start Walking?

When Should I Start Leash Training My Puppy?

Figuring out when exactly you should start leash training your puppy is tricky, as you want to ensure they’re safe when they face the outside world. Typically, puppies will be with their mom for the first few weeks of their life - typically the first 8 to 12 weeks. This is when you’d want to start leash training your pup, but you could also go for an earlier time to teach them the basic principles of leash training. 

You’ll want to remember that puppies younger than four to five months will have difficulty focusing and grasping new concepts, so going slow and ensuring to cater to their needs is crucial for this step. 

What Do I Need to Start Leash Training My Puppy?

a puppy with a leash laying down on a dog bed

There are a few things that you’re going to want when you start leash training your puppy. A flat-buckle collar or a harness is an essential bit of gear alongside the leash itself. Going for something like a 6-foot leash is a safe bet that will help you out

Treats are also a good bet to get your dog used to leash training. In addition, getting yourself some dog shoes will be a good bet for ensuring your dog’s comfortable on new surfaces and isn’t in pain. RIFRUF sneakers are a good bet and will make your dog as secure and comfortable as possible.

Tips for Training Your Puppy to Walk on a Leash

You’ll want some guidance for getting your puppy trained on a leash. The following are a few tips that should help you get acclimated as you need.

Teach Them a Cue

One of the things that you can do to get your puppy used to knowing when it’s time for a leash and going on a walk is to teach them cues. Verbal cues are often the best bet - some repetitive sound indicating that it’s time to go for a walk will be a good bet. You can also make a sound indicating it’s time for a treat - getting your puppies excited for a treat is a good bet. After all, you’re going to want to reward them for going on walks, and associating treats with going on walks at first will be a good and safe bet for getting them excited to go forward.

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Make Them Come to You

You want your puppy to come to you whenever it’s time for a walk - have them approach you and come in your direction so they can get in the mood and be eager for the fun that’ll be approaching them ahead. When your puppy starts to go to you, take a few steps backward and have them follow. Rinse and repeat as you get closer and closer to your doorway so that they adjust to the right pace.

Related: Why Are Dog Paws Sensitive

Practice Inside First

Instead of getting used to a leash outside where anything can happen, you want your puppy to get used to a leash inside the house. So first, get them used to the feeling and association of having a leash and walk around the house with them a bit - it’ll be an adjustment, no doubt, but with a bit of practice and willpower, you should be able to get them used to it.

Test Their Skills Outside

Your puppy will be overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of going outside. There’s to be a plethora of new experiences for them, and having them adjust to what comes with it is going to be a gradual process that you have to change to. So stay patient with them and take your time - there isn’t any rush on this type of thing, and make sure that you help them be as comfortable as possible.

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How to Walk Your Puppy on a Leash for the First Time

a small puppy on a leash at the park

But what about actually taking your puppy on a walk? The following should help you acclimate to getting your dog used to the great outdoors on a leash.

Start With Small Steps

Make sure that you take everything in stride and start with baby steps. Your puppy will be getting used to the fantastic world around them and will need a lot of time to adjust and feel comfortable. You want to reward them for coming close to you - give them treats when they get closer to you and get in the right direction. Let them explore a bit and go on short walks, slowly going on longer and longer ones as they get older and older.

Practice in Different Places

One of the things that any dog trainer will learn is that teaching a dog a behavior in one environment doesn’t mean they’ll remember and apply that same behavior in other settings. So put your dogs in other environments and help them practice and adjust so that they’re comfortable in these new environments. This will help them to solidify and keep new concepts in mind for other settings.

Be Patient

Make sure you be patient with your puppies - you want them to be as comfortable as they possibly can be and feel as safe as they’d wish. Make sure that you help them be comfortable when they’re walking - getting them dog shoes is a great way to go about this. We highly recommend the Caesar 1S line of dog shoes from RIFRUF for this purpose.

Related: The Best Dog Raincoats Out Right Now

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