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In addition to crate training and potty training, leash training is one of the most important skills that you should instruct your dog on.
Proper training will allow your puppy to walk beside you while being well behaved. Daily walks will become a simple and enjoyable task for your puppy as well as you, and daily walks will allow you both to get plenty of exercises.
Below, we’ll outline some of the main techniques and tips you need to know about to get started with dog leash training. For more info on other types of training, check out our Puppy Training 101 page.
There are a few main techniques you’ll want to know about before getting ready to start training your puppy.
Below are the main techniques you’ll want to learn to teach your pet how to walk properly on a leash.
Not Pulling on the Leash
It is better to provide positive reinforcement when your dog doesn’t pull on the leash, rather than giving a lot of negative reinforcement.
When your dog pulls on the leash, stop. As soon as it goes slack, you should give a mark and a reward to let him know what behavior is desired.
You should reward your puppy often when he is not pulling on the leash.
Give positive rewards every so often while he is walking correctly and is well-behaved. This positive reinforcement will let him know that the behavior is desired and will serve as a mental anchor for your dog.
Walking Next to You On the Leash
Your dog should also learn how to walk beside you on the leash. If your puppy constantly weaves around and zig-zags back and forth, the walk won’t be pleasant.
Show your pet that you want him to walk without wandering back and forth by using the following tips.
- Use a short leash for walking your dog
- Keep him at your side by holding up treats
- Giving treats when he or she is walking properly to mark the behavior.
- Give treats regularly and intermittently when beginning training.
- As the dog learns the correct behavior, you can slowly start giving fewer treats while retaining the behavior.
In this section, we’ll list a few additional tips and things to know for training your puppy to use a leash.
There are no hard and fast rules for the age of leash training a puppy, but you can probably start with training as early as a few months old. It’s best to wait until after your puppy has gotten all of the proper vaccinations.
You should always give dogs rewards such as treats or toys, or some other kind of encouragement when they walk correctly and perform the behavior that you want.
This action will help them to associate good vibes with the behavior. Positive reinforcement works better than negative reinforcement.
Punishment isn’t the best way to do efficient training. They don’t often understand and usually don’t associate why they have been punished.
Often dogs are worse off after negative reinforcement than with none at all. Hard “No”s are sometimes necessary, but punishment doesn’t work well.
Visit nononsensedogtraining.com to get more tips on leash training a dog.
There are a few main supplies you will need when beginning to train your dog for using the leash.
First of all, you will want to look for the best dog leash for your puppy as well as an excellent dog collar.
You may also choose to purchase a book to help you during the training.
Several different types of dog leashes can be found that are ideal for various activities.
You may wish to buy a no pull leash, a dog running leash, or a dog training leash. You can also choose from a short dog leash or a long dog leash depending on your needs.
Below are some of the best supplies you can choose from. You can also check out our Best Dog Training Collar Buyer’s Guide.
- PetSafe Petite Martingale Collar
- Company of Animals Halti Headcollar
- PetSafe Gentle Leader Head Collar
Books to Help With Training
- DOGS UNLEASHED: From On-Leash To Off-Leash
- Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement
- Training for Both Ends of the Leash
How do you stop a dog from pulling on the leash?
The best way to prevent your dog from pulling on the leash is to reward your dog for the proper behavior by using treats and rewards.
You may also choose to invest in the best dog collar for pulling, such as the Gentle Leader Head Collar or the SENSE-ation leash to help encourage your dog to stop pulling on the leash.
How do I train my dog to walk on a loose leash?
For loose leash training, you will need a flat buckle collar, treats, and a 6-foot leash.
One way to train your dog to walk on a loose leash is to reward your dog for walking by your side. You can even do this while your dog doesn’t have a leash on, by walking in a fenced in area.
Another way is to reward your dog while out on a walk. Here’s how:
- When the dog pulls on the leash, take a few steps backward.
- Call your dog back to your side and when he comes, reward him.
- Continue moving forward with the dog at your side.
- Repeat these steps each time your dog pulls on the leash.
How often should you take your dog for a walk?
Different breeds vary in their needs, and some dogs will be happy with just one walk a day. Other high-energy breeds will require more walking each day.
In general, it is recommended that you go for a 15-minute walk twice a day with your dog.
How long should you take your dog for a walk?
It’s recommended that your dog gets at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Two walks of 15 minutes each is a recommended general rule for walking your dog each day.