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Dog Leash Training: How to Make Sure it’s Not a Tug of War

When you take a puppy home on his first day, you will feel quite tempted to coddle him since he is so little and helpless. Most owners do not realize that spoiled dogs are often untrained dogs. Dogs that lack any training structure as a puppy will develop an array of unwanted behavioral issues that will be much harder to break as the puppy matures into an adult dog and becomes set in his ways. One of the biggest problems that dog owners face is leash training. When your dog is a puppy and still developing his size and strength, leash training requires significantly less effort on your part. An older dog can be more difficult to train – even if it is a small breed – because they are strong enough to pull on the leash or just sit and refuse to walk when leashed.

Training Steps

Your first step to take with leash training your dog would be to have him acclimated to wearing a collar. Once you have the puppy familiarized with his collar, he will probably try to get rid of it by scratching, biting, rolling about or trying something similar to that. It’s not easy to watch your new puppy in distress. However, it is important to give the dog some time to adjust to the feeling of the collar; in short time, his attention will be diverted to something new and interesting. If you remove the collar, you will reinforce the unwanted behavior he elicited to try to remove it, which only perpetuates the problem; if you leave it on, he will learn that his behavior will not result in the collar’s removal.

Your next step for training your dog with a leash is to use the leash in a similar process. Have the leash connected to your dog’s collar so that he is able to carry it around with him as he romps about and plays. Just like with the collar, he will soon forget that he even has the leash on, and won’t object to you putting it on him again in the future. It is critical to note, however, that the puppy should not be left unattended when the leash is attached to his collar. He can easily become entangled, causing harm or distress at the very least.

Starting in the home, where the puppy is accustomed to the surroundings, pick up the leash and take a walk around the rooms. The owner should ensure that the leash dangles and does not become taught– the dog should be trained to walk next to the owner. You should start training immediately, so if puppy pulls on the leash you should stop in place immediately and call him back to your side so he learns that this behavior is not acceptable. As soon as this is accomplished, the owner will be able to commence walking once more and continue to do so as long as his dog heels with his leash hanging loosely at one side. Continuing on with the training, when he does well you should praise your puppy so that he understands that he’s doing right and can enjoy the experience.

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