Tips: Leash training
Adjusting to the Collar
If you are putting a collar on a puppy for the first time they will probaly be resistant to it for the first few hours that it’s on, but don’t take it off of him it will take time to adjust and before you know it will feel natural to them when wearing it. You want the collar to fit securely but not so tight that it’s uncomfortable or hard for your dog to breathe. When your puppy is getting used to the collar it is a good idea to try and distract him from thinking about the collar by playing with him or giving him a treat. If you have a puppy that’s still growing you need to check your puppy’s collar about every week and increase the size as he grows.
Adjusting to the Leash
After your puppy or dog becomes adjusted to their collar attach the leash to his collar. Supervise your puppy as he runs around with the leash dragging behind him. Take it off after a few minutes and repeat the same process at a later time except for each successive time leave it on a little longer. Something that might help your puppy associate the leash with pleasent events is by putting the leash on right before he eats or placing the leash next to the food bowl before attaching it to him.
After your puppy is comfortable with the leash on pick up the end of the leash and follow him around for several minutes inside the house where he’s used to the surroundings. During this process try not to allow the leash to apply any pressure to the collar or it may scare your puppy. During this process it is important that you praise your dog and possibly reward him a treat from time to time.
Once he is comfortable with the leash on inside the house, bring him outside the house to a familiar environment such as the backyard with the leash on. Place him on the left side of you so that he’ll get used to walking on the left side of you each time you go out with the leash. Bring your dog to the area that they usually go potty with the leash on.
Walking Your Dog
Before you walk your dog it is important that they are calm so give them a sit-stay command before putting on their collar/leash. If your dog starts to run towards the door right after you put finish putting the leash on simply do a quick jerk with the leash and immediately release the leash to give it some slack, give a stop command then give a sit-stay command and then praise him when he is sitting. After a few minutes take him outside for a walk.
It is important that the dog doesn’t lead you or pull on the leash when you are walking him. During the first few times simply walk your dog around the house or in the backyard where he is familiar with the surroundings. If he pulls forward on the leash give a stay where you are, give a quick jerk with the leash and immediately release the leash to give it some slack and issue the stop command (you may have to repeat this several times before your dog stops) then give a sit-stay command and then praise him when he is sitting and praise him for his good action of sitting, wait several seconds then continue with the walk. After he understands that you are doing the leading when you are walking him you can bring him out into the real world for a walk and if still tries to pull ahead just repeat the process above with the jerking of the leash. When he is doing a good job it is important that you give your dog praises and encouragement.
When your dog starts barking, say the “Quiet” command and immediately jerk the leash. Repeat as necessary. After several times, try to just say the quiet command without pulling on the leash. Eventually, your dog will respond to just the auditory command.
You can teach your dog how to drop objects you wish he shouldn’t carry in their mouth in the same manner as the previous command. If you see your dog has something in his mouth that you want him to drop, command him to “Drop it” then quickly jerk his leash. Eventually, your dog will drop what is in his mouth after you say “Drop it.”
If you happen to see that your dog is about to pick up, you can use the “Leave it” command. Before your dog picks up the item, give your command and apply a sharp jerk on his leash. Just as the previous commands, your dog will associate the jerk of his collar with something you don’t want him to do and will eventually respond to the command and it won’t be necessary to jerk the leash.