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How To Train A Puppy To Walk On A Leash

One of the basic things that all puppies should learn is how to walk on a leash without pulling. Many adult dogs, large and small, pull their owners when they go for a walk because they haven’t learned to walk calmly on a leash. If you teach your puppy this lesson when he’s young then you won’t have a problem later on.

Things You Will Need for Training

A flat nylon collar & Leash for puppyIn order to train your puppy to walk on a leash he will need a collar and leash. A  is usually a good collar for a puppy. Make sure that you can fit two fingers inside the collar between the collar and your puppies neck so it won’t be too tight. You can get a leash to match the collar. A six-foot leash is a good length for walking your puppy. You should avoid using a slip collar or chain collar on a puppy since they will almost certainly pull against the collar and these collars can hurt their small necks. These training collars can be used on adult dogs if they are used properly but it’s not a good idea to use them on young puppies.

Getting Started

You should make sure that your puppy is used to wearing a collar before you try to teach him to walk on a leash. Put the collar on your puppy when he’s in the house and let him wear it for a few days, or at least for a portion of each day. Your puppy may paw and scratch at the collar at first but this is normal. He should become accustomed to it quickly. As long as the collar fits properly there shouldn’t be any problem. If the collar is too loose, however, your puppy could get his paw stuck in it, so do watch him to make sure that all is well.

Once your puppy has accepted wearing his collar you can attach his leash. Allow him to roam around the house with the leash on for a few minutes so he can get used to having something attached to the collar. Make sure that the leash doesn’t become caught on anything.

Teaching Your Puppy To Walk On A Leash

When your puppy is used to having the leash trail him you can pick the end of the leash up and begin walking with your puppy. You should practice walking with your puppy in a small, enclosed area such as your living room or a fenced backyard. This way if your puppy gets away from you he will still be safe and you can easily catch him.

Your puppy may lag behind, pull or cough like he’s choking at first. These are all typical puppy responses to walking on a leash so you shouldn’t be overly concerned about them.  Don’t yank on your puppy’s leash or try to drag him with you. It’s best if you simply keep walking and encouraging your puppy to walk with you. Praise him when he keeps up with you.

As you walk, if your puppy starts trying to drag you in another direction, try freezing and coming to a halt. Make yourself into a statue.  If you stand still your puppy will notice that he’s not going anywhere either and he will come to you to investigate.  As soon as he comes to you, then you can start moving forward again. Your puppy will learn that if he wants to move along then he has to go in your direction.

You can also work on walking in zigzag, random directions. Change your direction every couple of minutes so you keep your puppy guessing where you’re headed. This will prevent him trying to take shortcuts or heading off in a direction without you. He has to pay attention to where you’re walking and stay with you. Walk this way with your puppy for 10-15 minutes and your puppy will be much more attentive to walking next to you.

Do remember to praise your puppy when he’s walking quietly by your side.

If you practice these methods of training your puppy to walk on a leash he should learn to follow you politely when you walk him instead of straining on the leash or trying to drag you. It will be much easier to walk him as an adult dog if you teach your puppy these lessons when he’s young.


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