It is a common misconception that every dog knows instinctively how to walk on a leash. But in fact owners have to train their four-legged friends how to do it. It might take some time and patience, but it is a precious skill that will make dog walking safer and easier.
It doesn’t matter which type you use. It can be a dog coupler, a leash that represents a two-dog walking system, or just an ordinary leash for one dog. What really matters is that you need to start with training. Do not take your dogs immediately to the street hoping that they will feel comfortable in a leash from the get-go or that you will know how to handle them.
Your puppy might be small for now. But if it belongs to a large breed, the puppy will eventually become strong and much bigger in size. If the owner doesn’t know how to walk such a dog on a leash properly, the dog can run away or drag the owner across the streets. That’s why it is so important to leash train a puppy while it is still weak and small in comparison with the owner.
It poses a danger for you as an owner because you can be hurt when your dog drags you. But it is equally dangerous for your pets. If you lose a leash they might get hit by a car, encounter an aggressive dog and become involved into a fight or run away far beyond your reach. It is really not a big deal for a dog to get into a trouble while being outside without control.
But even for a small dog or puppy a leash is a necessity. Any dog can become afraid of something. City streets are full of crowds, noise and other things that might scare your pet. A leash in the experienced owner’s hands is a guarantee that dogs will be safe and sound.
But the key word is “experienced”. And to gain this experience you should start the training by using a leash inside the house or backyard. For starters just let your dog run around house freely but with a leash attached to the collar. Give your friend time to get used to it and become comfortable with this feeling. Don’t rush time, the comfort of your dog is the most important thing.
When can you start and how long will it take
The first question you will ask is probably what is the most appropriate puppy leash training age. As we mentioned before, you should start by just introducing your pup to a collar with a leash at home. It can be done as early as at the age of 8 weeks. The important step is fitting a collar. Dog’s comfort should be your priority. The most appropriate size is two inches more than the neck circumference of your pet. Do not buy a collar that will fit too tightly on the neck. Instead, choose the one that will allow you to loosen it up a bit.
When the dog reaches 10 weeks we can start to train our puppy through games and feeding. A leash should recall pleasant feelings, it should be associated with something nice, tasty, bring happiness.
Every dog is different so there is no definitive answer to the question of how much time leash training will take. Just be patient and follow our instructions.
The main steps for dog leash Train
We have said it before but it never can be repeated too many times. Do not put a leash on your dogs and take them immediately to the street. Introduce the leash to your pup. It is the first step and a significant one. Start with small periods of time where your pets will wear a leash at home. Do not pull them, just give them a time to get used to this new thing.
The next step is to combine wearing a leash with rewards. Put a leash when you are feeding them or playing with them. After you see that the pup reacts positively, you can start to take a leash in your hands and do short walks at house or backyard. A good idea is to supervise your dog to his potty spot using a leash.
When your dog is comfortable with a leash at home, you may start short walks outdoors of the house. Make them longer gradually.
One of the problems you might encounter is how to train a dog to walk on a leash without pulling. In such cases, you should freeze in one spot. Just stay without moving and wait until your pup gives up. Of course, you need to hold a leash firmly to prevent your dog from escaping. But avoid pulling or dragging the dog. You should not hurt the pet but just make him understand that pulling is meaningless for him.
You also most likely will experience the opposite problem when the dog doesn’t want to walk beside you. The best option here is to offer a treat. Positive emotions is always the best way to develop a habit. Make several steps away from your pup, then call him in a happy voice and lure him with a treat. The point is that your dog should associate walking by your side with rewards.
The training process won’t be immediate. It requires time and consistency. You have to act the same way to help your pup understand correctly what kind of behaviour is expected from him. So even if you have a desire to pull your dog instead of luring him or staying still until he calms down, don’t do it. It might affect negatively the whole learning process. Regularity is the key.
It is not rare for puppies to have behavior problems. The most common one is when a dog tries to pursue a cat, another dog, a bicycle. Basically, anything that moves. It is completely natural for dogs so you should be prepared for it. The owner has to switch dog’s attention to the favorite toy, a treat or anything else that works for your pet. This solution will help with any undesired behavior during leash training in general.
Another thing that might worry you is how to get your puppy used to a leash. The leash will cause some discomfort at first because it will add some weight to the neck of your little friend. It is inevitable so at first just let him drag a leash inside the house for 10-15 minutes several times a day. If he doesn’t like it use toys and treats. It will redirect his attention from unusual feelings and will provide an association with fun.
Twice the Fun
Before taking both pets for a walk, make sure they are already comfortable with a leash and don’t act nervously while wearing it.
You also will need a right leash for such an occasion. A dog coupler is a must if you have two dogs. One of the difficulties is to walk dogs without tangle. And to avoid this issue you will need a double dog walker leash.
Start slowly by taking your dogs for very short trips. The dogs should become comfortable with the feeling of being attached to each other.
It is a great opportunity to strengthen bonds with your dogs and their relationships. It won’t be an easy road but in the end, you will be able to enjoy an amazing time with your pets.