If you’ve just welcomed a new puppy into your home, congratulations! Bringing a new dog into your family is always a joyous occasion. But before you can start enjoying all the cuddles and playtime, there are some things you’ll need to do in order to set up your pup for success. One of the most important is teaching them how to walk on a leash. Let’s find out how you can teach your dog easily.
Collar vs. Harness
The first step in leash training is deciding what type of restraint you’ll use. For small dogs or puppies, a harness is often the best option as it evenly distributes weight and prevents them from being choked if they pull on the leash. For larger dogs, a collar is typically sufficient. Whichever type of restraint you choose, make sure it fits snugly but not too tightly around your dog’s neck. If you’re struggling to choose, a good no pull harness for pitbulls is an excellent choice, as well as for some smaller breeds. For some other breeds, a simple leather collar is a popular choice.
Now that you’ve got the right equipment, it’s time to start leash training! The best way to do this is by attaching the leash to your dog’s collar or harness and letting them get used to the sensation of having something around their neck. Let them wear it around the house for short periods of time at first, gradually increasing the amount of time as they get more comfortable. It’s important to make sure that your dog doesn’t associate the leash with anything negative, so avoid using it during playtime or when you’re going for walks (at least at first).
The Heel Command
One of the most important commands you’ll teach your dog is how to heel. This is especially important if you live in a busy area or plan on taking them on lots of walks. To teach your dog to heel, start by attaching the leash to their collar or harness and asking them to sit. Once they’re sitting, give the command ‘heel’ and begin walking forward. If they start to walk ahead of you, gently pull back on the leash until they fall back into step beside you. Once they’ve caught up, give them lots of praise! With time and practice, your dog will learn to stay by your side even without the leash.
The Loose Leash Walk
Once your dog has mastered the heel command, it’s time to start working on the loose leash walk. This is when your dog walks calmly by your side without pulling on the leash. Start by attaching the leash to their collar or harness and giving the command ‘heel’. Then, begin walking forward at a slow pace. If they start to pull ahead of you, stop walking and wait for them to catch up. Once they’re back by your side, continue walking and repeat as necessary.
Leash training may seem like a daunting task, but with patience and perseverance, it can be accomplished relatively easily. By using the right equipment, starting gradually, and being consistent with your commands, you’ll have your pup walking by your side in no time!