How To Get The Most Out Of Puppy Lead Training
Have you just adopted a new puppy? With lots of adventures to look forward to together, it’s a very exciting time!
But leash training isn’t always easy for your pup! There are lots of fun and exciting things to see when learning to walk on a leash. Staying calm and confident can be tricky! So, what can you do to help your puppy learn?
Tips to Get the Most out of Puppy Leash Training
Start at the right time
If your dog is between 3-12 weeks, it’s the perfect time to introduce them to lots of new experiences, situations, and training. At this age your pup is in their socialization phase, so they’re perfectly prepared to learn to wear a collar, understand basic commands, and stay calm in new situations! Don’t worry if your puppy is a little older; they will still be excited to learn but may be a little more wary of new experiences.
Encourage your puppy to love their new collar and leash
Wearing a collar or trying a leash for the first time can be very strange for your dog! Luckily there are lots of things you can do to help your puppy relax when wearing a collar for the first time:
- Choose a light collar to get your puppy used to a soft sensation around their neck and keep the collar loose to begin with.
- Distract your dog with play if they seem unsure.
- Reward a calm reaction and never punish a puppy who tries to chew their collar or gets nervous on the leash!
- Give your dog time to adapt! It can take time and lots of patience!
When your dog is happy with a collar, start to introduce the leash. You can begin by attaching the leash to the collar and leaving it loose, so your dog can roam and play freely. The next stage is to try holding the leash and calling the dog to you. Reward calm, good behavior with lots of praise and treats!
Have regular training sessions
Practice makes perfect for any puppy! Short, regular training sessions are best to help your dog learn and get them used to new experiences. The best training sessions will be calm, short, and of course fun! Be sure to keep lots of small treats with you when training. Your dog is ready and willing to learn, they just need consistent reinforcement when they do something right!
Reward good behavior, DON’T punish the bad
While walking on a leash can be an adventure for your dog- but sometimes exploring new places is scary! Most puppies experience a more sensitive phase between 8-16 weeks of age. During this time lots of new and everyday things can seem more frightening! So, if your pup is a little uncertain or sometimes forgets their training, don’t punish them! Instead, always reward them for calm, positive behavior and encourage your pet to associate leash training with fun - never punish them!
Remember doggy rewards don’t always need to be treat-based (though your puppy will always accept a tasty snack!). Praise and play, such as a game of tug-of-war can also be used to reinforce good behavior!
Keep a positive attitude
Training your dog to behave on leash can take time. So, if things aren’t going as well as you’d like, remember to stay calm and attentive - never get angry or tense! You don’t want your puppy to associate any part of the training process with negative experiences - getting annoyed can make training much harder for everyone!
Instead, focus on giving treats for positive behavior, and ignoring or distracting your puppy if they do something wrong. With lots of support, patience, and time, your puppy will soon learn what you expect of them.
Try puppy classes
Learning with others can be a great way to support your dog and give them confidence and help with socialization! Puppy classes are ideal for dogs aged 8-16 weeks and can give both you and your new friend a chance to bond and master leash training!
Provide lots of variety
If your puppy can learn to stay confident, calm, and happy in lots of new situations, they’ll be able to cope much better as an adult. When walking your puppy, gradually expose them to lots of new situations. New people, places, sounds, and other animals can all be scary at first but it’s important to socialize your furry friend! Be sure to reward calm behavior, and always give your dog space or stop if they seem fearful.
Give Your Puppy the Support They Need
With regular training time, practice, and lots of positive reinforcement, your puppy will be a confident, outgoing, and expert leash walker in no time! If you’d like to give your pup some added support, using an ADAPTIL Junior collar will also help your dog learn better, quicker, and keep them calm during new experiences. Releasing comforting messages to your dog, ADAPTIL Junior can comfort and relax your dog throughout their puppy training challenges; from walking on the leash, to staying home alone, to car travel and more.
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