Learning how to walk on a lead is one of the most important skills you can teach your puppy. Not only does walking your dog provide much needed exercise I but it will improve overall obedience and responsiveness.
Introducing your puppy to a nice soft collar or body harness will also help lead training. Once your puppy seems comfortable wearing the collar with the lead attached, you can begin to train your dog how to walk alongside you. Start out at home, the calmest place they know.
Use food to lure your dog around a pre-prepared course of small obstacles in a back garden or spacious room. Get used to carrying treats around with you. Use your voice to encourage your dog around the course as well as a few food treats. If the dog looks nervous, bend down in front of him and pet him. You can also offer the dog small treats as you walk. Be patient with your pup as he gets used to being on a lead. Don’t reward bad habits.
Break up lead training with ‘sit’ or ‘down’ commands. When moving on again walking use an enthusiastic voice.
If issues occur with lead training for example - dog jumping up towards you, biting the lead or pulling on the lead they are easily corrected by simply stopping what you’re doing and request the sit command, wait for your dog to settle down and once the dog is calm enough, see it as a green light to move forward again.
Consistency is key for the dog to understand that over-excitable behaviour results in the walk stopping temporarily. Remember this in all parts of training your puppy, and you are likely to share many happy walks together.
Keep an eye out for part 3....
By Sami Beale