It is not going to be easy to get your dog to take the leash. After all, your pet does realize that somewhere it’s a clamping down on his freedom. Your dog will resist, in ways you’ve never imagined, posing major risks to oneself.
Patience is the key here. It is a lot easier to train a puppy to use the leash than an adult dog. Nevertheless, these are a few tips you could use.
1. Choose the right collar and leash –
They might all look the same, but there’s one for every type of dog. A flat, lightweight nylon collar and leash works the best for pups. You can always upgrade later. The collar should not be too loose and neither too tight. What’s the right size? You should be able to insert too fingers beneath the collar, easily.
2. Introduce him to the collar and leash –
Now that you’ve picked the right collar, you’ve got to get him to wear it. Gently slip it around his neck while playing or when eating. The point is to have a few distractions around to divert the mind from the new item. Despite this, if he notices the collar and tries hard to remove it, distract him by bringing out a favorite toy or offering some treats.
After your furry companion has familiarized himself with the collar, attach the leash. However, don’t tug at the end. The tension might cause him to have a temper tantrum or refuse. Let him play with the loose end. Make sure you always supervise your pet if he is running lose with the leash on to avoid entanglements.
When you start out, don’t expect to wear your pet to wear the collar and leash for long. Always try to associate the collar and leash with something positive.
3. Praise and reward –
For every time, your dog obeys your command reward him with a treat. This kind of positive reinforcement will really ease the leash training process. You can offer treats when he walks at heel, when he does not lunge or when he does not pull at the collar. Keep the treats small as too much food could also be a major distraction. Hold the treat at a reachable level so that your puppy or dog is not jumping for it.
4. Call him to come –
While playing with your dog, lift the leash and gently tug at it, while commanding him to come to you. You can hold the end of the leash and gently stand still or kneel down and pet him. You can use verbal cues to help your pet understand what’s coming.
Once you have got him to come at your command, you can practise loose leash walking your dog with the leash on. Get him to walk by your side slowly. Stop after a few steps, get him to sit and give him a reward. You can gradually cut back on the rewards, like giving him a reward after every second stop.
It’s now time to take your dog out; first your backyard and garden and then the public park. If your dog tries to lunge or pull, stop to indicate that the behavior is unapproved of.