How to Start Training Puppy to Walk with a Leash

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Leash Train Your Puppy in a Few Steps

Just got a new puppy? Can’t seem to get it to walk on a leash without struggling and freaking out?

Well, here’s how to start training puppy to walk with a leash…

Getting Your Puppy to Wear a Collar or Harness

First, your pup needs to get familiar with wearing either a collar or a harness. Or, even both of these.

start training puppy to walk on leash
Once your pup is used to wearing its collar or harness, it will be able to start its training with a leash.

Get your pup used to wearing these by rewarding it every time it has it on.

Put the collar or harness on and give your puppy praise and a treat. Leave it on for a short while and try to keep puppy’s attention focused on you as much as possible. It may try to scratch or shake it off at first. That’s normal.

Keep talking and soothing your puppy. Try distracting it with a favorite toy to get its mind off of the fact that it’s wearing something around its neck.

Usually toys and treats are pretty good to get pup’s attention  Once it isn’t so bothered by this new contraption it’s wearing, then be sure to give it some more praise and treats. It won’t be long, and your little four-legged friend will be used to wearing its collar or harness.

Now, Time for The Leash!

Don’t expect to go out on the street quite yet with your brand new puppy. It’ll take a little time. Some puppies take longer than others to learn new things such as how to behave while they are on their leash. So be patient. Otherwise, if you get angry and start losing your temper, you will end up having more problems!

After putting a leash on your pup for the first time, let your puppy get used to the idea of having this thing hanging onto its collar. Praise your puppy and give it a reward. Let it walk around with you in the house at first where it will not be distracted or frightened by other things.

Yes, you read that right…

Let it Walk Around the House First!

While you’re walking with your puppy around the house let the leash stay somewhat slack at first. Call your puppy’s name to get its attention and once your puppy comes to you, give it praise and a treat. Keep your voice gentle, but loud enough to get puppy’s attention and be sure to show your puppy that you have something good for it when it comes up to you.

This will keep your puppy close to you instead of wandering all over the place while on its leash, which will be a good thing once you are outside with your new best friend. If your puppy starts going in the wrong direction or starts trying to pull you, then call its name and give just a small tug on the leash.

Do this as soon as you see its going to go where you don’t want it, either in front of you or going in an area you don’t want it to go, such as under a chair while you’re still in the house.

For example, you’re walking your pup on its leash and you see it’s starting to head away from you. Try to get its attention back on you by calling out its name…use a firm but gentle tone…not a loud “hey, get over here!” which will probably send your puppy running to get away from you.

How to Grab Your Puppy’s Attention and Keep It!

Once you have puppy’s attention, keep it! Show it a treat…this will most likely bring your puppy to you. If it’s still undecided on whether to come to you or not, keep calling its name and showing the treat you have while keeping the leash somewhat taught, but not too much.

Don’t be yanking or dragging on your puppy to get it to come to you. Just keep it taught enough so it cannot go further away from you.

When your puppy comes closer to you, keep praising it, using a more excited tone of voice so it realizes it’s doing something good. Give your puppy lots of praise along with a treat once it comes back to your side.

Keep practicing this in the house until your puppy walks nicely by your side on the leash. Once this is accomplished it is time to try it out in the yard.  Walk your puppy in the yard until you think he or she is ready to go out on the street with you.

Don’t Forget the Treats!

Make sure you reward your puppy every so often when it’s staying at your side. This will help it remember it’s a good thing to be at your side instead of darting off in every direction it finds interesting, which can lead to you getting tripped up and falling flat on your face. That’s always a bit embarrassing…

Leash Training Your Puppy
Training your puppy to walk properly on a leash is much easier than training an adult dog, so get it done early on.

I would suggest keeping a bag or pouch with treats in it, so you can keep your puppy’s attention on you and also so you have rewards to give it for good behavior.

It’s much easier than fumbling around in your pockets for treats.

Plus, you won’t end up with a bunch of crumbs or leftover treats in your pockets either.

Here’s where you can get a neat little bag for your doggie treats.

Here are some great dog treats! if you would rather just order some from the comforts of home.

Have fun walking with your new puppy and remember, good behaviors =  good rewards!

What do you find helpful when training your puppy to walk with a leash?

I’d love to hear what works for you or not.  So, please feel free to leave a comment and if you find this post helpful, please share it with your friends!

🙂 -Sherry

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