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Pupper Training 101: Learning How to Teach Your Dog to Walk on a Leash

Many people believe that dogs naturally know how to walk on a leash. As any dog owner will tell you, though, this is a skill you need to teach them.

Leash training should be your priority if you’re getting a new puppy. All dogs have a prey drive and may chase something every time you take them out. Using the leash is the easiest way to ensure they won’t get lost.

Not sure how to teach your dog to walk on a leash? Here’s a three-step guide to help you achieve this with as little fuss as possible!

Introduce the Leash

The first thing to do is teach your puppy to wear a leash and collar or harness. Have him wear them for short periods in the house while you’re giving him treats. The idea is for the puppy to associate the leash with fun.

Next, introduce a sound cue that means “food time.” That can be anything from clucking your tongue to using a specific word.

Start making this sound in a quiet area with the puppy on a leash. As soon as he looks at you or turns toward you, reward him with a treat. After some repetition, the puppy should start coming to you for treats.

At some point, start backing up a few paces when the puppy is on the way to you. When he gets to you, reward him. Keep making the sound cue until your puppy gets used to coming to you and walking with you a few paces.

Keep in mind that puppies have short attention spans, so keep the lessons short. If he’s not responding well to a collar, try a harness. Look here for a good example of a solid harness.

Practice Walking

The next step in learning how to train a dog to walk on a leash is to start practicing. Do it inside your home, where there aren’t many distractions. As they get used to coming to you, offer treats and praise.

Next, take the puppy on a few short walks outside. Be patient and remember that all the sounds and sights will be new to them. If they seem like they’re about to get distracted, make your sound cue and give them a treat.

Know What to Expect

Before you’re ready to walk a dog regularly, you’ll need to know how to respond to certain situations.

For example, let’s say your puppy starts pulling in the other direction. In this case, you’ll want to stand still and refuse to move until he comes to you. Don’t try to drag the dog along with you or yank the leash.

If your pup goes after something, be proactive. Try to use a treat to redirect his attention and increase the space between him and the target. Herding breeds, in particular, tend to lunge at anything they find exciting.

Finally, take note if your dog is barking excessively. This behavior is often an indicator of a lack of exercise. Make sure he gets enough stimulation for his breed and age.

That Is How to Teach Your Dog to Walk on a Leash

As you can see, learning how to teach your dog to walk on a leash isn’t that hard. If anything, it can be a lot of fun! Just keep this guide in mind the next time you take your puppy on a walk.

Want to know more about how to train your dog to walk on a leash? Keep reading our dog-related content!

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