A new puppy can be fun, but often frustrating to train! Dogs do not automatically know how to properly walk on a leash or know that peeing on the couch is a “no no” (surprising, I know). Training is key to well-behaved furry friend. Fortunately, training your dog to walk on a leash is one of the easier skills to teach a puppy.

Below are a few steps to follow to make your leash training easier:

Introduce him to the collar or harness and leash. Let them sniff it out, wear it around the house while you play with them and give them treat. Let them get comfortable with their new collar and leash before you do anything too crazy. It’s important that collar and leash time represent a fun time for your furry friend.

Teach a cue. Come up with a sound cue that means “a treat is coming.” The sound can be a cluck of your tongue, a simple word like “yes,” or a click. Whichever you choose to use, in a quiet, distraction free area, with your puppy equipped with their collar and leash make the sound. The second your puppy turns toward you and/or looks at you, that’s when you reward them with a treat. After a few times, you’ll notice your puppy not only looking at you, but also coming over to you for a treat when you make the cue sound.

Make him come to you. While your puppy is on his way to you, still wearing the leash and collar, back up a few paces and then reward him with a treat when he gets to you. Continue this process until your puppy, upon hearing the cue noise, comes to you and walks with you a few paces.

Practice inside. Now that you’ve mastered how to get your puppy to come to you, now practice walking a few steps in a room with little distraction. Feeling and seeing the leash around him will be enough of a challenge and distraction. Offer treats and praise as your puppy gets used to coming to you with their leash still on.

Take it outside. Finally, you’re ready to venture in to the great outdoors and test out your puppy’s skills. Outside can be very distracting with all the new smells and sounds. This will take some patience, keep the first walks short. While on your walk, if your puppy looks as if he’s about to lunge towards something or veer off course, make your cue sound, and move a few steps away and reward him with a treat for following you.

These are just a few tips to get your started on your leash training. Once they conquer the basics, you can refine their leash skills to teach them not to pull and to remain by your side. Remember to be diligent and consistent with your training. It will take time and patience is key. Right now, stop in at any of our four locations to receive 10% off collars and leashes. Great stocking stuffers for this time of year!