Tips for Leash Training Your New Pup - Pet Hub USA

Tips for Leash Training Your New Pup

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Walking your dog on a leash is a practical necessity and a great way to bond with your furry friend. However, leash training can be a challenge, especially if your dog is new to it. We’ll show you how to make it easy.

Before diving into the tips, it’s essential to emphasize the importance of patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement in leash training. These principles will help create a positive experience for both you and your dog. 

In this article, we’ll explore some leash-training tips to make your walks more enjoyable and controlled. Let’s explore the tips to enhance your leash-training journey and how to deal with common leash-training problems.

Start with the Right Equipment

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Choosing the right leash and collar or harness is the first step in successful leash training. Select a leash that suits your dog’s size and strength. For small dogs, a lightweight, retractable leash may be appropriate, while larger dogs may require a sturdy, non-retractable leash. Pair the leash with a comfortable collar or harness that fits well and doesn’t chafe. Make sure it’s properly adjusted to prevent your dog from slipping out.

Introduce the Leash Gradually: Start indoors

If your dog is not accustomed to a leash, introduce it gradually. Before introducing your pup to all the complexities that exist outdoors, it’s best to start indoors where you can minimize or eliminate distractions. 

Begin indoors in a quiet, familiar environment where your dog feels safe. Start by simply attaching the leash and allow your puppy to see and feel the leash around him. Allow your pup to explore the leash, dragging it around without your guidance.


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Offer treats and praise to create positive associations with the leash and encourage your puppy to come to you with the leash on. Over time, transition to short, supervised indoor walks to get your dog used to the sensation of being on a leash.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a cornerstone of effective leash training. Use treats, praise, and affection to reward your dog for walking nicely on the leash. Whenever your dog walks without pulling, stop and reward them. This reinforces the desired behavior and encourages your dog to repeat it. Avoid punishing or yanking on the leash, as this can create anxiety and resistance.

Practice Loose Leash Walking

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Teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash is essential for a comfortable and controlled walk. Start in a quiet area with few distractions. Use treats to lure your dog to your side and keep the leash loose. As your dog walks beside you, reward them intermittently. If your dog pulls, stop walking and wait until they release tension on the leash before moving forward. Consistency is key in reinforcing this behavior.

Stay Consistent

Consistency is crucial in leash training. Use the same commands and reward system every time you walk your dog. Ensure that all family members are on the same page and use consistent methods. Consistency helps your dog understand what’s expected, reducing confusion and frustration.

Common Issues With Leash Training

Leash training your pup can be a rewarding experience, but it’s not without its challenges. Here, we’ll address some common issues that may arise during leash training and provide tips on how to correct them.

How to Correct a Pup That Pulls

Pulling on the leash is a common issue, especially for eager pups excited to explore their surroundings. To correct this behavior:

1. Use a No-Pull Harness: Consider using a no-pull harness, which discourages pulling without causing discomfort. These harnesses often have a front attachment for the leash, redirecting your pup’s attention back to you when they pull.

2. Stop and Wait: When your pup pulls on the leash, stop walking immediately. Stand still and wait until your pup releases tension on the leash and returns to your side. When they do, reward them with treats and praise.

3. Change Directions: Another effective method is to change your walking direction whenever your pup pulls. This keeps them engaged and encourages them to focus on you.

4. Practice Loose-Leash Walking: Consistently practice loose-leash walking during training sessions, rewarding your pup for walking by your side without pulling. Be patient and reinforce good behavior.

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How to Correct a Pup That Lunges

If your pup tends to lunge at people, animals, or objects while on the leash, it’s crucial to address this behavior for safety reasons.

1. Desensitization: Gradually desensitize your pup to the triggers that cause them to lunge. Start at a distance where your pup remains calm and reward them for calm behavior. Gradually decrease the distance over time as your pup becomes more comfortable.

2. Basic Commands: Ensure your pup has a solid foundation of basic commands like “sit” and “stay.” Practice these commands during walks, using them to redirect your pup’s attention away from potential triggers.

3. Focus Exercises: Teach your pup to focus on you during walks. Use treats and praise to reward them for maintaining eye contact or checking in with you regularly.

4. Consult a Professional: If your pup’s lunging behavior is severe or persists, consider consulting a professional dog trainer or behaviorist for specialized guidance.

How to Correct a Pup That Barks at Other Dogs

Excessive barking at other dogs can make walks challenging. To address this issue:

1. Positive Exposure: Gradually expose your pup to other dogs in controlled settings. Start with calm, well-behaved dogs and reward your pup for calm behavior. Increase the difficulty level gradually as your pup becomes more comfortable.

2. Engage Their Attention: When you encounter other dogs during walks, engage your pup’s attention with treats and commands. Redirect their focus away from the other dog and reward them for compliance.

3. Desensitization: Use desensitization techniques to help your pup become less reactive to other dogs. This involves gradually increasing their exposure to other dogs while maintaining a safe distance.

4. Socialization: Ensure your pup receives proper socialization from an early age. Positive interactions with other dogs in controlled environments can reduce fear and anxiety.

Final Thoughts

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Leash training is a valuable skill for both you and your dog, providing opportunities for exercise, socialization, and bonding. Starting with the right equipment, introducing the leash gradually, and using positive reinforcement techniques will set the stage for successful leash training. 

Remember that correcting leash-training issues takes time and patience. Consistency in your training methods and positive reinforcement are essential to helping your pup develop better leash manners.

Your efforts at least training will be well worth it in time, as you and your dog will enjoy enjoyable and controlled walks together wherever you go.


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