If you would like to have an easier time walking your dog or taking him to the vet your must leash train your dog. Leash training puts you in control and helps you manage your dog in any situation.
Leash training should start as soon as you bring a new puppy home. Dogs vary in the length of time it will take to train them to use a leash. Some dogs will learn within a couple of days, others may take one to two weeks. The key is to be consistent.
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The Dog Collar
Your puppy must first learn how a collar feels around his neck. The collar should fit loosely enough that it will not choke him but it should not be so loose that it can be pulled over his head. The collar should be the correct size if your thumb can fit comfortably between the dog’s coat and the collar.
Position the collar on your puppy as soon as you get home. It is often easier to put a collar on your puppy when he is distracted. Your puppy will try to get rid of the collar. He may scratch at the collar or roll around while trying to get it off. Don’t take off the collar when he is trying to remove it. Do not remove the collar until your dog is not paying attention to it. Your puppy should feel comfortable with his collar after a day or two.
The Dog Leash – Step Two
Wait until your dog is feeling comfortable with his collar before introducing him to the leash. Simply attach a leash to the collar and let your dog move around with the leash attached. It would probably be best to use a thin lightweight leash. When your puppy has adjusted to using a leash you could get a nicer leather leash, if desired.
Don’t leave your dog unsupervised with the leash attached in case it gets caught on something and endangers your puppy. If your puppy gets tangled up you will be able to release your dog and allow him to continue playing. This step may take a day or two. The next stage of leash training can begin as soon as your puppy feels comfortable with his leash.
The Next Step – Walking with The Leash
Walking beside you on a leash is the next step in your leash training program. This process can be started at home where there are fewer distractions.
When walking your dog the leash should be loose. Your leash should also be long enough that you are not pulling your dog. You should allow your puppy to walk freely.
As soon as your puppy pulls on the leash you must stop. You will reinforce his behavior of pulling on the leash if you keep walking. Refrain from yanking on the leash and simply call your dog to come to you. Praise him when he comes and then start walking again. Repeat this process everytime your dog pulls on the leash. Your puppy will soon learn it is not to his advantage to pull on the leash. Repeat this process over and over again. Consistency is what is important.
It may take multiple walks before you realize your dog is no longer pulling on the dog leash. Remember to reward your dog for tasks performed correctly. As soon as your puppy walks a few steps without pulling the leash reinforce his behavior buy praising him and givin him a treat.
Your dog wants to please you. Your praises should be enthusiastic. Dog treats often add to your dog’s motivation in successfully completing a task.
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Dog Leash Training an Adult Dog
Adult dogs are not as easy to leash train as a puppy. This is because a puppy is easier to handle physically because it is smaller. Adult dogs, on the other hand, have greater strength as well as established habits to overcome.
Leash training an adult dog is the same process as training a puppy. It may be physically more difficult because of the dog’s weight but strength and you must maintain full control throughout the training process.
When leash training an older and larger dog you may want to consider using a harness or gentle leader. The harness will give you control over a dog’s body instead of putting strain on his neck. If a dog pulls on a leash when wearing a gentle leader his head is pulled up. This is uncomfortable but not painful.
Leash training your dog is not complicated. It requires time and patience but you will be rewarded with a well-behaved dog you can take just about anywhere.
I hope these ideas are helpful. For a complete guide that will assist you in training your dog, in all situations, visit Dog Training Secrets.