I’m very sure every dog owner will want to know how to train a dog to walk on leash. Everyone wants to take their dog (s) for a walk, show their dog(s) to friends and family, neigbours and fellow dog lovers and owner. No one will want to take a disobedient dog outside for a walk. No one want to take a dog that doesnt know how to walk on leash.
To know how to train a dog to walk on leash, one must ensure to do all that is required of him/her.
There are several structures dog owners should set up at the onset be of their journey with their puppies or dog. Any and every lesson is easier with a newly weaned puppy under 10weeks compared to older puppies or dogs. The older a dog is, the more difficult basic imprints become for both the owner and the professional handler/trainer (if invited at all). Amongst these basic imprints is “Teaching your puppy to learn and be comfortable with the leash”.
We all must first realise that before you reach a puppy/dog to walk on leash, you should have first and foremost introduced the leash to the puppy/dog to the point where he/she feels comfortable wearing it.
This brings about the basic steps to leash walking.
Know the answers to the What, Why and When questions.
— What is a leash? A leash is a simple strap made of several materials (ranging from nylon to clothing to leader materials), with a hook/clip attached to one of it’s ends and a handy hole at the other end.
Why a learn How to train a dog to walk on a leash?
“If the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable.”- Late Dr Mylse Munroe.
The leash as a tool in dog handling, is needed to guide, direct, control, correct(in some cases) and maintain close proximity with a dog during walks, training, or supervision amongst others.
1. When do you need a leash?
A leash, as mentioned above is needed during walks, supervision(when a puppy just arrives his new home), and training sessions, amongst other times.
2. Start with a collar:
Majority of dog owners in this part of the world don’t understand and consequently disregard the importance of a trainer’s guidance when raising a puppy. As a result of this orientation, once any name of a tool pops up at work, Church, or any gathering at all from friends, colleagues or family, they just go here or here immediately or stop by at the nearest pet store to pick up the tools like collars(normal, flat nylon, choke or pinch), chain, leash, harness e.t.c with minimal knowledge of what it’s used for.
Though, there are choke leashes, that may nullify the need for a collar, but, this type of leash is only to be used by an informed dog owner or trainer, as it’s meant for applying corrective discomfort to the dog to correct certain unwanted behaviour. This is why even when you intend using a choke leash(which shouldn’t be at all times), there’s a need to introduce and familiarize the puppy with the collar. The collar is needed for easy handling and in emergency moments when you cannot reach your leash yet need to quick hold your dog(either from harm or from causing harm). Once the collar is properly introduced to the puppy, then the leash can be attached to it via the connecting clip at the end of the leash.
3. Let the puppy willingly follow you by luring the puppy (with a treat, food, or his favorite toy) towards you.
Remember don’t push the puppy too far too soon. A few steps a couple of times will do per session. Ensure to make the process interesting for the puppy. Sometimes you may have to drop the leash for the puppy to carry around under your supervision. This will help him take the leash as a tool and not threat.
REWARD EVERY CALM DISPOSITION OF THE PUPPY TOWARDS THE LEASH WITH EXCITEMENT! Also, note that this exercise as described in 3 above should be done in a zero distraction environment. FIRST, get positive results there, before introducing to an increasing level of distractions.
4. Remove the leash at the end of every session, so he doesn’t see it as a chew toy to keep him busy.
5. Repeat step 3-4 until the puppy starts jumping up for joy at the sight of the leash.
Thanks for the privilege of sharing my knowledge with you.
About Writer: Mr. Ebenza, is a professional dog handler/trainer. Feel free to contact him Via his phone contact, 07060998519, Facebook handle- @Ebeneza Animal Affairs-k9 Unit. Instagram handle- @ebenezaanimalaffairsk9-unit.