105 Pieces of Advice to Master your Puppy’s Leash Training and Give Him Enough Exercise and Rest
In addition to getting enough rest puppies also need sufficient exercise. This might seem logical but it should not be taken lightly. The first thing to do of course is to take enough walks, which is easy to do. Besides that, the reason you probably got a dog in the first place is because you want to take him on walks and all sorts of other adventures!
Now before you get too excited and bolt out the door, you have to realize that a puppy needs to learn how to walk with you. Of course a dog will know the physical movement of walking, but he is expected to walk in our human society and that takes practice. Attaching a leash to him, stopping at a crosswalk, staying on the designated path… It will all be unknown for your puppy. Out of all those things, leash training might just be the most important part.
Many people might not realize that a puppy needs to be properly trained to walk on a leash. Maybe you feel like your puppy does not need a leash but that is where you are wrong. In some places, leashes are mandatory by law and a leash also gives your dog a lot of security and guidance. Whatever you decide, it is good to make sure your puppy is familiar with a leash. So if you ever need one in the future, the leash will be normal for him. With patience, consistency and a little help from us, you will be able to leash train your puppy properly in no time!
- Besides getting enough rest your puppy also needs enough exercise
- The easy way to get enough exercise is by taking walks!
- However, taking walks takes some practice
- Your puppy has to be leash trained, which takes time
- Your puppy also needs to learn how to walk around in our human society
- It is very important to leash train your puppy because in some places a leash is mandatory
- Patience and consistency are the key to a proper leash training
How much exercise does a puppy need?
The right amount of exercise is very important for the puppy’s development. Your puppy needs exercise to get his energy going, to stay on the right weight, to keep his muscles going and of course to be a happy dog. Though, there does need to be a right balance between rest and exercise. If your puppy gets enough rest he will be able to exercise and if your puppy gets enough exercise he will be able to get rest. They really do go hand in hand.
A rule of thumb for puppies is 5 minutes of exercise for every month they are of age, two times a day. So a puppy of 3 months old should get 15 minutes of exercise, twice a day. This does not mean you can take your puppy on a 30 minute walk and you are done. That walk would be too long and besides that, one walk a day will not keep your puppy’s bladder happy! If you take 5 walks a day you know that a 3 minute walk is already sufficient but it is not only about walking. Playing around with your puppy is also exercise.
When it comes to young puppies, playing excitedly very often is not a good idea. Your puppy’s bones and cartilage are still developing so too much pressure on those can cause damage. Do not play too wildly, keep it gentle. Your puppy might not be able to tell you that the playing is too much, young puppies love to keep going. It is up to you to protect your puppy from himself as well and tell him to get rest when he needs to. Always make up for things to keep them balanced. Plan a day to relax after an exciting, active day and the other way around.
- The right amount of exercise is important for your puppy’s development
- Find the right balance between rest and exercise
- A rule of thumb: 5 minutes of exercise for every month your puppy is old, given two times a day
- Keep it gentle, do not play too wildly since your puppy’s bones and cartilage are still developing
- An energetic puppy is hard to hold back but you have to protect him from himself sometimes
- Puppies are resilient, a bit too much sometimes is not terrible but make sure to give him enough rest as well
- If you know today might have been a bit too much, make up for it by keeping it relaxed tomorrow
What age to start leash training a puppy
Leash training your dog is very important because your puppy will have no idea what a leash is yet. This is also why the right time to start the leash training is as soon as possible. You can start inside, on the first day already. Of course there are a lot of things your puppy experience on the first day but it is possible. When you start the leash training, keep it simple. Do not attach the leash and go for a walk immediately, that is no use. Give your puppy the time to discover. Start by casually letting your puppy wear the collar or the harness. Maybe your puppy already got one at the breeder and is a bit used to the feeling. If all goes well you can attach the leash to it but stay inside! You can let your puppy drag the leash but you can also hold it and simply take a few steps around the room. You could also do this in your garden but it is important that your puppy knows how the harness and leash feel before you take a walk. Start leash training on walks as soon as your puppy is fully vaccinated. Do not take your puppy to dog parks or other public places until you know your puppy is protected against all the diseases.
- You can start the leash training as soon as the puppy moves in with you
- Stay inside or in your own garden when you start
- Start with the harness or collar first, let your puppy get used to the feeling
- Attach the leash and take a few steps or let your puppy drag the leash around
- Only take the leash training outside when your puppy is fully vaccinated
When to leash train a puppy
If you want to start the training you can pick any moment during the day. What is important is that your puppy is able to focus a bit. Maybe in the morning or early afternoon would be a good start, since your puppy will not be so tired yet. What is even more important is to start slow. Casually lay the leash in the middle of the room and do not make a big deal out of it. Your puppy will sniff it, realize that you are not thinking it is a special thing and might just leave it. You can put some treats and toys close to it so your puppy will have a positive association with the leash. If your puppy starts to chew on the leash treat it like you would with any other biting or chewing situation. Your puppy is not allowed to chew on the leash so tell him ‘no’ or ‘stop’ and give him an alternative. Put the collar or harness on inside the house and play with your puppy. It will help your puppy to perceive the collar as something normal. Your puppy could feel unsure about the collar and look to you for reassurance. It is important that you stay calm and collected so your puppy will see that there is nothing to worry about. If your puppy is doing well and accepting the collar, reward him.
As your puppy gets used to it more you can of course take him outside.
- The moment at which you leash train your puppy should be casual and normal
- Pick a time during the day at which your puppy can focus on you and did not have a lot of other mental stimulations yet
- Lay the collar, harness and leash on the ground and simply let them be
- Let your puppy sniff them and realize they are normal
- If you do not pay attention to them your puppy will see they are completely normal
- If your puppy starts chewing on the leash, treat it like you would with any other object your puppy is not allowed to chew on
- Tell your puppy ‘no’ or ‘stop’ and give him an alternative to chew on
- Play with your puppy after putting the harness or collar on to distract him and helping him perceive it as normal
- If your puppy is insecure about the leash and looks to you for reassurance, stay calm and collected
- Show your puppy there is nothing to worry about
- If your puppy is doing well, reward him!
- As your puppy is more used to it, take him outside
How do you leash train a puppy?
Leash training a puppy in the house
The leash training always starts inside. This is something very important that you might not realize. If you decide to take your puppy outside immediately to leash him there, he might run away. If you decide to leash your puppy within seconds and drag him out immediately, you will create a struggle too. You have to understand that leash training has to be started carefully and collected. A leash is a strange object for your puppy so you cannot just dump it on him. You cannot expect your puppy to immediately know what you want him to do.
Let your puppy sniff the leash first. You can do this by laying it on the floor or attaching it to his collar. Do not start pulling or swaying it, let it be and show your puppy it is completely normal and okay. Leave it like that for a few minutes, you could let it hang loose or simply let your puppy drag it around the house. Keep rewarding your puppy with treats for the good behavior. Especially if your puppy does not seem bothered by the leash at all, praise him well. If your puppy seems a bit frightened or unsettled by the leash you can distract your puppy by playing with him. Do not pay any attention to the leash to reassure your puppy it is all normal.
If all goes well you can practice the same thing at a different time with more distractions around. Just to make it a bit more advanced. You can ask your puppy to come to you while wearing the collar or train a different command. This will distract your puppy from the thing around his neck and teach him that it is something that can be ignored. Keep rewarding your puppy when he is doing well to give him the best experience possible. When your puppy walks up to you, you can take the leash and walk a few steps. This might be strange on the first try but if you keep rewarding and showing your puppy it is normal he will understand you fast enough. Do not practice for too long, stop while you are still having fun. If your puppy becomes distracted or starts to get annoying you might have been practicing too long. Try to avoid this by keeping the exercises fun and short. All in all, keep repeating, keep rewarding and keep it short!
- Leashing training your puppy starts inside the house
- You cannot expect your puppy to immediately understand what you want him to do
- Let your puppy sniff and see the leash before attaching it
- Leave it on for a few minutes to let your puppy get used to the leash
- Practice with more distractions around if it goes well
- Ask your puppy to sit down or approach you while he is wearing the collar/leash
- Keep rewarding and praising your puppy when he is doing well!
- Do not practice for too long, stop while you are still having fun
- Repetition and rewarding are to be remembered at all times!
Start practicing outside
Now that your puppy got used to the collar and leash in the safe environment of your home, take it outside. Start doing the exact same exercises outside but do not leave your premises before attaching the leash of course. Keep it simple. Put the collar on and keep giving your puppy treats. Ask your puppy to approach you and if he does, reward him again. When your puppy is at your feet you can attach the leash and reward your puppy again for his good behavior. Only start taking steps if your puppy is calm. When you and your puppy are both calm, start walking. Make sure your puppy is walking next to you and when it goes well, give your puppy treats. Keep making small steps, do not go too fast. Give your puppy enough chances to do it right. Slowly you can make it harder on your puppy by introducing more distractions and changing the environment. Each time you make it a bit harder, take it slow. Do not force your puppy into new things and take things slow. If it goes well you can make it harder slowly but always keep rewarding with your voice and treats.
- Take the same exercises outside
- Stay on your premises and put the collar on
- Keep your puppy focussed on you and reward him
- Take a step back and ask your puppy to approach you, reward him when he does
- Attach the leash and reward your puppy again
- If your puppy stays calm, start walking
- If your puppy is not calm yet, wait until he is
- Keep your puppy close to you and reward him when he is walking next to you properly
- Take it slow, try a few steps and do not go too fast
- Always keep rewarding your puppy for his good behavior
Reduce the treats and praising
Eventually your puppy will be doing great but you will still have to reward him. That is okay of course but you do not want to keep rewarding your dog for the rest of his life, every time he does something right. You will have to start reducing the treats and praising. If you do this slowly, step-by-step your puppy will be just fine. If you kept rewarding your puppy with treats you can start using your voice first. Each time you give a treat, make sure to mention his good behavior with your voice as well. You can skip a treat every now and then but keep using your voice. Eventually you do want walking on the leash to become normal, even saying ‘good boy’ constantly throughout the whole walk will get annoying. You can do this by praising your puppy every 3rd, 5th, 8th, 10th step etc. Instead of rewarding each step individually. If you skip a reward every now and again your puppy will slowly get used to it.
When you start the reduction of rewards, do not expect every walk to go perfectly. Your puppy might still make a mistake or wonder where his treat went. Give your puppy time to get used to it. Besides that, do not be too hard on your puppy either. Allow your puppy to discover the world around him, he needs that. When taking walks, your puppy will want to get to know every little thing he encounters. Allow him to discover the world and your puppy will enjoy walking with you a lot.
- Eventually your puppy will walk beside you without a problem
- You want your puppy to see walks as normal and not have to reward each step he takes
- Slowly reduce the rewards so your puppy gets used to this
- Give a reward or praise every 3rd, 5th, 8th step instead of every step individually
- Skipping rewards at random works really well
- You can always keep rewarding with your voice but saying ‘good boy’ every 2 seconds during a walk will get annoying
- Do not expect every walk to go perfectly
- Give your puppy time to discover everything around him, it is necessary for a young puppy
- If you allow your puppy to discover and if you put effort in the walks, your puppy will enjoy walking with you a lot
Tinki Academy’s training for walking your puppy
The online training of our Tinki Academy contains a very helpful guide for walking your puppy. You will get clear information on everything that it takes to teach your puppy to walk on the leash properly. It contains a handy step-by-step guide with detailed explanation of how to teach your puppy to walk on the leash. Walking on the leash should not be underestimated! Besides learning about this complete new, strange object ‘the leash’, your puppy also has to learn how to behave when walking with you in the outside world. What rules there are and what he is allowed to do.
The online training of Tinki Academy is accessible 24/7 and available from your own phone, tablet or computer. You can get the information whenever you need it and practice in the comfort of your own home at your own time and pace.
- Tinki Academy contains a very helpful guide for walking your puppy
- It is made up of a handy step-by-step guide with detailed explanation of how to teach your puppy to walk on a leash
- The Tinki Academy is available to you 24/7 and accessible from every tablet, phone or computer
- You can get the information whenever you need it and practice in the comfort of your own home at your own pace and time
How to loose leash train a puppy that pulls
Going for a walk with a puppy that constantly keeps pulling the leash is not a nice feeling. Sadly, it is a struggle that lots of dog owner have to face. Your exciting puppy wants to see everything, which is understandable. As this small puppy becomes bigger and bigger, he also becomes stronger. If your strong dog did not learn how to walk on the leash properly, this will really become an enormous struggle. What you have to do when you feel your puppy is pulling the leash a lot is teach him that pulling gets him nowhere. Teach your puppy that you will only walk if the leash is loose. Stop as soon as there is tension on the leash. Only when your puppy moves back to you and the leash loosens, start walking again.
You have to be consistent in this, do not give up. You might have to stop more than you are walking but keep doing that. Only move when the leash is loose. It may take a lot of time but if you put the time and effort in it now, it will definitely pay off later.
To make it easier you can attach a command to it. It might help your puppy to understand faster. You could tell your puppy to ‘heel’ or ‘follow’ each time he walks beside you properly with a loose leash. Do not forget to reward your puppy when he is doing good!
Never yank the leash or try to drag your puppy across the street, especially if you are using a collar. Your puppy’s neck is very sensitive and can quickly get injured. It will only give your puppy a negative experience when walking with you and that is not what you want.
- Walking with a puppy that keeps pulling the leash constantly is not a nice feeling
- Your puppy needs to learn that walking with you only happens with a loose leash
- As soon as you feel tension on the leash, stop walking and stand still
- Wait for your puppy to come back to you and as soon as you feel the leash loosens, start walking again
- This can take a lot of time but you have to be consistent
- If you put enough time and effort in now, it will definitely pay off later
- You can make it easier by attaching a command to it
- Say ‘follow’ or something else when your puppy is walking beside you properly
- Never yank the leash or drag your puppy across the street, a puppy’s neck is very sensitive and easily injured
- Keep taking walks with you a fun experience!
How to leash train a puppy fast
You have to understand that leash training takes time. Of course there are a few things you can do to speed up the process but consistency and effort are necessary. Your puppy has to learn a lot still, respect that. By practicing often and short amount of times only, your puppy will learn fast. Keep it positive, do not tire your puppy or yourself out with too long walks and focus on the things that your puppy is doing well when walking. Keep rewarding and have patience. Always stick to your puppy’s pace and do not overwhelm or confuse him.
- Leash training takes time!
- There are some things you can do to speed up the process
- By practicing often and for short amount of times only, your puppy will learn quickly
- Stick to your puppy’s pace and do not overwhelm him
How to leash train a puppy who won't walk or move
Of course it could be that your puppy is a bit anxious about taking walks. It could be that as soon as you put the leash on, your puppy is afraid to move. It could also be your puppy is more stubborn and refuses to move because he feels the resistance of the leash. In a way, the leash is restricting your puppy’s freedom so he is not completely in the wrong. Your puppy has to learn that the leash is okay and taking walks with you is still full of adventure.
If your puppy does not move or walk when the leash is on, never force him. Do not start dragging your puppy around. Do not yank on the leash either! Your puppy’s neck is sensitive and by pulling or dragging you will only create a worse experience for your puppy than he already thinks it is. Try to squat down in front of your puppy, a few steps away. Ask your puppy to approach you and do not pay any attention to the leash. Your puppy needs to build trust so do not force him but stay persistent. Do not give up. You can try using treats or even his favorite toy to get your puppy to move. Reward your puppy for walking as soon as he does. If you give your puppy treats while he moves he will be less likely to stop and will want to keep going.
- Your puppy could be scared of the leash or the restriction he feels
- If your puppy does not walk when the leash is on, do not force him
- Do not pull the leash or try to drag your puppy on, this will create and incredibly negative experience
- Squat down a few steps away and ask your puppy to approach you
- Do not pay any attention to the leash
- Use treats or your puppy’s favorite toy to get him to start walking
- Reward your puppy for walking at all times
- If you keep giving treats your puppy will be less likely to stop moving and more likely to just keep going
How to off leash train a puppy
Of course you want your dog to be able to enjoy running around and play. Even if you take a walk with the leash on, you want your dog to behave when you are able to take the leash off somewhere. Running through fields and chasing birds, seems like a dream for many dogs and dog owners but this is something you will have to train! You need to teach your puppy off-leash reliability to enjoy this freedom and fun together. You need to teach your puppy to always come back and listen to your commands when he is off-leash. Off-leash does not mean he can do whatever he wants. Even though it might feel like that. You can use an extra long leash first, during training. One of at least 30 feet. This will give your dog the feeling of freedom already but you will still have a hold on him. This long leash will be of help to get a hold on him when he does not listen, not to control him. Try to communicate first. You can start training with the long leash and let him walk around with that. Practice calling back with the long leash. Let your dog wander for a bit and ask him to come back to you. When he does, praise him well! He just did an incredible job, let him know he did! Make sure these rewards are amazing, you have to be more interesting than the feeling of walking off-leash.
- Of course you want your dog to enjoy running around fields or chasing birds as well
- Going off leash has to be trained well
- You have to teach your puppy off-leash reliability
- Teach your puppy that he always has to come back and listen to your commands, even when he is off-leash
- You can use an extra long leash, at least 30 feet, for training
- The long leash can help to get your puppy back when he does not listen, not to control him
- Practice by letting your puppy wander off and then call him back
- When your puppy does well, reward him good
- Make sure the rewards you give are much more interesting than whatever your dog could encounter of leash
Leash training a puppy videos
A lot of people can learn better when they are actually seeing things. Maybe you also feel like you understand something easier when you see it on a video or in real life. This makes going to the dog school even more important but that is only one or two hours a week. The visualization of information is easier to follow and oftentimes you see examples of what you are supposed to do. This can really help. 123Tinki.com offers an online training about how to get your puppy to walk on a leash, and much more. This online training contains more than 75 helpful videos and enough written information to explain further. The Tinki Academy is available 24/7 and accessible from your phone, tablet and computer. The leash training contains a detailed step-by-step guide to teach you everything in a clear manner together with a clear video from our expert dog trainer.
- Many people learn better with the help of a video
- The visualization of the information is easier to follow and oftentimes you see examples of what you are supposed to do
- 123Tinki.com offers an online training about how to get your puppy to walk on a leash
- This contains a detailed step-by-step guide to teach you everything in a clear manner
How to leash train a pitbull puppy, a lab puppy, a boxer puppy or a husky puppy?
The basic principle behind leash training is always the same. No matter what breed your puppy is, if you make a good start you will succeed. However, every dog is different which sometimes has to do something with the breed as well. You might think your small dog does not need a lot of leash training because he will never be able to drag you down the street but that is not true. Every dog needs a good leash training to be able to take enjoyable walks.
Some breeds are easier to leash train than others, simply because some learn quicker or are less stubborn. A Beagle could be quite stubborn and might try to fight the leash more than an obedient breed like the Labrador. Certain hunting breeds were basically bred for commands like recall, herding breeds and retrievers will have a much easier time than toy breeds for example. These are certain characteristics you will know about when getting your dog but they do not have to define your training. If you train properly and with patience, any puppy will be able to walk on a leash with you. Of course your puppy’s character plays a big role as well. Your puppy might be a Beagle but not as stubborn, every puppy is different after all.
All in all, if you follow the basic principle and stay consistent your puppy will be able to walk on the leash with you properly sooner or later.
- The basic principle behind leash training is the same for every breed
- However, the characteristics of certain breeds can have an influence
- Some breeds are more stubborn and will try to fight the leash while others are more obedient
- Certain hunting breeds were basically bred for commands, like recall, so they might do much better
- Still, every dog is different so every leash training could be different
- Your puppy’s character is of influence as well
- If you follow the basic principle and stay consistent, sooner or later your puppy will be able to walk with you on the leash properly
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