One key to leash training your dog is to do so when they are young. It isn’t that older dogs cannot be leash trained, but rather it is more difficult to control a 30 pound dog than a 5 or 10 pound puppy. As you train your pup to walk on a leash, there are several steps and motions you should go through to avoid any problems with learning this new skill.

You should also take baby steps to teaching your dog how to deal with his new accessories as well as perform the way he should when he wears them.

Getting Used to the Leash and Collar

Many puppies are best taught with a light leash and collar, however you can also choose to use a harness if you like, this is all about preference. Start with the collar first. Give your dog a new toy or treat that will keep him busy while you place the collar around his neck.

This will provide your dog with something to think about, other than what you are doing, and can in many ways avoid the tantrums and problems that teaching this skill can cause. Reward your dog for leaving the collar alone and don’t remove the collar when he is acting poorly about wearing it.

The leash is the next step as once your dog has grown accustomed to their new collar, it is time to apply the leash. Use the leash whenever you take your dog out of the house. This could be a simple trip to use the bathroom outside, or to wander around the back yard with you.

Showing your dog that the leash is a way to be with you provides positive knowledge that the leash isn’t a bad thing. You should also provide treats for good behavior with the collar and leash to associate them with food. If you see your dog fussing with either the leash or collar, get his attention and direct it to you rather than the existence of the collar and leash.

Encourage Confidence and Redirect Misbehavior

When training your dog to walk on a leash, you will want to encourage confidence by taking things slowly. Do everything gently to teach him that the leash and collar are not meant to hurt him but rather a good thing. Let him slowly find his bearings before training him to heel.

It is also good to keep treats with you so that you can occasionally stop, command sit, and provide a treat for the good behavior.

Even something simple by walking with a treat in your hand to keep him by your side will help to teach him the skills to walk on a leash. If your dog misbehaves, redirect his focus back to you and regain control of the situation through a firm no or completely stopping all together and waiting for him to get himself back in control of his actions.