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Puppy Lead Training

Before you even contemplate taking your puppy out on a lead for the first time you need to ensure they are used to the sensation of wearing both a collar and a lead, you can start placing a light puppy collar on your pup at an early stage at home. You will probably encounter resistance at the beginning and your pup will do everything in their power to remove the collar, literally pop it on for less than five minutes to start with and then remove it.

When you take the collar off ensure you give your puppy praise and a small puppy sized treat as this will reinforce that you are pleased with their behaviour, the following day place the collar on again and leave it on for a longer period of time. Follow the same routine on the build up to taking them out for the first time, incorporate the lead along with the collar and simply encourage your puppy to follow you whilst leading them gently along. You can include the garden so your pup can be introduced to the sensation of being lead in an outside environment. A puppy harness is also a great idea as this alleviates any undue strain from your pup’s collar on their neck.

Once you begin lead training properly do not panic immediately and expect your puppy to trot along nicely by your side, he/she will be everywhere on the end of the lead to begin with, wanting to see and smell everything all at once. Use a short lead as this way you will maintain an element of control over your young canine chum; if the lead is too long you will discover yourself, and others, tied up in a massive knot!

For the initial few outings, I would advise letting your puppy have pretty much full freedom on the end of their lead, as there will be so many new and exciting smells for them to explore, then after this you can begin their training with vigour.

One of the most successful ways to lead train a young puppy is the stop and start routine, take a few steps forward and as soon as your pup runs ahead stop, they will not understand why you have stopped and will return to you to investigate as soon as they do praise, reward and continue forward. It seems endless I know and you feel that you are not actually covering any ground but this is the most effective method, within a week a puppy will learn that if he/she runs or pulls ahead of you your next action is to stop and soon comprehend that if they remain by your side you continue moving forward.

The main point is consistency, do not deviate from your routine and always allow yourself plenty of time for your puppy’s walks as obviously a normal walk will take longer to complete if you are stopping regularly along the way. Remember to praise and reward immediately when your pup returns to your side and then carry on walking forward straight away.

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