When should you leash train your puppy?
One of the most common questions I get when a family adopts a new dog or puppy into their home is: When should I leash train my puppy? Shouldn’t I wait a little while and let them get comfortable in their new home?
I recommend getting your puppy used to a leash as soon as it comes into your home. If it is a young puppy just attach a lightweight leash to it and let him/her drag it around the house (under supervision only). The younger I can get a puppy used to the leash the better.
Leash training started immediately becomes second nature for your puppy. They understand that this is how it’s supposed to be. You don’t want them to learn bad behaviors in the beginning or become reactive to a leash and then have to retrain them to stop those behaviors.
Remember that an unwanted behavior that may seem cute as a puppy can quickly become a bad habit that you have to spend time retraining out of them as they grow up.
Benefits of Leash Training Your Young Puppy
You want your puppy to be used to a leash from the start. This way, when you are in a situation that requires a leash or you need additional control over your puppy it’s not a struggle, but second nature. Leash training can help you stop unwanted behavior before it becomes a habit.
Not everyone is going to be as in love with your puppy as much as you are. If you have company over, you want them to be polite and not jump on and nip at your guests. Getting them on a leash so you have control over them will make these situations less stressful for both your puppy and your guests.
Teaching Your Puppy Limitations with a Leash
You want to leash train your puppy as soon as you bring them home. This will help you give your puppy manners and make the training process much easier.
There are times you will want your puppy to play and be a puppy, but make sure that during those play times you watch for unwanted behaviors. Let your puppy drag the leash around the house, so if puppy takes something in its mouth and tries to run away with it, you can have control right away, by stepping on the leash.
Plays Well With Others
If your puppy is too mouthy, you can use the leash to move the puppy away from you, put some distance between you and the puppy. This will help them learn that they must stop being so mouthy if they want to continue playtime with you.
Puppies are especially mouthy with children, so you can manage the puppy around kids with the leash. It allows you to have much better control over your puppy.
Supervised Indoor Tethering
UNDER SUPERVISION ONLY, you can leash tether a puppy to you or something heavy enough (door knobs work well) so you can keep the puppy under supervision, with you, in the same room, to reduce the likelihood of accidents and/or chewing something inappropriately. This can work well if you have a project or work to do and want to also get a little puppy training in.
While leash tethered, your puppy learns space limitations, without always being in the crate. You are able to watch them in a limited space and also work with them to teach them things like not to jump on people.
Training your families new dog or puppy to be comfortable on a leash should start the minute you bring them home. This can stop unwanted behaviors before they start. They will understand early on what’s expected of them and help them learn good manners. Next month we’ll be discussing the what’s best to get your puppy, a harness or collar.