Successful Steps to Dog Leash Training
Training involves a lot of acclimation, both for you and your dog. You need to get used to the behavior of a new dog, and your dog needs to get used to the basic rules. Dog leash training may be one of the first endeavors you decide to tackle. Because puppies are generally easily distracted, it is probably best to begin your training in a relatively quiet area. The ideal setting for this would be an area such as a private backyard or quiet sidewalk.
As far as equipment goes, it's pretty simple. You'll need a leash, a dog fitting collar, and some type of dog toy, preferably one that squeaks, which will help focus the puppy's attention on you. Before attempting the training, you'll first need to get your dog interested in whatever toy you will be using during the process. Give your dog a chance to become familiar with it and allow him time to be with it. Keep this playtime brief, however.
At this point, your dog should be very excited about continuing play with the specific toy and will want to follow it as you lead it around. To test this theory, let your dog become distracted with something else. Once your dog has lost direct attention on you, squeak the toy until their attention is diverted and the focus is back on you.
To start the actual training, stand with your dog at your left side and coil the excess leash in your right hand. Your left hand should be holding the end of the leash near the dog collar as well as the squeaky toy. When you're ready to move, give an assertive command by saying "let's go" then walking. It is important that your command is in a cheerful and positive tone of voice.
By coiling the slack of the leash around your free hand, you allow little room for extension, limiting your dog to move at the same pace you are walking. If your dog begins to stray, extend the toy in front of you, squeak it, and continue in your desired direction.
As with any training, it is important to keep things brief, light and positive. Take the training procedure a few steps at a time. If you make the mistake of trying to keep your dog walking on a leash for long periods of time, it will become bored, interest in the toy will be lost and commands will be ignored. Repeat this protocol as necessary until your dog follows in your direction without the use of a toy diversion.