Leash Training your Puppy

January 01

Question: When should we put a leash on a young puppy just to get him used to it?

Answer: When we train our puppies, we begin at 8 weeks old and we use a leash right away. The leash is used to redirect attention when they wander off a mat or stand up and walk away when they're supposed to be sitting. We also use the leash to teach "lie down" by having the puppy sit and then moving one hand in the down motion to the ground at the same time that we step on the leash close to the puppy's neck and gently force him down to the ground. He will fight it at first and we just patiently wait until he stops struggling and gives up and puts his butt down on the ground. As soon as he does this, we rejoice with loud praise, pets and a kibble treat or two. Believe me, it's much easier to teach a small puppy to lie down than a big, full-grown dog, so we recommend that you do this right away. We also step on the leash during training so that the puppy can't run off. Yes, the leash comes in mighty handy in training. All that said, we do not recommend "heel" training until about 4 months of age, because it's very negative and can have long-term negative side effects on a dog's psyche. But, at least he'll be used to the leash by then.

Thanks for reading!

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