If you are looking for a way to keep your new puppy safe and tame, then this is the article for you. A leash will teach your dog how to walk on all fours and minimize accidents happening by keeping him close at hand. It also provides extra security should he ever get loose or decide not to listen in public settings.

“How to train a puppy to walk on a leash without pulling” is the most common question that people ask. You can teach your dog to walk on a leash by using positive reinforcement and treats.

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Getting a new puppy is a lot of joy! You want to show him off to all of your friends by taking him out. 

As a result, he must learn to walk on a loose leash. 

We’re going to talk about how to teach a puppy to walk on a leash today. Puppies aren’t born knowing how to walk on a leash. In reality, it’s the polar opposite.

Beagle Pulling On Leash

The sensation of a collar or harness is unpleasant for most pups. When a leash is fastened, many dogs may buck against the restraint, even attempting to gnaw on the restraint.

Millie, my Aussie mix puppy with a lot of energy, didn’t take to a collar or leash right away. 

She rolled around in circles, attempting to free herself from the collar and leash. She also fought against the leash. 

So I worked with her and trained her to appreciate, rather than simply endure, her walking aids. I demonstrated to her that when she wears them, amazing things happen.

What Is The Best Way To Teach A Puppy To Walk On A Leash?

Keep your training sessions with your puppy short–no more than five or ten minutes. Some might be as short as a few minutes.  

In your training, you’ll want to take “puppy steps.” Always conclude on a positive note. 

Furthermore, mastering each step separately might take many days. Don’t hurry through the procedure. 

Patience is crucial. Slow and steady wins the race, as they say.

What Are the Benefits of Teaching Your Puppy to Walk on a Loose Leash?

I’m sure you’ve seen someone accompanied by their dog on a stroll. Some dogs pull their people along the street by their tails. 

It’s not a beautiful image, to say the least. It’s also not enjoyable to walk a dog in this manner. 

Because it’s so uncomfortable, dogs that haven’t been taught to walk on a loose leash aren’t walked nearly enough. 

Many behavioral behaviors, such as reactivity and hostility, might originate from a lack of exercise and interaction. 

Despite the fact that a dog may get physical exercise in other ways, such as playing fetch, there are several reasons to take your dog for a walk. 

Walking him about will help him grow more familiar with the environment, including its sights, sounds, and scents. 

This socialization will benefit him for the rest of his life. 

Walking will also keep him from being bored and will engage both his body and mind. It’ll also assist him in maintaining a healthy weight.

And, of course, the cliche “a weary dog is a good dog” is still accurate.

Teaching a Marker Word (Basic Training 101)

Throughout your training, you should educate your puppy what is and is not acceptable conduct. This may be taught by employing a term that implies “Wow, you did a fantastic job!” 

“YES!” is a nice word to utilize. It’s a brief and cheerful song. 

Use your cue and promptly give your puppy a reward when he exhibits a behavior you appreciate, such as sitting. 

You’ll educate him that doing desirable actions is really rewarding if you do this. 

PRO-TRAINER TIP: Always have your tasty rewards available before giving your puppy a command or cue. You don’t want to be looking for it, since then you won’t be able to reward the desired action at the appropriate moment. Use snacks that your dog enjoys and that will not irritate his stomach. Treats should be extremely little, regardless of the size of your dog. They should be around the size of a pea. A tiny size guarantees that the puppy does not get excessive stimulation. Furthermore, if he were given bigger rewards, he would have to chew them for a long time, forgetting what he was rewarded for–and the training session would be too lengthy. 

Collar, Harness, and Leash Training for Beginners

Before you even consider bringing your pet on a genuine stroll, be sure he’s comfortable with the equipment that will keep him safe. 

After all, he’ll have to wear them for the rest of his life. 

You also want him to be respectful of his collar, harness, and leash. So make wearing them enjoyable. 

To begin, acclimate him to wearing his collar. This is vital not just so he doesn’t get away, but also because it generally has identification in case he gets lost. 

For safety, I had collars embroidered with my dog’s name and my phone number. 

First, practice indoors. Give your dog a couple nice goodies once you’ve placed the collar on him. 

Have some fun with him. Toss and squeak his favorite toy. Play a game of fetch.

Show him a treat and walk away from him, praising him (Yes!) and rewarding him with a delicious treat when he approaches you. 

Even compliment him as he moves closer to you. This will aid his memory while also teaching him that wearing the collar is fun!

He will remember the things he learns today for the rest of his life. 

When educating him to appreciate wearing his harness, use the same sort of training activity you used with his collar. 

You may train him to grow used to his leash once he’s gotten accustomed to his collar and harness. 

Take the leash and collar off him at the conclusion of his training while he’s initially learning so that he knows how much fun he’s having–especially while wearing them. 

Patience is required. It’ll probably take him a few days to adjust to wearing a collar or leash. 

Each dog is a one-of-a-kind creature. Some people take longer to acclimate than others. 

My sheltie Murphy just needed a few days to become used to them and wear them without issue. Ralphie, my Lhasa apso, took nearly a week to become used to wearing his harness. 

He would freeze and refuse to move the first few of times he put it on. As a result, I pulled out some really delectable snacks. 

I enticed him to come forward. I enticed him with it while I took a step back. I gave him a jackpot when he got to me–a few goodies in a succession. 

I also created it a party that would come to me. I complimented him in a cheerful tone and patted him since he appreciates it. 

I also used the sweets to entice him by playing a “find it” game. “Find it,” I said as I threw a few goodies a few feet away from him. 

This was another approach to make the harness more enjoyable to wear. Toys weren’t as important to him as rewards since he isn’t the most toy-oriented dog. 

Giving him cookies when he got close to me was an extra benefit. His memory began to improve!

Because of his breed, I believe Murphy accepted his collar and harness more quickly. 

Shetland sheepdogs were originally developed to herd sheep. So approaching me was enjoyable in and of itself–with the extra benefit of goodies. 

Murphy also enjoys playing with toys, so that was an added bonus. 

If your dog is toy-motivated, using a toy as an incentive to wear a collar and leash may be quite effective. Use high-value snacks as well.

Keep your sessions brief. At most, five to ten minutes. After the training session, take off the collar and harness. 

When a puppy isn’t being watched, it’s preferable not to put him on a collar. It has the potential to catch on items and hurt the puppy.

Pro-Trainer Tip: Make sure your puppy knows his name and pays attention to you. Basic instructions like seat and come are also included. Learning to react to his name and focus on you will benefit him for the rest of his life!

It’s critical to train your dog to wear a leash once he’s learned to appreciate wearing a collar or harness. 

Many dogs dislike the sensation. Of course, you should never pull on the dog’s leash or drag him by it. 

When you’re initially acclimating your puppy to the leash, you won’t even hold it. 

Attach the leash to the collar and let him pull it around when he’s become accustomed to it. 

The leash should, of course, be proportional to the dog. A Shih Tzu would have a wider leash than a huge golden puppy. To practice, use a four- or six-foot leash. 

To get him acclimated to it, you may use a lighter leash than you would while walking him. 

Keep him close to you in a well-lit part of your house. You don’t want your leash to become tangled up with anything. 

Otherwise, he may be hurt. And being on a leash will be a really unpleasant experience. 

Lure him towards you and call him when he’s a few feet away. Praise and reward him with a couple tasty snacks when he approaches you. 

Even a toy may be used to play a game. When he gets to you, there should be a “party.” 

If you make it so enjoyable for him, he’ll want to come to you again. 

When the leash is fastened, your dog will believe that wonderful things happen. He also won’t be very concerned about the leash. 

Do the same training activity with the leash connected to his harness once he’s become accustomed to wearing the collar with the leash attached.

Keep your hands on your hips: you’re about to take a step.

It’s time to hold the leash when your dog has become acquainted to the collar/harness and leash linked to one of them. 

Before you do this, make sure your puppy has received some exercise. 

If he has too much energy, he will most likely concentrate too much on the leash, attempting to buck against it or maybe gnaw on it. 

So, to take the edge off, play a game with him. When dealing with your puppy, you should always set him up for success.

Start your exercise sessions indoors, away from distractions. Train in various rooms and regions of your home so that your puppy understands that he must perform regardless of where he is.

Keep the leash slack and use a reward to entice him towards you. When he gets to you, praise and congratulate him. 

Simply repeat this process a few times to ensure a successful conclusion. Puppies’ attention spans are quite short.

Start teaching your dog to move with you when he’s become accustomed to coming towards you while you’re carrying a loose leash. 

Take a step forward while holding a goodie next to him. When he walks with you, praise and reward him. 

Hold the treat lower if he’s leaping for it. Gradually increase the number of steps you take, rewarding yourself only when you have more steps moving with you. This might take many sessions.

After a while, remove the bait (don’t show him the treat beforehand) and just give him the reward. 

Start getting him habituated to stepping outdoors after he can walk for at least 20 steps next to you.

Taking It to the Streets

When you initially begin training him outdoors, avoid as many distractions as possible.

If your backyard is devoid of distractions, start there. If there are no distractions, start from the front. The idea, of course, is to get him acclimated to walking on a loose leash everywhere he goes.

So, just as inside, hold the leash loosely around the puppy’s neck. 

Begin by calling him over to you while taking a few steps back. When he gets to you, praise and congratulate him. It’s possible that you’ll have to do this for a few days or longer. 

Start with a few steps next to him once he’s successfully approached you on a loose leash, praising and rewarding him as he walks alongside you, just as you did inside. 

As long as he walks along with you, gradually increase the number of steps. If necessary, use a reward to entice him. Each achievement should be praised and rewarded. 

After a while, remove the bait (don’t show him the treat beforehand) and just give him the reward. 

Start taking him someplace when he’s mastered walking around your yard. 

Always begin without any interruptions. As your puppy becomes more adept at handling distractions, add more.

What vaccines he’s got will determine where you may take him. Make sure he’s been adequately vaccinated before visiting areas where other animals may have been. Your veterinarian can assist you in making this selection.

Solving Issues

Of course, issues may arise along the road. But don’t give up hope. There are methods for controlling or removing them. 

After all, your puppy is still learning and will want assistance in understanding what action you desire.

1. The act of sniffing

Many pups like sniffing as they walk. They have what’s known as a “nose brain.” It’s only natural for them to smell and investigate their surroundings.

It’s essential to train your puppy not to smell while teaching him to walk on a loose leash. Sniffing may result in pulling and a lack of focus on you. 

You may teach him a “sniff” cue after you’ve taught him to walk well on a loose leash so he can have joy sniffing for a brief period of his stroll. 

Teach your dog an attention command to aid with smelling. He won’t look down and sniff if he’s staring up at you. You may also use a toy to divert his attention. A “leave it” cue may be used on occasion.

We enroll our dogs in K9 Nosework programs to help them fulfill their sniffing urges. It’s a terrific method for your puppy to burn off some energy while also teaching him to utilize his nose.

2. A barking dog

On a stroll, some dogs may instinctively bark. Some bark in fear, while others bark in excitement as they try to approach the thing they’re barking at. 

Dogs with herding drive are inclined to bark at moving objects such as a runner, a cyclist, or even a passing automobile. Some terriers may also bark at what they believe to be prey, such as a squirrel or rabbit.

Barking is often caused by a dog’s lack of activity. 

As a result, make sure your puppy gets enough of activity. Physical activity and cerebral stimulation, such as puzzle toys, are examples of this.

Getting your puppy’s attention before he begins barking is an important part of managing the barking. 

Keep an eye on the surroundings. If you observe anything your puppy could bark at when he gets closer, attract his attention first with a reward. 

Make him take a peek at you. Perform a behavior with him, such as a sit. When he listens, praise and reward him. 

Bring out a toy that he enjoys and divert his attention to it. Also, keep him far enough away from the person, animal, or item to prevent him from being too agitated and barking. 

When preventing a puppy from barking and lunging while on a leash, use distance etiquette. You want to be far enough away from the target thing to avoid overstimulating him.

If the puppy hasn’t been socialized to unfamiliar situations, barking and lunging (described below) are more likely to occur.

3. slouching

Some dogs are more inclined to lunge than others, just as they are more likely to bark. 

Aussies and shelties, for example, are herding dogs that seek to herd everything that moves. Any dog, though, may lunge if it is aroused or scared. 

Keep an eye on your surroundings and anticipate items your dog could lunge at. Redirect your puppy’s attention to you once again, as you did with barking. 

Be a tree and remain still. Do not proceed until your dog has calmed down and is no longer tugging. This is a lengthy process, but it may be quite successful. 

You may also turn around and walk a few steps in the other way. Only do this if your puppy is willing to turn with you and you aren’t pulling him on a short leash. 

When your puppy succeeds, always praise and thank him.

Taking a Bite Out of the Leash

Some pups may attempt to gnaw on their leashes. The easiest method to deal with this is to divert his attention to something else. 

Looking at you, executing a demand like sit, or diverting him to a toy are all examples of this. 

Otherwise, making sure he gets adequate mental and physical activity may assist. 

If all else fails, use a chew deterrent like Bitter Apple before placing the leash on him. 

Chewing on a leash is not only a terrible habit, but it may also be dangerous. He could be able to gnaw through the leash and break free. Moreover, changing leashes on a regular basis may be rather costly. 

The Question Is: Should I Treat or Should I Not Treat?

Reward desirable actions with praise and incentives when introducing a new behavior to a new adult dog or puppy, as stated above. 

Once a habit has been established in a setting, you may gradually reduce the number of rewards given, providing them the majority of the time. Remember that you have additional reinforcements in the form of praise, stroking, and toys. 

Only provide less rewards when the puppy has figured out what you want and can dependably accomplish it. Keep goodies on you at all times to promote positive conduct.

What Not to Do: This Is Not Something You Should Try at Home

Positive reinforcement should be given throughout training. It’s not necessary to be tough with your loose leash training. Pulling on the leash or “dragging” your dog is not a good idea. This would be detrimental to your training–and maybe your dog. A dog’s trachea and spine might be harmed by yanking on his neck.


When should I start training my puppy to walk on a leash that isn’t too tight?

A puppy should not be separated from his mother and littermates until he is eight weeks old. You may begin training him after he has settled into his new home. Teach him how to say his name. Make him comfortable with a collar, harness, and leash. After that, you may start teaching him to walk on a loose leash.

What should I do if my puppy pulls on the leash and barks?

Otherwise, make sure he’s receiving enough physical and mental activity. You may also make sure he’s far enough away from the triggers to avoid engaging in the behaviors. Also, keep an eye on your surroundings and gain his attention before he begins barking or lunging.

Should I attach the leash to the puppy’s collar and take him for a walk the day he arrives?

NO! Get him acclimated to wearing a collar first. When you’re putting it on, give him some goodies and play with him. Before bringing him on a stroll, get him acclimated to wearing a collar and then a leash.

Last Thoughts

There are several advantages to teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash. It challenges both his body and intellect. It aids with his socialization. It also strengthens your relationship with your puppy. During his life, he may also be brought to amazing locations and adventures–and you’ll both have a terrific time!


Frequently Asked Questions

When should you start training a puppy to walk on a leash?

A: This will depend on the individual dog and its personality. Some dogs can be trained as soon as they are weaned, while others might require more time before you feel comfortable with their leash training. In most cases, it is a good idea to start around six months old or when your pet starts becoming destructive towards things in the house.

How do you train a puppy to walk on a leash?

A: Your first step would be to teach your dog that walking on a leash is not fun. As soon as the realization sinks in, he will begin working for you and take pleasure from the act of doing what youve asked him to do. With enough patience and repetition over a few days, most dogs can learn how to walk properly with their owner attached at all times.

How do you train a puppy to walk on a leash without pulling?

A: The easiest way is to start by teaching the walking command, such as walk, and then slowly introduce a leash. Start with short lengths of leach while you are nearby and gradually increase the length until your pup can walk on it without pulling.

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