Learning how to use a leash properly is vital in building a healthy relationship with your puppy. Even more important, however, is remaining consistent with your leash training. If you are not consistent in using a leash with your puppy, then you will very likely have a difficult time in training him.
It is normal for a puppy to have difficulty focusing his attention on you during training sessions. This is why a leash is one of the most effective tools for keeping the puppy in place and maintaining his attention. While you should expect the puppy’s attention to wander occasionally, it is much easier to regain it when he does not have the ability to run off. After going through the same motions repetitively, day after day, because you have been able to control his movements and focus, your puppy will get better at following your commands and at paying attention to you throughout the entire training session.
A common misconception is that leash training and puppy corrections means pulling or tightening at the leash furiously. Instead, pull on the leash firmly as your puppy tries to pull you in the opposite direction. Ultimately your goal is for the puppy to learn to follow your lead without your having to pull on the leash excessively or aggressively.
A combination of several elements is required to make leash correction and training work for both you and your puppy. These elements are:
- A well-fitting training collar that is securely fastened
- A leash that has enough slack so that you are not choking your puppy when you pull on it
- Three-step correction, which entails a firm “No,” accompanied by a leash pop (a quick, non-painful tug on the leash), and repeating the “No” command with immediate praising so that he links the obedience with the reward
Image: Mr. T in DC / Flickr