Dog Training 

Introducing Leashes to Puppies: The Ultimate Guide for Trainers

Introducing Leashes to Puppies: The Ultimate Guide for Trainers

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Good guys! Your puppy has finally reached one of their most important milestones: walking on a leash.

If the dog ruled the world, the leash would not exist. Instead, every time you take them out, they can roam freely without physical restraint. But dogs cannot rule the world, cars can rule the world, and leashes are essential evil.

Although the leash brings out some outdoor fun, as long as you introduce it to the puppies correctly, they will be happy to accept it. So, first of all, let us convince the puppy that a leash is a good thing, not something to be afraid of. for this, We will use “classic conditions” A form of learning, your dog can learn the association mode.

Via flickr/bullcitydogs

How do puppies experience the leash

When the puppies were born, they didn’t know that tennis balls would bring out a food bowl. But as time passed, they began to notice that the same thing happened every time before entering the delicious food-a person took out a bowl from the cupboard. That bowl heralds that food is coming. Because food makes the puppies happy, the food bowl itself becomes the object to make them happy, even if there is no food in it.

In theory, the same is true for belts. The leash appeared before the puppy took a walk. Therefore, if your puppy likes to walk, then the leash itself is the object to make them happy. But in reality, it doesn’t always work this way.

Puppies sometimes feel unpleasant when they first encounter a leash. When tied to a belt, they will not be able to roam, play and go wherever they want. They may feel annoyed or frightened by objects hanging over them, and if the belt is tied to the collar, they may feel uncomfortable when the rope is tightened.

Because of all these potential pitfalls, I recommend making puppies insensitive to leashes. This means that you introduce the puppy into the leash even before it is ready to go out for the first time, and then press S-L-O-W-L-Y to operate.

Traction training puppies: the first step

1. First show your puppy the leash and associate it with snacks.

  • Pull out the belt from behind. When your puppy looks at it, please mark “Yes!” on the word. Or click the device, and then give them a treat. Then make the belt disappear behind your back again. Repeat until the puppy is interested or excited about the leash.

2. Now, this puppy thinks the leash is cool, please help them connect the leash to their collar or seat belt to form a positive connection.

  • After locking and loading high-value snacks, lightly tie the leash to the dog’s collar or seat belt. Mark the moment you want to do it with “Yes!” Or click and reward your dog. Remove the belt. Repeat until the puppy comfortably accepts the leash.

3. Next, we want your puppies to adapt to the weight and restrictions of the leash.

  • Tie them in the house and walk for a few minutes at a time, along the mini “walk”, and let them explore the corners and crevices. Throw snacks into the corner as you walk to sweeten the pot. You can also reward any good traction you find (for example, they look back at you, they stay away from you, and so on).


Pulling a rope to train puppies outdoors

Now you are ready to contact the outside world. At the current stage of puppies, there is not much interaction with outdoor activities, so everything-smells, sounds, sights-are novel (and sometimes even frightening).

If you have a choice, it is best to start “walking” them in a controlled location (relatively less distracting) such as a yard. Otherwise, try to drive along a quiet street instead of going straight to the nearest shopping area, otherwise your puppy may be at a loss.

I found that puppies tend to fall into two main categories when they first walk: Bold Either Wallflower. Daring people are people who run from one tree to another. They zigzag as fast as they can to get close to all the new things they see. Wallflower is more nervous about the wider world, and it may only take a few steps to coax it. No matter where your puppy lands, you can encourage them with your voice and reward anything you want to encourage, especially if you “sign in” with you (ie, look in your direction) or walk without pulling a leash.

Beginners relax the rules of belt walking

In your first few steps, start implementing these simple rules around the belt.

Red light, green light

In this “game”, your puppy can walk without a leash. If they pull you, step on your foot and stop moving (red light!). Either wait for the puppy to relax, or use your voice to encourage them to turn to you. After the belt is tightened, start walking again (green light).

Name game

This simple game can help your puppy understand that if you don’t take them for a walk, you two walk together. If they look at you, reward them for their efforts to pry their eyes away from all excitement. The more rewards a dog’s behavior gets, the more they will practice this behavior and develop a habit.

When walking, please often say the dog’s name in a happy tone. Put a “Yes!” mark the moment they look at you. Or clickers and reward them to make sure they are all done while moving! If you stop walking to mark and reward, your puppies will think this is what they want to reward.

Clickers are an economical and useful training tool / Amazon


Touching or “manual aiming” is a way to move your dog without pulling on the leash. If your dog knows how to touch, put your hand close to your side when you say the prompt. This will bring them back to you instead of pulling them in the other direction.

Don’t know the touch yet? Check out our teaching guide. Use this reminder whenever you put too much tension on the belt. When your dog’s nose pounces on your hand, mark and reward your dog (when moving)!

Belt doesn’t work

The purpose of the leash is to keep the dogs safe, not to force them. If you use a leash to lead the dog or make corrections, your dog will not learn how to do things alone. Avoid yanking the belt as much as possible.

Avoid using cords or stretch belts. These leashes can hardly protect your dog from potentially dangerous injuries. Also problematic is that a dog led by a retractable leash will learn to walk further away from you, pulling on the leash instead of holding it tightly. All you need is a six-foot old nylon or leather belt.

PetSafe tow rope on Amazon for less than $10

Belt traction or bite

If your dog is led on a leash, it is more successful to use a collar instead of a collar. A dog holding the collar tightly during the entire walk is an uncomfortable dog, let alone on the way that causes the trachea to collapse. For a pulling dog, a better choice than a seat belt that is fixed to a spine traction belt is to fix the seat belt to the traction belt on the chest.

Many cubs consider the belt to be a plaything. Spraying some bitter apple spray on the lower part of the leash is useful for some people, but in my experience, training dogs to leave the leash is a more effective long-term strategy. If you fail, please try the lower strap made of a metal chain. Puppies don’t like to bite metal, so this problem should be solved.

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