Don’t Teach Your Puppy How to Walk on a Leash Without Doing This 1 Thing First

One of the first activities a new puppy owner may want to do is take their puppy on a walk. The activity proves more difficult once put into action. To avoid this, make sure you do this one thing (page 7) when training your puppy to walk on a leash. Walks will be much more enjoyable for you and your puppy by following this training method. Keep reading for puppy training tips.

Don’t make this mistake when your puppy jumps

Reward them when they have all their paws on the floor. | Bigandt_Photography/iStock/Getty Images

Don’t reprimand your puppy when they jump up on you. “Punishing the dog may only make your dog more eager to appease and jump even more,” according to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Prevent jumping by coming down to your puppy’s level, so jumping up to greet you becomes unnecessary. Always use positive reinforcement by giving your puppy treats when they’re calm and have all four paws on the floor.

Hint: Keep a puppy from nipping you by socializing them.

Bite inhibition: What it is and how it will help your puppy

Puppy biting
Whenever your puppy bites, yelp to show them it’s wrong. | Castenoid/iStock/Getty Images

Bite inhibition is when a puppy knows their bite strength and uses it appropriately, according to Vetstreet. A puppy will learn their bite strength best by socializing with other dogs. Another option is to simply play with your dog. “Anytime during the game that your dog bites you hard enough to cause pain, immediately let out a yelp or an “ouch” and let your hand go limp,” Mikkel Becker, a dog trainer and author, told Vetstreet.

Hint: Use a baby gate to corral your dog.

Baby gates teach them where to go

puppy behind a gate
Set up boundaries with a gate. | Renphoto/iStock/Getty Images

Consider getting baby gates if you have a new puppy. “Baby gates can also serve as a great training tool to block off “restricted areas” of the house and help to teach your puppy what areas are off limits,” David Wiley of Bark Busters, told Rover. They’ll get a clear sense of which area is theirs and — hopefully — stick to that space. Don’t be surprised if your dog winds up in a restricted area so overwhelmed with excitement from time to time.

Hint: Use a toy to teach your dog to like their crate.

Get your puppy to go in their crate voluntarily

English Bulldog puppy eats in his crate
Make the crate a fun space. | CarlyDybka/iStock/Getty Images

Getting your puppy to enter their crate can be challenging. To keep yourself from plopping your dog in the crate, use a toy as an incentive. “To encourage your puppy to use the crate in the beginning, a Kong toy filled with peanut butter works great. Use the command, ‘”In your crate’ and as soon as they go in on their own, and reward them with the Kong,” Amber C. told Rover.

Hint: Don’t do this one thing when your puppy has an accident in the house.

Don’t scold them for going potty inside

Puppy looking sad
Instead, praise them when they go potty in the right place. | Ericlefrancais/iStock/Getty Images

While your first instinct may be to say in a stern voice to your puppy “go potty outside,” resist the urge to do so. “Don’t get upset when your puppy does something wrong or has an accident,” Priscilla M. told Rover. “Even though you might be convinced at the time he/she is doing it just to get on your nerves, they really don’t know any better.”

Hint: Teach your dog to be a good listener.

Make your dog come to you

Running dog
Make sure your puppy is paying attention to you. | Puhhha/iStock/Getty Images

Before you do one crucial thing with your puppy, teach them how to come to you. The American Kennel Club suggests while the puppy is on their way to you — wearing the leash and collar — “back up a few paces and then reward” when the puppy reaches you.

Hint: Do this one thing when training your puppy to walk on a leash.

Practice inside

Puppy and a boy indoors
There are fewer distractions in your house. | Brickrena/iStock/Getty Images

Before going outside with your puppy to teach them how to walk on a leash, practice inside your house. There are fewer distractions in the house and they’re already familiar with your home, so they’ll be more comfortable while they’re learning something new. Offer treats and lots of praise when they take a few steps on the leash, according to the American Kennel Club.

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