Every dog owner relishes the experience of walking with their pet. However, without the proper leash training, your Labrador can make dog-walking a frustrating experience. You need to start leash training your Labrador while it is still young, so in this article, we are going to learn 10 tips that can help you properly train your Labrador retriever puppy.
Tip #1: Get it used to a collar
If you want to train your Labrador to walk on a leash, you have to first get it accustomed to wearing a dog collar. You should put the collar on it two to three days before you take it on the first walk. The puppy will definitely whine and scratch at the collar, but don’t remove it. Keep the collar on until the puppy becomes comfortable wearing it.
Tip #2: Desensitize it to the leash
Once the puppy becomes accustomed to the collar, you then need to attach the leash. Ideally, you should do this inside the house where you can monitor his movements. Attach the leash and allow the puppy to drag it around. When the puppy appears to be used to wearing the leash, pick it up and start walking the dog around inside the house.
Tip #3: Stand still if he pulls on the leash
Most Labradors that haven’t been leash trained often pull on the leash, and this behavior should be quickly discouraged. One technique to prevent this behavior is to immediately stop and refuse to move. Don’t even call his name or entice him with a treat. Once your Labrador relaxes and stops pulling on the leash, then you can start walking again.
Tip #4: Perform a 180-degree turn
If your Labrador continues pulling on the leash, turn around quickly and walk in the opposite direction. The puppy will see you as being unpredictable and start paying attention to you more. If the puppy was walking 3 feet ahead of you and you turn around, they immediately find that they are 3 feet behind you. The puppy will obviously run ahead of you again but perform the same routine again and turn around. Sooner or later, the puppy will realize that pulling on the leash is futile.
Tip #5: Incentivize the puppy if it refuses to budge
If you have a really young Labrador puppy, it may decide to act like a tree and refuse to move when you want to take it for a walk. They can simply lie on the ground and choose not to budge. This is where you need to have an incentive close by in the form of a treat. Once the puppy realizes that you are carrying treats, they will be more motivated to follow you. Make sure you are facing the direction you want to move and then place a treat beside your foot. It will soon realize that the right spot to be in is right next to you.
Tip #6: Take precautions against biting the leash
If your puppy starts biting the leash, slacken it and hold it straight upwards. Don’t pull the leash back or hold it too tightly. Just make sure it is slack and pointing upwards away from its mouth.
Tip #7: Never pull on the leash
As the dog owner, pulling on the leash to try to bring your puppy to heel is a mistake. It won’t work and it reinforces the dog’s pulling behavior.
Tip #8: Never run forward to slacken the leash when the puppy pulls
You may think you are sparing your Labrador from pain, but what you are actually doing is telling them that pulling works.
Tip #9: Don’t snap or jerk the leash
If your Labrador is pulling on the leash, avoid the tendency to slacken and then jerk the leash tight. This may work on some occasions but most people misuse this form of correction. When the puppy pulls the leash, feels it go slack, and then you yank it back, it associates a slack leash with being jerked back. Therefore, the puppy will always try to keep the leash tight, and you don’t want this.
Tip #10: Reward good behavior
If your Labrador is behaving well while being trained on a leash, always encourage, praise, and reward it.
How to train a Labrador retriever to be obedient when on a leash takes time and patience. However, it will be very rewarding when you have a grown Labrador that is properly leash trained.
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