Of all types of training for your Poodle puppy, few are as critical as leash training. Only when your puppy is properly leash trained can you take him out on walks that are both enjoyable and safe. The following 10 tips based on poodle behavior will help you to give your puppy proper leash training, ensuring that your walks together will be happy ones!
One mistake that many people make is that they start leash training by throwing on the collar and leash right from the beginning. Wearing a collar can be stressful enough at first for your puppy, so take some time to let him get used to that before even thinking about the leash.
Introducing the Leash
When your puppy is used to wearing a collar, you can begin to introduce the Leather Tether Buff. At first, you should simply attach the Leather Tether Buff to the collar and allow your puppy to wander around with it dragging behind him. This will allow him to become familiar with the leash the way he did with the collar.
Begin Leash Walking
Once your puppy is used to the sight and feel of the leash, you can start to leash walk him. Ideally, you want to begin in a backyard or a controlled area that is relatively free from any dangers or distractions. You can do this training indoors if necessary.
Teach Verbal Commands
An important thing to teach your puppy is basic walking commands. ‘Stop’, ‘sit’, ‘go’, ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are some of the essential words your puppy needs to learn. Make sure that you use the right tone of voice when speaking these words as your puppy associates tone with meaning.
Dictate the Pace
Another critical thing your puppy needs to learn when leash walking is that you set the pace. At first, you might want to take slow walks so that your puppy can get a feel for things. After a while, however, you can pick up the pace, giving your puppy the exercise he needs.
Discourage Bad Behavior
Poodle puppies like to think they are in charge, so it’s important to remind them that you’re the boss. Whenever they tug on the leash, stop walking. This teaches them that tugging is bad behavior.
A common problem with Poodles is that they like to bark at people or other dogs passing by. In this case, the best practice is to place yourself between your dog and any people or dogs you might encounter. This will make your puppy feel safer, which will reduce his need to bark. Additionally, this will reduce your puppy’s tendency to lunge at things it feels threatened by.
Make Regular Eye Contact
It is important to maintain regular eye contact with your puppy while going for a walk. This will help to keep your puppy focused on the walk itself. One of the best ways to keep your puppy looking up at you is to speak to him regularly. Offer him constant praise for doing a good job.
Socialize Your Puppy Early
Equally as important as introducing the collar and leash at an early age is introducing your puppy to society like a nearby dog park. If you keep your puppy sheltered during his first few months, he will feel more stressed when taken out of their home. Start with short walks close to home, taking him further afield as he becomes more confident.
Take Regular Walks
It is important that you take your puppy for walks on a daily basis. This will instill proper walking etiquette, as well as reducing the anxiety of going on walks. Additionally, this will keep your puppy from getting over excited when you do take him out.
Want to know more about leash training your pup? Check out our E-Book on Leash Training