Leash Training

A work in Progress!

Your puppy has been started in leash training.  We actually start training without a collar or leash and work on getting the puppy to walk beside us on our left side.  Next, we graduate to being able to accomplish this with a collar on and finally, we add a leash.  By the time you get your puppy, they will be able to walk on your left side beside you for short periods of time and sit or mand when you stop.  Their attention span is very short and they easily get distracted so be patient.  

How to continue with the process?

Tips for success! 

  • Work on this DAILY
  • Work for short periods of time – 5 minutes
  • You will need a leash  (6 foot is perfect) clipped onto their collar, clicker and treats
  • Training will go best if the puppy is not full.  If you are going to work in the morning feed them half their breakfast so they will still be motivated by food.
  • At first, try to train in an area where there are few distractions like people or other pets.

How to Train

  • Start by sitting the puppy at your feed and wait for him or her to mand (sit and look at you).  At the moment that they mand, click the clicker to mark the point in time when they performed the desired action then give a treat.  
  • Slowly take a step with your left leg – this should signal the puppy that you are starting to walk.  The puppy should be walking right beside you on your left side.  Once you have taken a few steps with the puppy in the correct position, stop walking.  The puppy should stop and sit and look at you.  This may not be perfect at this point so you may have to reward to stopping or stopping and manding.  You need to reward so when they do something right you willclick the clicker to mark the point when they performed the desired action and give them a treat.  
  • Continue working on this until the puppy gets at least one piece of the trio (walking with you, manding when stopping and looking at you down).  Remember to click to mark the point of the desired action and treat. 
  • NOTE: If you are planning on showing your dog, you will not have him mand when you stop.
  • When you 5 minutes are up let them sleep.  It will help them make the connections of what they did right in the exercise.  
  • Continue again the next day or as long as it takes until they get the trio of steps down. They had this trio down before they left my care so it should not take long then to get the steps down with you.
  • Once you have the basics down, increase the number of steps that you take before stopping, clicking and treating.

Problems that may arise

Let the leash slip through your fingers and speed up your pace so that they do not “Hit” the end of the leash. 

You may also be able to do the “Puppy Call” to get them to come back to you.  When they come back, Click and Treat.

Stop and wait for them to move to your left side then Click & Treat.  You may need to back up and just focus on getting them to walk on your left side at this point. Remember to Click when they move to the correct position and Treat.   

Walking in a circle counterclockwise so that the puppy is on the inside of the circle can also help.