Rules are not in a puppy's vocabulary; neither is knowing how to walk on a leash. Some learn quickly while others love to jump, bite and pull on your clothes; making a walk seem like an amusement park ride. Introduce the act of walking slowly for best results.
Place a collar on your puppy. Do this when he is preoccupied or when you have time to play with him. You can also put the collar on just before he eats. The idea is to get him to forget about the collar. Put it on snug, but not tight. If he scratches it, redirect his attention.
Attach the leash to the collar. Don't hold onto the leash because his first reaction will be to tug against the pressure. Drop the leash and let him run around with it. Play with him and periodically pick the leash up and call him to you. When he comes to you, give him a small-sized treat.
Carry a small treat in your left hand as you begin to walk with him on your left side. Keep the leash short but not tight. Let him see and smell the treat but do not allow him to reach it. Walk just a few steps and give him the "sit" command. Give him the treat once he sits. The idea is to have him focus on the treat, not on biting the leash or tugging on your pants.
Continue to walk with another small treat in your hand. Don't pull on the leash. If your pup runs ahead, then stop. Once he stops, begin walking again. Walk a few more steps and give the command "sit.” Reward your pup with the treat. Continue in this manner but start lengthening the number of steps you walk.
Practice short walks each day. Praise your pup for walking beside you and not jumping, biting and pulling. As he begins to understand what you are expecting, you can eliminate the dog treat while continuing to praise him.
- Walk quickly and with determination. Your pup will follow your body language and want to keep up with you.
- Keep small treats that are easy for him to quickly swallow. If he has to chew on the treat, the focus is lost.
- Never pull on the leash as you can cause damage to his windpipe.
Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.