It may come as a surprise to some, but you will need to lead train a puppy if you expect them to walk with a leash. A dog’s natural instincts are to run free and explore and being on a leash restricts that ability. The good news is that you can lead train your puppy to walk while wearing a leash if you follow a few tips that will help you do it right.
Start with the Collar
You’ll want to put the collar on first and let your Poochon puppy get used to it. Start by letting the puppy wear it for a short time in the house as you play and give the puppy treats. It will not be long before the puppy associates the collar with having fun with you.
Introduce a Command
This means creating a sound cue that lets your Poochon puppy know that a treat is coming. This can be a simple noise you make, such as a clicking sound or the like. Your puppy will make the connection when on their leash that a treat is on the way when you make that sound. Of course, you’ll need to provide a treat each time, but that will get your puppy’s attention.
Use the Command to Control Movement
When on the leash, back up a few paces when calling your Poochon and reward them when they follow you. This is where the command comes in as they will associate it with a treat and come to you to get it. You’ll need to practice this a few times as puppies can get easily distracted. Plus, keep the training session short and do not wear them out.
Start Lead Training Inside
Just because they seem ready doesn’t mean that going outside is the best place. Start inside by walking them around on the leash and rewarding them when your Poochon comes to you. You can start in the living room, hallway, or whatever place works best. Your goal is to have them respond to you while on the leash, so they keep up.
Lead Training Outdoors
Now you are ready to go outdoors. Remember to be patient as there are many things that will distract your puppy. So, start with a short walk that lasts for a few houses and keep you eyes on them. When they seem to get distracted, give your command, walk a few feet away, and reward them with a treat when they follow.
Remember to be gentle and not pull or drag your Poochon along. Instead, be patient and use the command to get their attention and reward them when the puppy behaves. It’s best to be proactive at this stage and anticipate potential lunges, distractions, and barks by giving the command and rewarding them before it happens. Pretty soon, your puppy will be walking with you on the leash with few incidents.
Understanding how to lead train a puppy of any breed is one of the easiest skills they can learn. You simply need a little patience and understanding as you introduce your puppy to walking while on a lead.