Taking your puppy for a walk is a great way to provide exercise not only for him, but for yourself as well. However, your new pup probably wonât know how to walk nicely on a leash when you first bring him home. All it takes is some time and training, and the two of you will be going for enjoyable strolls in no time.
The American Kennel Clubâs canine good citizen director, Mary Burch, offers the following tips for teaching your puppy to walk on a leash:
â Consistency. Determine what side you want your puppy to walk on and stick with that side to avoid any confusion. Identify a toy or treat that your puppy really likes and use the food or toy to gain your pupâs attention and to motivate him before you start walking.
â Focus. Put on the leash and start with your puppy at your preferred side. Hold the toy or treat at the center of your waist to keep his attention on you. Maintaining his focus is extremely important when there are so many distractions around.
â Verbal command. Give a verbal command like âletâs walkâ or âheelâ to begin walking with your puppy. As you walk forward, and as your pup successfully walks along with you, praise him by saying, âGood boy, walk!â
â Reward. For every few feet your puppy appropriately walks beside you, stop and give him a little piece of the treat or let him play with the toy you brought along. Start with five steps, then build up to 10, then 15. Eventually youâll be able to reduce or eliminate the use of a treat or toy altogether.
For more tips on dog ownership, visit the AKC at www.akc.org
Â©2018 American Kennel Club
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