Let’s start by getting your pup kitted out for his or her walk! You’re going to need a collar or harness and leash. Why not browse our range of leads and collars while you’re here?
Retractable leashes may not offer consistent tension - which as you can imagine, may confuse your pup. If you’re worried about pulling and hurting your pup, we suggest trying our reflective harness, which is great for comfort and night-time visibility!
2. Get pup used to their collar & leash
Before you head off on your walk, it’s a good idea to ensure your pup feels comfortable wearing a leash and collar or body harness. It’s also a great way to build a positive association with walking! Here’s what we suggest: make sure your dog gets used to wearing their collar first by putting it on at home during playtime.
Every time you put it on, give your fur baby a treat to associate collar wearing with positive things!
Once your pup is used to their collar, introduce their leash slowly. Clip it onto the collar for a few minutes and once again, dish out a treat. We’ve got a whole range of doggy treats for you to choose from! Each time increase the length of time you leave the leash clipped on for.
3. Teach pup a cue
Whether you use a hand signal, a clicker or just words of affirmation, such as ‘good’ or ‘yes’, a cue will teach your fur baby that they will be rewarded if they do something right.
Here’s what we suggest: Find a quiet room with no distractions. Pop your pup’s collar and leash on. Wait until your pup looks at you or turns to face you, then use the cue you’ve chosen and reward him or her with a treat. Once you’ve done this a few times, your pup will probably have the hang of it. Keep in mind that puppies don’t have a long attention span, so make sure to only continue with it while your pup is still eager to keep going.
4. Teach pup recall
If your pup needs a break, save this for another day - but if they’re still in the zone, try this: Teach your pup to come to you with the lead on by walking back a few steps. Use your cue and reward your pup with a treat when he or she walks to you.
5. Take a walk inside
Before setting out for the road or dog park, take pup for a practice spin around your living room. Take a few steps and then give your cue and reward pup for walking with you. Try this a few times until your pup is used to the feel of walking on the leash inside. And then you’re ready to take pup to the great outdoors!
6. Final words before heading out the door
Remember that there will be a host of exciting new sights, sounds and smells that your pup will probably want to investigate. So, be patient with your pup if they pull on the lash and your first walk isn’t perfect! Try to keep the walk short and reward pup with your cue and treats for any good behaviours.
If pup sees something and lunges forward, try your recall cue: walk a few steps back and call your pup to you. Reward your fur baby if they follow you!
Looking for more tips and tricks? Check out our pet care blog, here.