How to Train a Puppy to Walk on a Leash

Have you recently bought a dog leash, or a puppy?

Whatever the case is, you might be interested in knowing several techniques to adjust your pup with the dog leash. Dogs are not naturally tuned to feel comfortable with leashes. Therefore, they often start biting the leash, and resist any walks.

A question then arises, can one really teach pups to walk on a leash? And the answer is a definite YES.

In this 5-step guide, you will learn how to train a puppy to walk on a leash. Feel free to have an overview of the steps that we are going to explore here from the following list,

  1. Let the Puppy get comfortable with a leash
  2. How to train a Puppy to Walk on a Leash Through Priming?
  3. Go for a walk with your pup
  4. Train your puppy while walking
    1. Communicate with your puppy
    2. Treat your puppy while training him
  5. Get your pup’s attention very often when outside

Vaccinate your puppy before Training

Before we move on to explaining the steps involved in how to instruct a pup to walk on a leash, it is advised that you vaccinate your dog. This is because an unvaccinated puppy can harm you and other people around you.

It is possible that in initial days, your dog may get out of control and bite someone outside and even to you too. Therefore, precautionary measures must be taken before starting the training of your puppy.

Vaccinate Your Pet - Pet care tips

Once you go through the instructions on how to train a puppy to walk on a leash, make sure hold short sessions, so that your dog may not get overloaded. As a result of which the whole session would be meaningless.

Let the Puppy get comfortable with a leash

As a first step, make sure that your puppy gets comfortable with a leash. Often pups behave unusually when first introduced with a leash, so, they either start biting it or they try to remove it.

To avoid that, try to divert the attention of your beautiful canine by keeping him busy in various things. For example, keep talking to him, give him something to eat.

Do not panic here! You just need to do this for few minutes initially at home. This will continue for next few days (a week?). while you are trying this, make sure your puppy wears a leash for a longer time as the days will pass.

But that is not something to be worried about. The best way to benefit from the guide ‘how to train a puppy to walk on a leash’ is to try every step with patience and give enough time to your pup to get tuned.

How to train a Puppy to Walk on a Leash Through Priming?

Was not it a good idea, if pups could also understand human language? In that case, teaching a pup to walk on a leash would have been so easy.

However, it is still possible.

Yes, you heard it right. With human effort and research in social science, it is shown that you can prime your pup with certain words that you would use in future for a desired action from your puppy.

How to train puppy to walk on a leash through primming

It was Ivan Pavlov, Russian physiologist, who did an experiment on dogs and shown that when the bell rang, dog was provided food and the dog would salivate. Hence, repeated exposures conditioned the dog to salivate even when the bell rang but no food was provided.

Therefore, you can prime your dog with words like ‘come, go, stop’ etc., while you do this, make sure you appreciate your pup every time it catches your words by some food, because otherwise this 5-step manual on how to train a puppy to walk on a leash would be of no use.

Go for a walk with your pup!

The next step would be to equip your dog with the leash and go for a walk, in a nearby park or even on a road. It would be recommended to go outside when you expect that there would be less crowd, for example in the morning or in the evening.

Going for a walk with your pup is not easy specially in the initial days. You would most probably face the following issues,

  • Your dog will start barking at strangers plus other dogs
  • Your dog will run/walk faster than your speed
  • Your pup will not follow your path
  • In the extreme case, he may also stop walking at all

So, how would you deal with it? As with humans, animals too get defensive when punished. So that cannot be an option. The only option left is to use reinforcing techniques to get your little canine follow your orders.

Therefore, every time your puppy goes the other way around, given him a call and when he obeys, reward him immediately. Let us say, your pup is walking faster, you will stop there and call your dog to stop too. And when, he comes back reward him. Similarly, do it for other behaviors.

This ‘how to train a puppy to walk on a leash’ blog post is incomplete without training him for the desired action that you want from him. Therefore, next two steps are particularly included in that regard.

Train your puppy while walking

After you are sure that your pup is now comfortable with a leash, and you have spent enough time conditioning your dog, you would probably go for a walk with your puppy as is shown in this 5-step guide on how to train a puppy to walk on a leash.

While you are on walk, you would certainly face certain issues, which we just listed above. You would deal with these issues successfully. Then comes the actual training. Training that you would provide to your pup, so that it obeys your orders.

Start with the following steps.

Communicate with your dog

Start communicating with your dog with the words that you used while conditioning him. See if he behaves accordingly. If further priming is necessary, do it with more rewards. This communication will do two things for you,

  • Strengthen your already primed words
  • Strengthen your relationship with the dog

Treat your pup while training him

By now, you should have realized one thing. You got it?

No? well, that is, treat and positive reinforcement is at the heart of the ultimate guide behind how to train a puppy to walk on a leash.

After every step, you need to treat your pup as part of training him. There is no second way that you can achieve this. Animals are trained that way.

There is one step in this ‘how to train a puppy to walk on a leash’ blog which, if ignored, will result in a significant damage to the entire teaching process. And that is keeping the focus of your dog towards training. It is further detailed in the last step.

Get your pup’s attention very often when outside

Think for a moment, why getting your pup’s attention very often is necessary?

Well, the answer is quite simple. And that is ‘to divert the attention of your pup’. Getting attention of your dog will help boost the effectiveness of the training. This is because, the more your puppy attends to the surrounding environment, the less effective training will be. And of course, it will take more time to complete.

Get pup's attention when outside

Guess what can be the solution? We have already covered that in the above lines, but in a different perspective.

There it goes,

  • Communicate
  • Reward


In this 5-step instruction manual, we have detailed on the topic ‘how to train a puppy to walk on a leash’. So, are you excited to try these steps on your puppy?

We recommend you buy a good dog leash, which can enable you to control your pup from a long distance. After you have done that, make sure the following

  • Your puppy is free of diseases through proper vaccination
  • He feels easy with the leash
  • You condition your dog with few important words
  • You both go for a walk in less crowded times
  • Communicate and treat your pup while training
  • Try to keep the focus of your pup towards you

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