Leash Training a Puppy

Teaching your puppy to walk comfortably with you can take patience. This page is about leash training a puppy.


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I have found a strip of fleece about two inches wide makes a good hand on paw learning device for the puppies who come through here. I made a little training leash out of the fleece and attached about a foot of it to a puppy collar. It needs to not quite touch the ground so it won't trip them, but long enough for you to get a hold of.

I use the leash to correct them so they learn not to make mistakes. If they are doing something you don't like, gently guide them into what you want them to do. For example, if they are on the bed acting wild and barking, pull them gently to you (no jerking) and pat the bed - no words are really necessary. They will lay down or sit down and calm down, and you tell them how good they are.


Previously I used a cut off leash, but this feels much better to them. I might even experiment and make regular leashes out of braided strips of fleece. I love fleece! I have made tons of no tie blankets for them for this winter already.

By Robyn Fed from Hampton, TN

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October 14, 2010

To keep you pup from pulling while on a lead, carry small treats in your hand. Let him get a sniff of them - every once in a while pop one in his mouth. Should be small enough that no real chewing is involved. Then "good boy" him. After a while you won't need to carry the treats. It takes a while of every day training but it will work. Give him a command with each treat such as 'easy', heel, whatever you want. He will be close to you but not at a rigid heel.


Source: Obedience training

By Yankee

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August 29, 2018

So I found this Pit Bull and she's super strong. I think she was being trained to fight. I have two children and she's great with us and the kids, but not so great with other animals. When I walk her she pulls me. How do I go about training her?

Help lol


August 29, 20180 found this helpful

When she pulls, just stop walking. She will get the idea very quickly that you are the one in charge.

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August 30, 20180 found this helpful

There are harnesses out there help with dogs that pull. Check with your vet to see what one he/she recommends...I suggest this because there are some that work better on some breeds vs. others and I only know the ones that work best on hounds/hound mixes.


My mom's vet recommended one (and I googled it and can't seem to find it) for her late boy, who was a hound/lab mix and it had straps that went behind each front leg and hooked up to the top and then the leash hooked on to the special harness that came with it. He never pulled using that product. It was amazing!

For our little guy, the vet recommended a totally different one--because he has back and neck issues.

Once you get a recommendation...most of them are available on Amazon or Chewy. Some you can find in the big box pet stores.

Some trainers recommend the "tree" method...where you stop and stand like a tree when they pull. I have a friend who tried this when her fur baby was younger and her fur gal was so strong, she literally uprooted her and drug my friend 15 feet on concrete causing some significant injuries to my friend including a concussion. Scary stuff!!


After that they brought in a dog whisperer to help train their gal. She has not pulled since...sometimes it takes an expert!

Good luck! Wishing you and your pup happy walking trails!

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August 31, 20180 found this helpful

I would also recommend getting a harness instead of a regular collar. We have a Chow Chow and she was too strong for me to control until we got a harness. It worked great, she was so overbalanced when she pulled that she soon stopped.

If she is aggressive with other dogs, you might try a muzzle when walking until you are sure she will not bite anyone while you are training her.

Good luck!

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Answer this Question...

My German Shepherd is six months old now; her name is Tessy. She is very very strong and energetic. The only problem that I have with her is each time we go out for a walk, she will pull the leash so hard that I will get angry and carry her on my body because it's embarrassing.


Please what can I do?


January 31, 20170 found this helpful

Cesar Millan of te Dog WHisperer has lots of great tips on how to train her to avoid that.

One thing to do is wear her out, run with her a lot so that she is less energetic.

The second is, especially with this breed, you really have to train her not to pull. The quickest way to do this is to authoritately tug on the leash and refuse to keep going with her until she heels. If she is really out of control you poke her in the neck with 3 fingers while saying SHHH loud. This will snap her out of her hurry.

Please stop carrying her, and letting her get away with pulling, this means that the dog is in control of you and, especially with such a powerful breed, you run the risk of perpetuating worse, and more dangerous, habits.

I highly recommend watching old Dog Whisperer episodes on youtube or whatnot

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March 1, 20170 found this helpful

I would not fight with the puppy. Every time the dog pulls I would stop. When the dog does the right thing I would praise and pet.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

October 15, 2010

I have a 4 month old Standard Poodle pup named Prince. He is a wonderful dog. I am just having the most frustrating time getting him to walk on a leash. We would only get about one maybe two houses down the street and then all of a sudden "boom" he just stops, looks around and refuses to move.

I do have to admit I made the mistake of trying to pull him the first day. When my wife saw me she corrected my bad behavior really quick (it didn't hurt that much). So I searched around online a little bit and saw something about just waiting for the dog to move and then starting back on your journey. But when I tried that it took me an hour and fifteen minutes just to walk to the library at the end of my block.

I am at my wits end. The dog does everything else OK. He uses the bathroom outside when he is supposed to and he is not overly aggressive. So is this something that will get better over time, something that can be corrected with training; or I am going to have to take a very expensive loss (stand in front of Comerica park and give the dog away to some lucky family). I just got rid of something just sitting around the house. My son just left for college.

I just want to go on some nice peaceful walks with my beautiful apricot Standard Poodle. And eventually get another one (white). So if you have any suggestions, please let me know what I should do. It would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

By david from Detroit, MI


Leash Training a Puppy

Is it likely that the ground surface is too hot to walk on and the pup's paws are feeling it? My daughter has a "chi" and she never thought of how hot cement and pavement can be as people usually wear shoes and may not think about it. Try walking him in the shade of grassy park for awhile and see if that helps or you notice any difference. If the pup started out on the right foot of the walk and ended up sitting down on the job, it could be too hot where he's walking and he feels the heat off the walkway and is made uncomfortable. (07/07/2009)

By Myrna

Leash Training a Puppy

Try getting some little bite size treats. Let the pup smell the treat but keep it just out of his range. As soon as he takes a step or two toward the treat, give it to him. Repeat this process, making him go a few more steps each time to get the treat. You are trying to show him that the idea is to keep moving forward. He'll catch on soon enough. The post from Lorelei is a good one too -- make sure the ground is not too hot for his little paws. Grass is a great starting point for this training. Good luck and don't give away your new baby. If all else fails, a professional trainer should be able to show you a quick fix in a lesson or two. (07/09/2009)

By Robin Harrison

Leash Training a Puppy

You need to buy a good 'dog training' book and follow it to the recommended letter. Some of it may sound quite cruel, but within just a short time, your walks will be so worth the effort, some pet shops have economical training classes, and are worth every $ spent. The habits you instill in this puppy now will be great rewards as the dog matures. Keep us posted! (07/09/2009)

By Lena Goff

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July 7, 2009

Any ideas for leash training? Every time I try to walk my puppy she just lays down. The first walk was great, it was with me and my husband. She was running and doing really great. But when I try to walk her by myself she won't walk.



Leash Training a Puppy

If she won't walk, then pick her up and carry her about half-mile from home, where she won't recognize her surroundings. Just stand there while she looks around, and when she starts to move, follow her. Soon you'll guide her some, but the joy of adventure is what motivates her to keep moving. If you know of any fenced area where you could have her off-leash, just toss a ball around, then that would help her understand that being outside with her is a special time to play and go places fun! (04/06/2008)

By Kim Churchman

Leash Training a Puppy

A harness is best for training and safer for a puppy. A short leash which you hold at a point only long enough between your waist and the puppy with one hand (hand on side puppy is walking) and the other hand holds the handle of the leash. In this manner the puppy simply cannot roll over or lie down because you hold the leash firmly with no slack.

It helps to wrap the leash once around the hand closest to the puppy for complete control. Firm low-tone commands, kindly spoken, but without ending on a high note (like when someone asks a question). You are in control. Keep small treats in your pocket on the side away from the puppy, you can give them periodically with that hand while keeping the leash snug, while saying "good walk" once calmly and then immediately start walking again. With puppies, one-word commands work best...good sit, good potty, etc.

If puppy is struggling, whining, barking and such keep walking. If puppy is good for a few steps - treat and praise. After 3 treats in a row give puppy free range to sniff, pee, trot ahead of you for 30-60 seconds, then start the controlled walk again. After a few walks like this you should have a fairly obedient puppy.

As a side note, never hit, yell at, or scold a puppy. You want a puppy to feel safety, love, and self-control from you at all times. If puppy misbehaves, one sharp sound is sufficient (the sound people make when they wag a finger at a child, enh, enh, enh - but only one and firmly but not with anger or a questioning tone). And more often than not, simply redirecting the puppy to a good behavior is better - such as biting, give the puppy an approved toy with no scolding.

Teach a puppy to sit and you have the ultimate in redirection: jumping, tell puppy to sit and give love; barking, tell puppy to sit and give love, and so on. It's surprising how easily they are tamed in this manner - really they only want to love and please you. Let them. (10/11/2008)

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April 3, 2008
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