Leash training a puppy is one of the most difficult training exercises for most pet owners. Far more difficult than teaching your dog to obey simple commands like sit or come.
But you will still need to train your puppy to walk beside you, on a leash.
Walking on a leash is important because it will keep your dog safe from traffic and under your control. In addition, many public places like malls or parks, require that dogs be leashed. You can’t get around this, folks. Your dog needs to be leash trained.
You’ll find that your Bichon Frise puppy is eager to please you most of the time, but leash training a puppy can be quite a different story. It frequently turns into a tugging match for your and your beloved puppy!
Thankfully, there are ways to get your pup involved with leash training and even enjoy it!
Leash Training Puppies
So what do you do first and how do you get your puppy interested?
You’ll also need to get a dog lead. You don’t need a terribly long leash but make sure that the hook portion isn’t so heavy that it makes your tiny pup uncomfortable.
Tips on Leash Training
- Combine puppy leash training with crate training – One of the easiest ways to begin leash training is by combining it with crate training. Put your pup’s collar on before taking her from the crate. Let her get used to the sensation of having her collar on. After several times begin adding the leash. At this point you will not be leading the dog anywhere. Just let her walk around the house with the leash on, getting used to the feel of it.
- Potty runs – Depending on the age of your dog you can carry him to the chosen potty area. When you reach the spot, hold onto the leash (which is attached to your dog). Remember to use positive reinforcement and any potty training words you’ve used regularly. It won’t take long before your Bichon associates the leash with getting out of her “den” and going outside with you. Just being with her human is very exciting and creates more of a pack mentality too.
Taking your dog out in public is so much more fun when she is leash trained!
- Short walks – Once your Bichon Frise responds well to the leash for potty time, you can begin taking her on short walks near your home. Talk to your puppy every step of the way using encouraging tones. If she gets distracted stop talking momentarily. Once she’s back on track, return to supportive interaction. At the end of a successful walk, it’s time for treats and plenty of loving.
- Add new commands – Over time, extend the length of your walk and the training you provide during it. Practice “sit” when you meet a friend, for example. Practice “release” or “drop it” when your puppy picks up something unhealthy from the ground.
Success with Leash Training a Puppy
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Between training sessions, work on building your relationship with your pooch. The tone of your voice tells your dog that she’s doing a good job for her pack leader.
As with any other aspect of behavior training, you will need to set aside time, and you need to be consistent and patient with your puppy.
By using praise and love with your Bichon, you’ll find that she responds positively. Soon you’ll be happily and safely walking your dog around the neighborhood or the local dog park, without the familiar tugging on her leash.