This concept of changing one variable at a time is really profound. In fact, you will be able to apply it in all aspects of your puppy’s training for the rest of his life. A leash in harness is the most ideal way to control your dog’s surroundings and that’s an essential part of teaching a new dog.
I recommend actually attaching the leash to you. That way you can more easily supervise your dog and you can have many more impromptu training sessions with them.
For example, you are much more likely to pick up on your dog’s cues that he has to go outside or if he starts chewing on a shoe, you’re right there to redirect his attention back on you.
If you didn’t know much about teaching dog, you might break this down to three steps: put a harness on your dog, put a leash on your dog and start walking.
To do this right, you need to actually break it down into about 10 or 11 different steps. The steps are really easy and that is the whole point.
Puppies haven’t really experienced a lot in life yet and it can be really thrown off it, you just put a harness on them without easing them to it.
Introduce a leash to your puppy
The very first thing you need to do is making sure that you have lots of time with your new puppy as well as really good puppy food.
You will definitely want to have a really strong currency. And my advice for this is some tiny pieces of real chicken. While your dog is still in the communication building phase under four months of age so, you have to really rely on treats to keep their attention on you so that it buys you time to teach real language and real phrases to your dog.
Now, after letting him/her know that you have good treats, let’s introduce the harness by placing it on the ground. You just want to let him know that there’s something new in his environment.
If he/she goes closer to the harness and harness, let them feel free to explore it and smell it. Then, create some positive associations by moving the harness around. It will make sound and attract your puppy’s attention. If he/she is interested in it without being scared or stressed, that’s a good sign. Move on to the next step!
Use the harness touch your puppy
Pick the harness up and let your dog sniff it. Treat him for any good reaction. Now, use the harness to touch your puppy and might your dog will back off a little bit, but that’s a normal sign. He’s interested, kind of “what’s that all about?”. Let him know that it’s okay by treating him one more piece.
Wrap him/her around
Next, try to wrap the harness around your dog gradually to see how he react to it. If there’s any sign of worry or scared, immediately put the it down the ground and treat him. Continue this step until he/she feels comfortable to let you clip the harness on his/her body. Don’t forget to treat him a big piece.
After wearing a harness, might your dog not like it right away, you will more likely to have a dog that’s accepting of these actions in the future. You can try to distract him from biting at the harness and let him know it’s cool, forget about that.
Attaching the leash
Now, it’s time for the most challenging of this exercise and that’s actually attaching the leash.
If you put a leash on a young puppy rudely, they are going to be panic and bucking and not really enjoy experience, which I guess you really want to avoid that.
Firstly, you should show him the leash here, let him investigate it. He might be a little bit apprehensive there. The next step will be touch it to the place where it hooks right on the harness just to let him know that it’s going to happen sometimes. Just desensitizing him to it!
Remember to treat him well after each step successfully.
Now, let’s take a significant step of actually attaching the leash but you want to do your best here to make sure that there’s no tension on the leash either by him pulling or you inadvertently pulling.
That’s the part where dogs tend to be like “No, I don’t want to do it anymore!”. Just leave the leash on the ground, just so, he can understand that’s their and might he look at it like “Why is that dragging behind me. I walk and it moves”.
If your dog gets a little spooked, it’s the end of the world, just take a step back on your training, be a little extra patient as they work through this concept of being restrained. Let them run around and experience having the feeling of a leash dragging from him for this part of the training.
Initially, your puppy might be tempted to play with the leash or by data or playful drag it around. For now, you should tolerate this rather than being too strict because it’s much more important to make sure your puppy is having a great time while you introduce the leash.
Now, let’s pick up the leash and drop it just to let him know that can happen. Might seem so silly to break things down into such small steps, but, by doing so, we are increasing the odds that each step will be successful.
Next, pick up the leash and encourage your dog to walk around with you while the leash is attached. Taking advantage of treat or training toys in this case will be very effective if your dog seems not understand or not cooperate with you.
By this way, you can make him/her feel comfortable while walking with you and create a habit of walking following you, not walking away from you.
Always a little of tension on the leash and also keep his attention on you as well.
It’s your chance
And yeah, that’s all of this article. Try it out and don’t forget to let me know the result of your training course with your puppy, whether it’s good or bad, just leave your comment below that I can help you out if possible.
For more dog house training, kindly take a look at these articles:
- How to Crate Train a Puppy
- How to Potty Train a Puppy
- How to Stop Puppy Biting
- How to Teach Your Puppy to Do 6 Things in Minutes
Thanks a lot for spending time on my blog!