There are few better cities for dog owners than Chicago. Dog walking abounds with the dog friendly parks and scenic streets. And who doesn’t want to have a loyal and loving canine pal in their apartment or home to, well, come home to? But to have a comfortable life with your pooch you need to have hassle free walks as a Chicago dog walker. There is no better time to start properly leash training your dog than when they are puppies. So to help bring you into the fold of the proper Chicago dog walkers, here are some tips to leash train your new puppy.
Step 1 – Puppies First Collar
Your dog will be spending a lot of time wearing a collar, whither for identification reasons or to have a place to attach the leash to. As soon as your new puppy is home you want him to start getting used to this Chicago dog walker tool. There’s no reason to get fancy with the collar, but something light weight and leather will be perfect for durability.
Slip the collar on while your pup is eating or playing so that he doesn’t become fixated on it or try and treat the collar like a toy. Chances are he’s probably going to try and get out of it (you were no different when you were a baby) so keep the collar comfortably snug and supervise to make sure your puppy doesn’t dislodge it and begin chewing it up.
As long as your dog is aware of the collar it’s important that you don’t take it off of him. Wait until he forgets about it before taking the collar off so you don’t instill bad habits.
Step 2 – Puppies First Leash
Leashes are soon to be an object that inspires happiness when your puppy is properly introduced to it. You want to gently introduce your puppy to the leash so that they do not associate it with fearful things and instead are happy to be on the leash. Nothing is more tiresome for Chicago dog walkers than a dog who does not want to be on a leash!
Buy a lightweight and thin leash for this. You won’t want anything fancy until your pup is used to the leash (and you don’t want an expensive leather leash to become a chew toy do you?) so simple leashes are the way to go. While home, clip the leash to his collar and let him get used to it under supervision. This will let your puppy become comfortable with having a leash on as well as the weight.
Step 3 – Puppies First Walk
With being properly introduced to your Chicago dog walking tools, it’s time to complete the experience! Your first few leash lessons will want to be quick and fun to give your puppy the right idea about Chicago dog walking and to not teach him that walks are grueling experiences.
Take a walk around your house to get your pup used to moving along with you. Hold the leash nice and easy with a little bit of slack. As your puppy follows at your side, be sure to positively reinforce the behavior. Praise, petting and even a few treats can go a long way in getting that picture of the ideal Chicago dog walker and his canine companion you want!
What is crucial to this training is that you must never continue walking when your puppy is yanking on the leash. Stop walking as soon as this begins and call him back to you, you must never yank your puppy along with you. Be sure to reward your pup when he comes back with praise. This will teach your pup that leash pulling won’t get him anywhere. While it may not feel or seem like a big deal now, consistent reinforcement of this will prevent your arm feeling like its being yanked from its socket by your 70 lb retriever later.
For the sudden ‘sitters,’ stop walking and call him to you until he arrives. Praise him for his effort and continue your walk with your puppy at your side.
Loose leash training is ideal for the very new puppy. The effort put in now will make all of the many dog walks later a much more pleasant experience! With consistent training and patience you will have an easy to walk canine that will be the envy of other Chicago dog walkers!
Puppy training is a lot of hard work and even as adults you can’t always be there when your dog needs you. That’s why Cruisin’ Canines makes it easy to get your dog outside with professional dog walkers and puppy visits to make sure your newest companion is comfortable, happy and healthy!