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To get your puppy comfortable with his leash, clip the leash onto the collar or harness. Once attached, take a few steps in front of him while holding the leash in your hand. Say the words “Let’s go.” If your puppy starts pulling away or freezes, offer him a treat a few inches in front of his nose.

Keep the food just far enough away that he will have to take one step forward to get to it. The second the first step is taken, mark the forward movement with “Yes” or a click from your clicker and give him the treat for his bravery.

Repeat the exercise, but this time place the treat far enough away that he will need to take two or three steps to reach the wonderful treat you are offering. Coax and encourage him to move forward. Do not pull or force him to move forward with the leash. Once he does take those steps, mark and reward the forward movement quickly. Repeat the exercise many times until your puppy is joyfully waiting for the next treat and willing to take more and more steps to reach it.

Once the puppy realizes the leash is a good thing, then it is time for a real walk. Always have some treats ready to use as rewards in case he gets a little concerned along the way. If you do not want him to pull you when on a leash, do not pull him. If he starts biting on the leash, ignore the leash biting and keep on walking. It is better to replace a leash or two now than many leashes later in his life. When your puppy RECEIVES ATTENTION from acting out when biting on the leash, THEN THE BEHAVIOUR WILL INCREASE IN INTENSITY AND DURATION. If the leash biting is IGNORED, it will diminish in intensity and duration and it will stop.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

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