How to Teach a Puppy to Walk on a Lead

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How to teach a puppy to walk on a lead

So one of the problems that crop up when I go to clients who’ve booked the puppy sessions “How to teach a puppy to walk on a lead” well that and toilet training, but that’s a different topic for another day. This is what you’ll learn by the end of this post:

  • CHAPTER 1 – What collar to use and how to correctly fit it and why it’s important to get your puppy used to a collar
  • CHAPTER 2 – What lead to use and why
  • CHAPTER 3 – Easy recall training
  • CHAPTER 4 – Teaching a puppy to walk to heel
  • CHAPTER 5 – Resources on other methods of training walking to heel

Another important aspect of puppy training is puppy socialization. In simple terms, it teaches your pet to be well behaved in the presence of other dogs and humans. It will also prevent any aggressive behaviour when your dog is confronted with a new or unusual situation. This type of training is very important and is something that needs to be taught in the company of other dogs, young and old. If you are interested we would recommend performing a Google search for puppy socialization classes near me to see if they are classes offered nearby to where you live


So Puppy Training 101…

When can I let my puppy go on a walk? I say usually a week or two after the last vaccination.

How much exercise is enough? Rule of thumb 5 minutes for every month until 6 months. Now with puppies play is good enough exercise for their growing bones, but socializing is also a must, so short walks, to begin with, are fine.

Why is my puppy scared of her collar and lead? Well it’s this unusual thing, they’re not scared but just unsure, and believe it or not a collar restricts them in doing what they want as you have the control.

First things first

This is a must! Get your puppy used to a collar and having a collar on and the feeling of it around there neck, it may take a couple of days but try it bit by bit, maybe 10 minutes here and there, and then once you and your dog are confident they have it on all the time.

What collar to use? Well at one dog training we mainly use half check collars, now half check collar comes off the success of choke chains, but with half check collars, it’s mainly a normal collar but with a chain…you’re training them to the sound of the chain tightening but the chain does not tighten around their neck, just to the width of the actual collar. We’ll get to the training in a minute.

I will note though the half check is a collar to be worn ONLY on walks, Have a normal clip collar with chip details on all the time.


This is a must! Get your puppy used to a collar


teach a puppy to walk on a lead


Time to introduce the puppy to the lead

Ok so once your puppy has gotten used to their collar(s) it’s time to introduce the lead. it’s good to be as positive and welcoming as you can, vocal praise and physical praise around the neck when putting the lead on is great as it will make it a positive and second distract from the fact you’re putting on the lead.

Don’t worry! Your puppies’ natural reaction most likely will be to jump around and or bite the lead. this is the time to check on the collar so a quick jerk motion with the lead to pull the chain briefly, to get your puppies’ attention.

Related post: How to train a puppy: Everything you need to know


Always start by practicing inside before going outside


At one dog training, we use Halti training 6ft leads (Link is not my Amazon shop) I love these leads as it has multiple ways to clip and use See below video. I usually like the setup where I’ll clip on a part to the half check collar and then hold one part of the lead in my left as I walk on my left and then have the handle in my right hand…This way I have full control of my dog or clients’ dogs.


Perfect time to practice recall

So after your puppy has gotten used to both the collar and lead, now you can have some fun, Here’s what we’re going to do:

  1. Grab collar and bend down (this makes you more inviting)
  2. Call over your puppy in an exciting and positive voice and attach the lead
  3. You may have to use treats the first few times
  4. When your puppy comes to you give big vocal and physical praise and treat.
  5. Move away and then repeat this process
  6. If your puppy does not come over, then grab the lead while calling their name and check the collar on the lead, and say their name and “come” command.

Practice this for 5 minutes 2 – 3 times a day and before walks. This will get your puppy used to the collar and make it a fun thing while at the same time practicing easy recall in a safe environment.


Time to teach a puppy to walk on a lead

So you now know what collar and lead to use, why it’s important to get your puppy used to the collar and lead and you have an easy way to practice recall. Now on to the good stuff…How to teach a puppy to walk on a lead.

Check this info graph on all of the above points…

teach a puppy to walk on a lead

Now that was a tasty Infographic, but everything good has got to come to an end.. so just to clarify:

The Do’s

  • Make it a short and positive experience
  • Praise your puppy
  • Treat your puppy
  • Let your puppy sniff and look around

The don’ts

  • Don’t drag or force your puppy in any direction
  • Don’t use your puppies name in a negative way
  • Don’t walk your puppy if you’re feeling stressed


Training a puppy or dog to walk to heel if you don’t know these simple steps can be frustrating and I was in the situation before I became a dog trainer, There are many other ways of training, and below I have compiled a resource list that will help you more on how to teach a puppy to walk on a lead:


Ok so now you have the tools to be able to walk your puppy on a lead without issues, the next step once your puppy is old enough to go on long walks, is to find adventures for you and your dog. If you live in the Derbyshire area you may like the post – Dog Walks Near Me – Derbyshire Area

If you’re looking for dog training in Derby and East Midlands area’s then get in touch.

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Until next time

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