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How To Leash Train a Puppy

how to leash train a puppy - golden retriever walking on leash with happy smileIf you’ve been struggling and are wondering how to leash train a puppy, I’m about to make your life easier by providing you with some helpful tips.

Puppies are joyful little bundles of exuberance, and adding one to the family roster is a sure-fire way to brighten any household. However, puppies do require patience from the outset as they seldom obey the rules you set out for them.

They may be tiring, they may be the bane of your slippers and socks, but your puppies are worth every minute of your time.

Tips and Tricks

Collar before leash

Remember, learning how to leash train a dog of any age takes bucketfuls of patience, but the earlier you start the easier it is. The first step for your little pup while he’s still small is to help him become accustomed to wearing a collar–this is an important component of a leash after all.

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Start with a lightweight nylon collar that is easily removed by you, not him!  Maybe try one with a buckle or snap.

Place and distract

There’s no two ways about it, your little pup is going to scratch, kick, roll and get into some worrying positions, all in aid of getting this awful thing off his neck. That’s understandable. Puppies want freedom to tear around the house without some awkward collar catching on furniture and slowing them down.

At first, go for 15 – 30 minute stretches to help them to grow accustomed to the collar, but under no circumstances must you take the collar off while your puppy is attempting to remove it. This will only encourage him to learn that by rejecting the collar, it will soon be removed–and puppies learn very fast!

For anyone learning how to leash train a puppy, their first role is to place and distract. Put the collar on your puppy, and step back. Within seconds, he could be writhing on the ground attempting to remove it. At this point you can either ignore him or distract him by –

  • Putting him on your lap and stroking him
  • Playing with a toy
  • Feeding him
  • Taking him out into the garden.

Once the little fella is collar trained, after a few days, it’s time for the leash.

How to leash train a puppy once he’s used to the collar

Okay, you’re almost there. Take a deep breath and move onto the leash conditioning stage. This part of the training works much the same as the stage involving the collar. Your precious pup needs time to adjust and understand that this snake-like thing hanging off his collar is harmless.

Leash conditioning

The next part of your pup’s training is the easiest part of learning how to leash train a puppy, as you simply attach the leash to his collar and let him drag it around the house to his heart’s content. Invest in a lightweight leash as he’ll be doing an awful lot of dragging at first as he tries to figure out what it is. Walk with your pup at this point, just to make sure the leash doesn’t get caught on something.

Time for walkies

how to leash train a puppy - graphic silhouette figure with leashBy this point, your puppy is accustomed to the leash and doesn’t seem bothered by it. Perfect. It’s now time to practice using the leash as partners. This is where you take advantage of your pup’s natural inclination to follow you everywhere.

Take the other end of the leash and begin walking around the house. If your puppy trots along with you, and the leash is loose, praise him and offer him treats as a reward. This reinforces the behaviour and each time you do, your pup will grow more accepting of the leash.


how to leash train a puppy dog- cartoon beagle pulling at leashNow, this is where you might be tempted to start a tug of war–don’t! If you find that your puppy is pulling against the leash, resist the urge to pull him back or yank. Instead, call him to you and praise him when he comes. The trick is to reinforce the right kind of behaviour, not the wrong kind.

If you pull, he will too. If you stop and do nothing, you teach him that the fun and games are over until he goes to you and receives praise.


leash train a puppy - silhoutte of owner walking dog on loose leashNow that you’ve learned how to leash train a puppy, you are armed and ready to take on your little pup and show him you are the boss.

Remember, the earlier you train him the better, not least because he’ll soon be twice the size and may be taking you for walks–not the other way around!

Freddy and I hope we have answered your question ‘how to leash train a puppy?’

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You’ll be so glad you made the effort, and you’ll have a much better friend.

how to leash train a puppy - Freddy SigFreddy says ‘Woof!’