Leash training begins with leadership (ie, yours)

Question: We have a 12-week-old puppy and we’ve started to acquaint him with his leash, but it’s not going that smoothly. He grabs it, won’t come along with us sometimes, and pulls all sorts of stuff. How can we get him on the right track with the leash?

Answer: Right now your puppy doesn’t fully understand the leash because he’s a baby. Because of that, it’s important to remain patient overall, and start with baby steps. There is a very powerful message communicated with the leash and here’s why: Wolves, your dog’s first cousin, spend most of their time patrolling their territory.

And when they’re on “patrol,” the pack leader’s responsibility is the safety and togetherness of the pack. Everybody stays together. No one strays off to sniff random bushes, pee on a tree, or chase lizards, and nobody gets ahead of the pack leader. The domestic dog is hardwired on a primal level to understand this dynamic. For you it’s a walk, but for your little urban wolf, he comes to see this exercise as “being on patrol in his territory with his leader.” This is an inherent awareness but we have to follow some basic, consistent protocols to restimulate this basic understanding.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *