When & How To Start Leash Training A Puppy?
Opens a new window
You want to take your new puppy out for a stroll; now, all you need to do is train him to walk on a leash. Watch as Expert Pet Trainer Kathy Santo show you how to walk your new family member.
Hi, I'm Kathy Santo with IAMS, and today we're going to talk about how to leash train your puppy. Once your puppy is around eight weeks old, you can begin leash training. The first thing you'll need is a collar or harness that fits your puppy appropriately, never too lose or too tight. You should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your puppy's neck. When deciding between using a collar or a harness, there are a few things to consider. Does your puppy have any respiratory issues? Does your puppy pull when being walked on leash? Use a harness or head halter if your puppy pulls on leash, or has respiratory problems. Before you can jump right into training, you'll need to get your puppy used to wearing a collar and having the added weight of a leash. The best thing to do is have him wear the collar or harness and leash around the house, so he becomes used to the feeling. Be sure to keep an eye on your puppy to make sure he doesn't get trapped, caught, or accidentally injured. If your puppy is noticeably struggling, or looks scared, start off with a shoelace, or a small piece of rope, so he can get used to dragging only a little something around. This will help him get used to the added presence and weight of a collar and leash. Now for walking on a leash. The leash should have some slack, because when you put pressure on a dog, their natural reflex is to move or pull in the opposite direction. If you find that your puppy is afraid of walking with the leash, try placing treats along the route you know you'll be walking, to give him the notion that good times are ahead. That way, he learns to focus on what's ahead of him with curiosity, and not fear. As you begin walking your puppy, you will notice that your pace will sometimes have to be faster than you expect to retain slack in the leash. The more you work with your puppy, the quicker you'll be able to train him to slow down, while maintaining the needed slack. As you walk around, begin incorporating specific commands for your puppy. Basic commands include sit, stay, and heel, or let's go. Do your best to remain consistent with your commands, and guide your puppy through the learning process. For example, when you say sit, guide your puppy to sit until the command is recognized by the puppy. When you say heel, make sure your puppy is obeying your command before you start walking again. When your puppy starts to move ahead too quickly, come to a complete stop and wait for him to cease pulling before going forward. Practice his stop and go, never allowing your puppy to dictate your pace. If your puppy continues to pull on his leash, ask him to change directions, while saying 'turn.' This will condition your puppy to always look for you for direction, instead of him feeling like he can dictate where the two of you go next. I also like to run backward, and then switch to a different direction. This gets your puppy excited about chasing you. Remember to reward your puppy when he does the right thing, so that he begins to understand what you're asking him for. If your puppy still isn't catching on, try upgrading your treats, practicing in an area with fewer distractions, or working on more basic commands. Leash training takes time and patience. Both you and your puppy may get frustrated during the learning process. Do your best to avoid tugging. It's not fair to correct them for something they don't understand. As your dog enters adolescence, and clearly knows the difference between right and wrong, it's OK to give a slight occasional tug on his leash, if he insists on being difficult. If you remain patient and consistent with your puppy, he'll be leash trained in no time. I'm Kathy Santo with IAMS, and I hope that you found this helpful as you welcome your new addition to your family.
- Puppy Basics: Selecting the Right Food
- Is Your Puppy Ready for Adult Dog Food?
- The First 6 Months: Puppy Feeding Timeline
- DHA and Your Puppy
adp_related_article_block20 453 YOUR --spice-- MAY ALSO LIKE …
- adp_description_block497Nutrition for Large- and Giant-Breed Adult Dogs
Opens a new window
Healthy joints and proper weight are especially important for dogs that grow to be more than 50 pounds. But not all large- and giant-breed adult dogs have the same nutritional needs. Is your dog getting proper exercise? Is she about to have puppies? Special conditions can dramatically affect your dog’s nutritional demands. Giving her a food specially formulated for her large size, life stage and activity level is the easiest way to make sure she’s getting the nutrients she needs.
Choosing a Food for Overall Health
To address the special needs of your large- or giant-breed dog, look for these features:
- Less fat to help maintain an ideal body condition for less joint stress
- Vitamin-rich fish oils for healthy skin, shiny coat and overall health
- Essential vitamins and minerals to help support the immune system and help maintain good health
- High-quality animal-based protein sources to help maintain muscle tone
- A moderately fermentable fiber source, such as beet pulp, to maintain intestinal health, enhance your dog's ability to absorb nutrients, and reduce backyard cleanup
- A carbohydrate blend to help sustain energy by maintaining normal blood sugar levels
These components are key to good nutrition. Look for them in treats, wet dog food, or dry dog food, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult Large Breed.
Maintaining Healthy Joints and Cartilage
Joint health is a big concern for owners of large- and giant-breed dogs. A large- or giant-breed formula that contains high-quality protein can help nourish healthy joints. Vitamins and minerals help promote the production of cartilage. Also, keeping your dog at a healthy weight will help minimize joint stress.
Guarding Against Weight Gain
Dogs with lower activity levels and dogs that have been neutered or spayed are all prone to weight gain. Controlling your dog’s weight is an important step toward protecting against the health effects of excess weight, such as diabetes or joint health problems. If you use a weight-management food, look for these characteristics:
- A reduced fat level that still offers essential nutrients for skin and coat health
- L-carnitine, a key nutrient that helps burn fat and maintain muscle mass during weight loss
- Special carbohydrate blends that help maintain energy while managing weight
- Vitamin-rich fish oils for overall health
Providing Nutrition During Pregnancy
Pregnant dogs have substantial nutrition requirements. Starting in the seventh week of her pregnancy, a mother dog will need to increase her energy intake up to 50% by the time she gives birth and increase it even more when she starts nursing her puppies. Because she may lose her appetite at times, it's important that she eats a nutrient-dense food. A complete, balanced puppy formula can give her the extra nutrients she needs. But avoid puppy food created for large and giant breeds; these formulas contain specially adjusted levels of energy and minerals that may not be sufficient for a pregnant or nursing dog.
Switching to a Mature Diet
Dogs who grow to be more than 50 pounds are considered mature or senior at age 5 or 6, which is earlier than small-breed dogs. So, it’s critical to make a proactive transition to a specially formulated mature diet, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Mature Adult Large Breed, to help keep your dog healthy and active as she ages.
adp_related_article_block175 305 YOUR --spice-- MAY ALSO LIKE …