Want to setup a bee-hive at your home? Get started here.
Puppy Leash Training Tips
Feb 1, 2022

Puppy Leash Training Tips

The process of training may seem overwhelming at first, but teaching your pup to walk on a leash is not as complicated as you might think! This valuable time spent together will help you bond with your puppy and ensure they are well socialized. Training your puppy properly will ensure that you can safely and comfortably take them out in public around other dogs and children, and get the most enjoyment out of your walks together!


Your puppy won’t learn everything in one day. Make sure to be persistent and consistent with their training every day. Dogs are motivated to please their owners and will seek out opportunities for praise and rewards once they understand your expectations. Bad habits can generally be prevented by making sure you address them as soon as you see them forming. Every time you make allowances for poor behavior, it will be more and more difficult for your puppy to understand your expectations!

Developing A Reward System

It is a good idea to stock up on small treats your puppy can chew easily and eat quickly, so as not to distract from the training. Treats will create a positive association with desired behaviors if used as a reward. Just make sure that treats don’t make up more than 10% of your pup's caloric intake to maintain proper health and nutrition. As your puppy continues to master skills, you can ween them off treats, so they don't expect good behavior to be rewarded in all situations.

Choosing the Right Equipment and Getting Started

Neck collars are a good choice for dogs who don’t pull, but for those that do, harnesses will prevent injury to the neck and windpipe. The leash is also less likely to get tangled under your puppy’s feet when they're wearing a harness. Starting with a lighter leash will help get your puppy accustomed to the feeling of wearing one. Once you begin taking your dog out and about, it is important to make sure the leash isn’t so light that they break it at the sight of a squirrel! It is best to avoid retractable leashes during the training phase to maintain control over where your puppy walks and explores.

When putting a leash on your puppy the first time, you can drop your end of the leash and allow them to roam around the house, making sure they don't get tangled up. Keeping the leash short (4-6 feet) while walking outside will prevent your puppy from being able to roam far in front of you. Making sure your puppy walks slightly behind or beside you will also encourage obedient behavior.

If your puppy becomes anxious and excitable at the sight of the leash, stand still with the leash in hand until they calm down, and model proper behavior for your pup by remaining calm and patient throughout the walk. If your puppy tugs on the leash, stop walking and stand still instead of yanking them back. Your puppy will start to understand that tugging at the leash will not get them anywhere. If your puppy sits and refuses to walk, take a few steps away and call them to you, offering a treat. Repeat this process if your pup resists again. It is important to establish a pace that is comfortable for both of you for an enjoyable walk and injury prevention.

If your puppy needs to relieve themselves, you can give them more leash to allow them to find the right spot. It is a good idea to reward your pup the first time, but not if they make a stop shortly after. Otherwise, your puppy will continue to frequently stop and mark territory instead of doing their business all at once, making for more difficult walks.

Training Frequency

Walking your dog frequently, ideally a few times a day, will make sure that they learn quickly and don’t forget what they learned from the previous training session. Puppies have short attention spans, so keep trainings short at first. Practicing a command for about 5 minutes at a time is a good place to start.


While it is a good idea to begin leash training in a calm and quiet environment such as the home or backyard, make sure not to limit training to these spaces as your puppy continues to grow and learn. Your puppy will likely need to learn to behave properly in all sorts of environments, such as on the street, in the park, and around other dogs and children. Be prepared for the different potential distractions in different places. Remain calm and model proper conduct to your puppy, continuing to reward them for good behavior. It is also important to make sure everyone in the family takes part in training. Just one family member making allowances for poor behavior can slow and derail training progress, as this will confuse your puppy’s expectations.

View our wide selection of dog walking accessories and training supplies here!