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Help Please, Starting walking on leash training

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Hi All,

My soon to be 12 week old BC pup, Duddley, will be ready to start going outside and into the general public shortly. I would like to start walking on the leash training and would really appreciate any tips and advice available. I understand he is a pup and want to take my time and get it right.

He has been socialising with friends and seems to be quite calm about meeting new people. I have been picking him up and introducing him to new people then putting him down to go to them if he chooses. Other dogs barking in the distance always grabs his attention and he will often bark back, after running back to me for protection of course.

Anyway, I don't want to prattle on about how wonderful he is ( I do really) so any help will be much appreciated......Brian

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Take yummy treats along with you on the walk. Or, better yet, take him for his first walk before breakfast and carry his kibble in your pocket with you. Whenever he is by your side  tell him how good he is and give him a treat. If he walks nicely with a loose leash, even for a few feet, praise and give treat. If he surges ahead and pulls on the leash, abruptly turn around and go the other way. When he is at your side or nicely in front again, treat. No need for corrective jerks on the leash, which I advise against, no need for corrective words. Just action and consequence. So the pup learns: If I walk nicely along I get to go where I want and I get treats. If I try to pull my person along I don't get to go where I want.

Running back to you is another thing to treat. If he has the habit of coming to you when something is new and different that is a good thing. 

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Thanks for the reply D'Elle much appreciated. I have not actually left my property with him yet. So far he is a little fearful of the lead so I spend a short time holding the lead and petting him as he sits next to me ( reward the calmness). When I attach the lead he is quite accepting but sits still and does not walk when asked to. last night I encouraged him to take his first steps on the lead by offering some treat in front of him and walking slowly. Hooray!! he did follow and was praised and given the treat. Only a few steps but progress I think.

Does this sound like I am on the right track?

Thanks again, Brian

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Yes, you are on the right track. I would practice what you are doing, every day, until he feels comfortable being on the leash going around the yard for at least a couple of weeks before you take him off your property. His reluctance on the leash actually gives you a good opportunity to train loose leash walking and/or a heel position, because you can do the one step/one treat method to keep him close to you. In this method, he learns that being close to you when on the leash is a desirable position to maintain, because he is getting rewarded all the time.

I would recommend that you start on training recall as well. I like to use a whistle and train the dog to come to a whistle sound as well as my voice, because the whistle will carry farther and be easier to hear if the dog ever gets lost outdoors. I use a slim shrill high pitched whistle. Just blow it in a short pattern that will be the pattern you always use, then call the dog by name, and when he comes he gets a treat. Do indoors, outdoors, several times a day. On leash, off leash, use it to call him to dinner, etc.

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