Puppies of any breed are little scientists wanting to explore anything that comes their way just like human babies.
So, as you’ve already experienced, you’ll have to do more than just put them on a leash and hope to get them to walk beside you.
They have their little minds where energy pops and jolts different desires to act as childish as possible.
To get them to walk on your whims, here are some puppy walking tips from the time I used to walk-train them.
- Before the walk, start introducing your puppy to different stimuli including leash and collars.
- Help him release all his pent-up energy earlier.
- Let him walk at his pace out in the yard.
- Allow sniffing and other dog things.
- Focus on hybrid walks.
- Use a harness.
- Use positive reinforcement.
- Use toys.
- Maintain distance from distractions.
- Use a shock collar as a positive reinforcement if things don’t work out.
- Give your puppy time to adjust to the new experience.
- Listen to your puppy.
12 Tips To Teach Your Puppy How to Walk With You
Below are some tips that will help you teach your puppy how to walk with confidence.
1. Introduce Your Puppy To Surroundings At The Earliest
As I said before, puppies are scientists.
They will get excited at everything and anything their genes find worthy or not.
So, to get that excitement a little under control, let him experience different things that you think will come up on the way.
Be it squirrels, other dogs, butterflies, or cars, let him see, smell, or bark at them from a distance. Mind you, with dogs and squirrels, you may have to be very careful.
I used to ask my friends for help to bring their puppy-trained dogs over for a small party.
There and then, I’ll let the puppies mingle with the bigger members.
Introduce leashes and collars to your dog early on as well.
2. Release His Energy Before The Walk
While it almost seems impossible to empty that fireball of energy, you could do a little to get rid of some of it.
Give him his favorite toy to play with, let him do the thing that tires him out, or just play fetch before you hit the street.
It will help you deal with what’s left of your energy. It will also lead to a calmer puppy once you’re back.
No more chewing on the sofa!
3. Let Him Walk At His Pace
Even the little energy left in him after playing will be enough to act as nitro to his walk.
What I do is let the puppy walk on a leash in the backyard at his pace.
Now and then, I try to make him listen to me by applying the techniques I’ve shared below.
I make sure that this walk acts as a bridge to the one we’ll have on the street where the margin for errors is very low.
4. Let Him Do Dog Things
He’s a dog, after all, so let him do some of those things without admonitions or punishments.
I detest owners who use these strategies to get their dogs to listen to them.
What they fail to understand is that fear makes a timid dog, not a healthy companion.
Their psychological health deteriorates over time.
Whenever I take my dogs out, I let them sniff the grass, bark a little at a thing or two, but not much, and generally enjoy the outdoors.
I only intervene when I feel the animal is going too much on the path of his wishes.
5. Focus On Hybrid Walks
These are the types of walks that are part training and part leisure.
You want to train your puppy to walk beside you to a destination but also let him explore the outdoors just as I explained above.
6. Use A Harness
Many believe that a harness encourages a dog to pull on a leash.
I believe that’s true for dogs that are untrained before they’re out walking.
A harness is a very reliable management tool and when it’s on a dog, you could better control it.
The same goes for your puppy. That’s particularly why I told you to introduce leashes, harnesses, and collars before the walk.
7. Use Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement will work better than any puppy walking tip anywhere in the world.
By that, we trainers mean that you associate treats or other currency as a reward for their good behavior.
For example, before the walk, you must train the puppy to do things you like for a treat.
That could be walking by your side, even for a brief time, fetching something, or coming back to you as you slightly pull on the leash.
8. Use Toys
Toys are another currency your puppy could get used to.
I don’t consider it a currency sometimes but a management tool just as a harness.
On the road, I take my dog’s favorite toys and let him play tug of war with me every once in a while.
That takes him away from the distraction, reduces his excitement, and overall calms him.
9. Maintain A Distance From Distractions
When you’re out, the puppy will bark at people and things.
It will try to get to the further side to check out where that eerie sound is coming from, while you know it’s a squirrel. Damn those little things.
Since you know your neighborhood, walk him where these distractions are less. But if you can’t help, keep a distance from the trees, or any other distraction.
When he tries to get closer to it, introduce a treat or the toy and try to get him away from it as far as possible.
10. Use A Pinch Or A Shock Collar
There are puppies and then there are puppies straight from hell.
They are stubborn, adamant to follow their will, and indifferent enough to ignore your calls.
Despite introducing marker training or positive reinforcement, if the puppy doesn’t budge, it’s time to get him his first training collar.
Now you may think they’re inhumane.
They are tools and it’s up to the owner how they use them.
Neither a pinch collar nor a shock collar hurts a dog if you don’t want them to.
Pinch collars don’t have sharp prongs and the shock collars come with beeps and vibrations, too.
I use them in combination with positive reinforcement to get the puppies to listen to me.
Trust me, I’ve never looked back.
11. Give Your Puppy Time To Adjust To The New Experiences
Right from the start to walking the puppy, there are many intermediate steps that you can’t ignore.
You have to understand that the whole process takes time.
There are no shortcuts to it. If you try to apply any shortcut, trust me, that will only hurt your puppy one way or another.
So, take things slowly, and let the animal adjust to the new experiences for the sake of growing into a well-behaved dog.
12. Listen To Your Puppy
Those little bones could only take so much as they are designed to.
In the whole process, make sure that you listen to the cues of the puppy. If he’s yelping after some time, check with him.
See whether there’s a splinter in his tiny paw, or he’s just plain tired.
Remember that his bones are not ready yet to take prolonged stress. Walk him over a distance that he feels comfortable walking.
Listen to your puppy.
Puppy Walking Tips – Conclusion
Puppies are little bundles of energy.
Before walking yours, make sure you release some of it.
During the walk, let him sniff out things and be a dog for a while.
Use a harness to train him and maintain a distance from distractions.
All in all, however, positive reinforcement will train him in a way you’ve never seen before.