My puppy is 9 weeks old. So far everything seems to be going well except for one thing which I would like some advice on. He wears his collar all the time now with no problems but I can’t get him to accept wearing his leash. Every time I put it on him he fights it like crazy. I want to get him to wear it so I can walk him and train him. What would you suggest? I appreciate your help in this matter.
Great to hear from you! Here is some advice regarding the leash.
Introducing your puppy to the leash:
Get a delicious treat ready that your puppy loves, before you put the leash on. Then, put the leash on your puppy, give them the treat and let them drag the leash around without you holding on to it. Make sure you are watching carefully so they don’t get caught on something. Let them drag it around for a few minutes, then take it off and do another session later, gradually extending the time your puppy is wearing the leash. Whenever you put the leash on, give your puppy a nice treat so they start to associate the leash positively. Also when your puppy is excited about mealtime, put the leash on them right before feeding and let them eat with the leash on. When your puppy feels happy to put the leash on and is used to dragging it around you can move onto step two.
Pick up the leash now but do not pull on it or make it tight, instead follow your puppy around. You can encourage them to come towards you with food treats and praise them when they are walking with you. So, if your puppy sits with the leash on and you want to encourage them to walk, then use a food reward and entice them to come with you, do not pull them towards you with the leash. It is important that they not feel tension on their collar at this point and that there is always a loop in the leash. Keep the experience really pleasant for your puppy and be enthusiastic when they have the leash on. Over time, you can move away from your puppy, enticing them to come with you and treating them when they do. Eventually, your puppy will understand that when they walk with you, they get a reward and it is fun for them!
*Tip: Always do training sessions when you are feeling calm. If you are tired and cranky your puppy will get signals that you are not happy with them and the training experience can be confusing to them. Whenever you feel yourself get frustrated with your puppy try to take a break and begin again when you feel up to it.
-Let me know how that goes and if you need anything else! Keep in touch and have fun with your new pup!