Puppy Obedience and Leash Training

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Your puppy needs clear and consistent boundaries, and you should start puppy obedience training as soon as she arrives. Puppy training should be fun for you and your puppy, and the most effective way of doing this is in short, frequent sessions.

Trust and consistent routines are very important to helping your puppy feel confident that she can rely on you and it is important that your entire family use the same signals to reassure her, thereby reducing the chance of confusion.

Positive rewards and encouraging good behavior, rather than punishing her with physical force, will help you foster a strong bond, mutual respect and a rewarding relationship.

At the age of 3–4 months your puppy will begin to respond to her name. You can introduce her to basic puppy obedience training and simple exercises to help her learn commands such as “come”, “sit”, “wait” and “down”.

Be patient and consistent; your puppy will be easily distracted, and it may take time before she fully understands what you require her to do. Practice repetitions in a calm environment and use positive reinforcement.

BASIC PUPPY OBEDIENCE COMMANDS

LAY DOWN

Hold the treat in front of her nose, slowly move it toward the ground and in between her front paws. This should encourage her to lie down to get to the treat. As soon as she lies down, give her the treat, praising her simultaneously, and apply the verbal command ‘down’. The positive and rewarding methods you have already employed can be reinforced with consistent sound, such as a clicking device which will help build her self–confidence and help her make good decisions. He will learn to associate good behavior with a sound rather than solely relying on your guidance.

SIT

Hold a small treat in front of her close to her nose (do not allow the puppy to snatch the treat from your hand) and move it slowly back over her eyes so her nose rises up. Her body should go into the sit position naturally. As soon as she sits give her the treat, praising her simultaneously, and apply the verbal command “sit”.

LEARNING TO WALK ON A LEASH

Your puppy should be accustomed to her collar but will need to be introduced to being on a leash gradually. It’s a good idea to start in the house or backyard.

  • Place some treats in her food bowl a few feet away and allow her to walk on the leash alongside you to the bowl, gradually increasing the distance.
  • Try a treat in your hand next to the puppy and walk along with a loose leash, encouraging her to walk forward by using the treat as a lure.
  • Do not allow her to snatch the food and only reward her when she is walking with you in the required position. 

For more information on obedience, check out this video from EUKANUBA™ and Canine Companions for Independence: