In my article, Pitbull Puppy Training Tips – Obedience Training, I referenced leash training.
Leash training is the core of my pitbull puppy training tips, because it establishes your dominance in the relationship with your pitbull puppy.
I know dominance sounds like a horrible thing, but it’s not what you think.
Pitbull Puppy Training Tips – Leash Walking is the First Step
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When people think dominance, they think overbearing and heavy handed. That’s not the case when used in the context of a dog/human relationship. Dogs are pack animals, and dominance in this case simply means that you are viewed as the alpha. You are the one your dog should look to for direction and instruction. If your dog thinks it’s in charge, you’ve already lost.
That’s why leash walking is the core of my pitbull puppy training series. Leash training firmly and clearly establishes your role as the alpha in the relationship. A properly leash trained do will look to you for direction and follow your lead. That’s what is required for any successful training.
First and foremost, get a collar for your pitbull puppy immediately after you get it. Your puppy needs to get used to the feel of the collar. It’s the firs step in leash training. Although I’ve said in past pitbull puppy training tips articles that pitbulls can be stubborn, it doesn’t mean you should use a heavy-handed training approach. It just means that you have to outsmart your fuzzy bundle of joy.
Related: Pitbull Puppy Training Tips – Banish Biting
After your puppy has gotten used to wearing a collar it’s time to get out the leash. You won’t be walking your puppy quite yet. Just like with the collar, your puppy needs to get used to the least. Begin by giving your puppy leash time in a a large open room in your house. Leash time is simply allowing your puppy to walk around the room with the leash attached to the collar. This is important because I’ve seen puppies who were actually afraid of the leash. You need to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Now it’s time to start implementing some pitbully puppy training tips in regards to the leash. After your puppy has gotten used to the leash and collar, it’s time to start the walking process. Again, use that same large room in your home, and be sure you have a ton of treats on hand.
You NEVER want to do the old school “drag until they walk” method. This just creates a dog that constantly pulls at the leash. Instead, begin taking a few steps forward. If your puppy begins to follow, immediately give it a treat. Enforce that instinct to follow you. As soon as your puppy stops following, stop moving. Don’t drag it.
After a few minutes, repeat the process. As soon as your puppy starts moving forward, give it a treat. You want to reinforce that positive correlation between following you on the leash and getting a treat.
After you get your puppy used to walking, you have to teach it to stop. Stopping is just as important a part of pitbull puppy training tips on leash walking as getting them to move. Walk your puppy and stop, if you’re puppy doesn’t stop, get it’s attention. As soon as it stops, give it a treat. Repeat the entire process in much the same way as you did with walking until your puppy gets the idea that when you walk, it walks, and when you stop, it stops.
Last, but not least in my pitbull puppy training tips on leash walking is teaching your pup to heel. Heel is important, because it keeps your dog from darting out into the street as you walk.
Begin by walking with your pup on a tight leash. Give it only enough lead to walk comfortably next to you. As you walk, repeat the command “heel”. Get it used to walking on the tight leash. The next step is to give it a little more leash. A foot is good. Now begin walking your pup again, giving the “heel” command. If it stays next to you, give it a treat. If it tries to charge forward give a GENTLE tug on the leash and say no.
Repeat this process until your dog reliably walks next to you with slack on the leash. You can then begin to give it more leash, repeating the process, until your dog knows that no matter how much lead it has, it should always walk next to you when promted.
Pitbull Puppy Training Tips on Leash Walking Offer Safety and Security
If you follow these pitbull puppy training tips on leash walking, you should have no trouble teaching your pup to walk reliably on leash. That’s important because the relationship you establish while training it to walk on leash is the relationship that carries to all other aspects of training. If you use these pitbull puppy training tips and start your relationship out on the right foot, you can look forward to the safety and security of a well-trained dog in the future.
Do you have any pitbull puppy training tips you’d like us to share? Tell us in the comments!