Leash

Your puppy's first leash should be lightweight and flexible. Let him drag it initially until he's used to the weight behind him. Don't worry if he picks up the leash and chews it; this is normal behavior. If he's destroying the leash, provide a suitable alternative for him to chew, and spray the leash with Bitter Apple. Once your puppy is comfortable with its weight, condition him to walk with you.

O Pick up the lead and follow him.

2 When he looks back at you, praise him, YES, and/or offer him a treat or toy. Continue to use rewards to encourage his focus when you hold the leash.

3 Gradually put pressure on the leash as you follow him.

4 Using a treat cup (see page 42) and enthusiastic movements and praise, begin to step away and encourage him to follow you. Use consistent words to teach your puppy to follow your lead, such as LET'S GO!

Note: Remember the voice rule. Your puppy will want to follow your voice when it is moving away from him. Don't yell at your puppy to follow you.

Once your puppy is confident on the leash inside, try it in increasingly more distracting environments, such as outside or with family or visitors. Follow the same cycle as above—initially walk your puppy on a loose lead, highlighting each time he looks to you, using food or toy rewards; progress slowly to greater pressure. As you encourage your puppy to follow you, use rewards and toys to sustain his interest in your direction.

Encourage him to follow you by throwing your voice in the opposite direction. Act like you've found a really neat treasure that you want to share. Reward his cooperation.

Ultimately, insist that your puppy follow you. Use food and toys to lead him initially.

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