IAMS PH
Leash training a puppy
Leash training a puppy

adp_description_block200
Leash Training A Puppy

  • Share
Leash training a puppy play button

You want to take your new puppy out for a stroll; now, all you need to do is train him to walk on a leash. Watch as Expert Pet Trainer Kathy Santo show you how to walk your new family member.

 

Hi, I'm Kathy Santo with IAMS, and today we're going to talk about how to leash train your puppy. Once your puppy is around eight weeks old, you can begin leash training. The first thing you'll need is a collar or harness that fits your puppy appropriately, never too lose or too tight. You should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your puppy's neck. When deciding between using a collar or a harness, there are a few things to consider. Does your puppy have any respiratory issues? Does your puppy pull when being walked on leash? Use a harness or head halter if your puppy pulls on leash, or has respiratory problems. Before you can jump right into training, you'll need to get your puppy used to wearing a collar and having the added weight of a leash. The best thing to do is have him wear the collar or harness and leash around the house, so he becomes used to the feeling. Be sure to keep an eye on your puppy to make sure he doesn't get trapped, caught, or accidentally injured. If your puppy is noticeably struggling, or looks scared, start off with a shoelace, or a small piece of rope, so he can get used to dragging only a little something around. This will help him get used to the added presence and weight of a collar and leash. Now for walking on a leash. The leash should have some slack, because when you put pressure on a dog, their natural reflex is to move or pull in the opposite direction. If you find that your puppy is afraid of walking with the leash, try placing treats along the route you know you'll be walking, to give him the notion that good times are ahead. That way, he learns to focus on what's ahead of him with curiosity, and not fear. As you begin walking your puppy, you will notice that your pace will sometimes have to be faster than you expect to retain slack in the leash. The more you work with your puppy, the quicker you'll be able to train him to slow down, while maintaining the needed slack. As you walk around, begin incorporating specific commands for your puppy. Basic commands include sit, stay, and heel, or let's go. Do your best to remain consistent with your commands, and guide your puppy through the learning process. For example, when you say sit, guide your puppy to sit until the command is recognized by the puppy. When you say heel, make sure your puppy is obeying your command before you start walking again. When your puppy starts to move ahead too quickly, come to a complete stop and wait for him to cease pulling before going forward. Practice his stop and go, never allowing your puppy to dictate your pace. If your puppy continues to pull on his leash, ask him to change directions, while saying 'turn.' This will condition your puppy to always look for you for direction, instead of him feeling like he can dictate where the two of you go next. I also like to run backward, and then switch to a different direction. This gets your puppy excited about chasing you. Remember to reward your puppy when he does the right thing, so that he begins to understand what you're asking him for. If your puppy still isn't catching on, try upgrading your treats, practicing in an area with fewer distractions, or working on more basic commands. Leash training takes time and patience. Both you and your puppy may get frustrated during the learning process. Do your best to avoid tugging. It's not fair to correct them for something they don't understand. As your dog enters adolescence, and clearly knows the difference between right and wrong, it's OK to give a slight occasional tug on his leash, if he insists on being difficult. If you remain patient and consistent with your puppy, he'll be leash trained in no time. I'm Kathy Santo with IAMS, and I hope that you found this helpful as you welcome your new addition to your family.

 

 

Related Articles

  • Choosing the Right Dog Food
    Choosing the Right Dog Food
    adp_description_block326
    Choosing the Right Dog Food

    • Share

    Author: Dr. Diah Pawitri
     

    When visiting the store, dog owners can get overwhelmed by the array of dog food options available, from dry kibble to canned wet food and more. These processed foods may not be appealing to humans, but they contain all the nutrients that dogs need to stay healthy. Like humans, dogs also need a variety of nutrients from their food, not just from meat as their main diet, but also from grains, vegetables, and fruits. This kind of balance is usually weighed by pet food labels in kibbles or wet food in grams for different types of dogs. 
     

    For optimum health, dogs need food that is tailored and customized to their life stages, starting from when they are puppies and all the way into adulthood. Puppies have completely different nutrient needs compared to adult dogs as they are still in their early stages of life. They need enough nutrients to fuel a speedy growth, especially after transitioning away from their mother's milk. Puppies require complete and balanced nutrition with protein to help build their tissues, fats or healthy skin, hair, brain, and vision, carbohydrates for energy, vitamins, minerals, and water.

    The need for balanced nutrients in puppies starts with the mother during pregnancy, followed by lactation and growth. Sufficient nourishment for the mother is pivotal in enhancing the puppies’ growth inside the womb and preparing them for life after birth. Both mother and puppy should receive well-proportioned antioxidants, DHA, and prebiotics to support their health and growth as provided by the IAMS product line, which contains DHA that is essential for puppies' brain development while also supporting the mother's pregnancy and quality of milk produced. 
     

    While puppies need the primary nutrients for growth, adult dog food has a different level of complexity. Adult dog food requires the same make-up of nutrients as puppies do but tailored to their specific needs. Recent research indicates that an adult dog requires at least 10% of its daily calories from protein and at least 5.5% from fat. Adult dogs need quality protein for firm muscles and a healthy immune system. Additionally, an adult diet can contain up to 50% carbohydrates, with fiber ranging from 2.5 to 4.5%. There is no specific prescribed amount of fibre for adult dog consumption daily, however, it is still one of the most important components in dog food to address constipation and support a healthy weight.
     

    Adult dogs in their prime also require a balance in antioxidants to reduce systemic inflammation and restore active muscles. They should receive Vitamin E and C to support their immune system, joint health, and prevent inflammation. As they grow older, they may be exposed to different diseases from diabetes to cancers, which can be prevented by polyphenols.  Parents to adult dogs must acknowledge the most suitable food for their loved one that is comprised of the right amount of nutrients and can look to the IAMS line as they are formulated to support healthy bones and joint health, scientifically proven for healthy digestion with a good fibre and prebiotic blend, as well as antioxidants for a strong immune system.
     

    Besides life stage, balanced nutrition should be adjusted to their breed, which give insight to different factors like weight, mouth size, and energy level. This will then determine the type of kibble and food given. Smaller breeds tend to be more active, requiring the same essential nutrients and prebiotics for a healthy body as well as smaller-sized kibble designed specifically for their smaller mouths. As smaller dogs relatively have a high metabolism, higher levels of protein, fat, and essential fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6 are some of the important nutrients that should be available in their food. On the other hand, larger breeds require foods that are lower in fat and calories, contain slightly lower levels of calcium and phosphorus, and have a specific balance of calcium-to-phosphorus ratio to support stronger bones and muscles.  Owners can look to products like the small breed line from IAMS, containing 7 essential nutrients to build strong muscles, support their tiny immune system while protecting their healthy skin and coat, and the product line for adults for large breeds.
     

    Dog parents must acknowledge and understand the unique needs, life stage and characteristics in their dog to choose the right dog food so their furry ones can grow into their healthiest selves. Make sure to visit your vet regularly to check these components as well!