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Puppy’s First Year – Month 7 – Walking Puppy on a Loose Leash

Puppy’s First Year – Month 7

My puppy is now 7 months old.

Each day brings a new adventure, a new challenge.

Weight: 5.6kg
Crazy as ever!
No longer peeing in the house – Woohoo!
Still doing zoomies at 160.93 KMPH – or 100 MPH for my US friends 😉
Learning to walk on leash without pulling – a work in progress

 

Month 7 Puppy Challenge:

Walking my Puppy on a Loose Leash

Raising a puppy comes with many, many, challenges along the way. Just when I think I’ve got my puppy figured out she throws something new at me. Edna is not my first puppy, and some of her “tricks” I’ve seen before while raising my other dogs, but there are times, even though I think I can handle it, I need a little help along the way.

Helping my puppy be the best she can be!

Puppy’s First Year - Month 7 - Walking on a Loose Leash

Learning to walk on a loose leash is much more fun for everyone!

My most recent challenge has been walking my puppy on a loose leash. Edna has been going on walks for some time now, so the concept of her being on a leash and going for walks is not new to her. I understand puppy’s get excited and want to explore their new world, but it would be nice to go on a walk without having my puppy charging full steam ahead pulling on the leash. Envision this – Rudolph the Reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh full steam ahead comes to mind when “walking” Edna.

I’ve successfully trained puppies to walk on a loose leash before, as is proof with my pug Edie. But I believe when it comes to training my dogs there is always something new to be learned, even if it’s just a reminder about getting back to the dog training basics. 

To give me the helping hand I needed, the trainers at McCann Professional Dog Trainers invited me to bring Edna to their facilities and get some pointers on how I can help Edna be a better puppy and get her walking on a loose leash.

A bit about McCann Professional Dog Trainers. They were established in 1982 and since opening their doors, they’ve helped more than 80,000 dogs become good family members. Their experience in the industry has allowed them to develop a comprehensive program that is positive, fun and gets great results.

Never having been to the McCann Dog Training facilities before, I didn’t know what to expect.  Let’s just say walking into the McCann Dog Training building was the equivalent of a child taking that first step into an amusement park – “Wow!” “Oh my goodness!” “I want to move in here with my dogs”!

Of course my puppy Edna was super excited as well, typical Edna. She ran right into the McCann Dog Training building and instantly fell in love with Shannon, her trainer for the morning.

Puppy’s First Year - Month 7 - Walking on a Loose Leash

Edna paying close attention to Shannon – and to the rewards 🙂

Under normal circumstances I would have been my puppy’s handler for the training session, but since we were only at the McCann Dog Training facilities for the day, and for the purpose of filming, I watched and took it all in from the sidelines while Shannon put Edna through the steps of how I can help my puppy walk on the leash without pulling.

Each dog, dog breed, and size of dog can present a challenge when training. In my case, having a small dog that I constantly need to look down at and reach to reward can not only give me a workout, but be hard on my back, not to mention, make me very dizzy!

Sometimes the simplest thing can make a difference when it comes to training our puppies!

In this video, Shannon takes us, and an excited Edna, through the steps of how we can teach our puppy’s to walk on a loose leash and shares tips on training our small dogs without back pain and getting dizzy!

Since my visit with Edna to McCann Dog Training, I have regrouped and switched up my walking routine. Now, instead of trying to walk both dogs at once, I walk each individually. Before, when trying to walk both dogs together, one that is experienced, and a puppy that is not, I would end up in a tangled leash mess. This not only frustrated me, but my experienced dog Edie, and of course, it confused my puppy as to what I expected from her.

Now, early each morning I take Edna out for a walk while it’s still quiet and there are less distractions. We don’t go far, but it’s not about that. It’s about me being consistent – yes – me being consistent in what I am asking from Edna. I don’t try to hold my puppy back on a short leash anymore, now the leash is loose. Occasionally my puppy will still try to run ahead of me, but she soon realizes that it’s more fun getting rewarded by being by my side. 

When Edna gets too rambunctious, I turn back in the opposite direction and she now follows me. Of course I reward, reward, reward, each and every time she takes even a couple of steps by my side while on a loose leash. When I stop, she sits. Sometimes she sits by my side, sometimes she sits just in front of me – I’m ok with that, because she is starting to “get it”.

There’s nothing more satisfying when my puppy walks on a loose leash!

For me, there is nothing more satisfying when my puppy walks on a loose leash and looks up at me while walking – this makes my day!

Below is a short video of me walking Edna on a loose leash. She looks up at me while we walk, waiting for direction, and sits when I stop walking. This was a very proud moment for me 🙂

Isn’t this what it’s all about, enjoying our puppy and having a good time!

Because we all want our dogs to be the best they can be.

Even though I “think” I know what I’m doing when it comes to training my puppy, I believe it’s important to get a refresher course every once in a while. Getting a professional’s opinion, as I did with McCann Professional Dog Trainers, helps confirm if how I’m training my puppy is correct, and gives me an opportunity to learn a new tip or two that will make training my puppy easier, more productive and most of all, fun!

Author: Kelly Harding with Edie The Pug

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