By Raina Townson
Every well rounded pup needs a proper leash introduction. Help your puppy begin to build a positive association with the leash by rewarding him for checking it out however they feel comfortable. This could be by looking at it, walking towards it, or sniffing it.
Don’t allow him to use it as a tug toy though! Once he seems comfortable, pair clipping the leash to his collar with a reward. Repeat until your puppy is comfortable, then start letting him walk around freely- but supervised while dragging the leash. Wearing the leash might feel unfamiliar and frightening to your puppy so make sure to keep the energy upbeat and full of encouragement.
Once the puppy is ready you can start holding the leash, offering guidance and introducing gentle leash pressure. Your puppy is going to be thrown off by this leash pressure as dogs have a natural reflex called the oppositional reflex. This means he is going to pull against the leash pressure until he is conditioned to give in to the pressure.
After he is conditioned to the leash, you can let continue letting him wear it in the house while you are supervising him. This will allow you to easily redirect him when necessary. Conditioning your pup to the leash and helping him build a positive association with it aids in building a well behaved dog as well as opens the door to many many training opportunities.
Time spent while on leash should always be supervised at all times.