Hunting dogs are known to love walking. However, they may be surprised by the moment when you want to hook them up to something unknown and new to them and to somehow manage their movement.
How to train a hunting dog to walk on a leash? To master this skill requires patience, a lot of work with the dog and it is necessary to master it as soon as possible because it will be useful to both the hunter and the dog.
Training will begin at the earliest age of the dog, that is when the puppy starts to go outside.
If she feels threatened, the puppy will want to defend herself: running, resisting, and maybe even biting you.
Getting to know a dog with a leash must be “painless”, and this form of walking is the safest – it reduces the possibility that your pet will run away or be stolen (which unfortunately often happens).
That is why we share practical tips and concrete steps with you below to learn how to teach a hunting dog on a leash and make it easier to go hunting, walking and be comfortable for both the hunter and the dog.
When to start teaching a hunting dog on a leash
Many owners often make the mistake of thinking about when to start teaching their dog to walk.
The truth is that this should start as soon as the dog generally starts to go outside.
Regardless of the breed of the dog, it is performed only about 20 days after the revaccination, which is somewhere around three and a half months, because only then it is considered that the dog’s organism has acquired a sufficiently strong immunity to external influences.
Some dogs do it faster (mostly females) and some dogs slower. This difference individually for each dog is well explained by the so-called Pavlovian theory of dog types.
Based on this theory, there are several types of dogs, namely, basic nervous activity in dogs. There are 4 basic types, which are: nervous, exciting, balanced, lively, calm, and ultimately bad or apathetic.
Choosing the right leash
Choosing a leash is the first step to a quality walk with your pet. Fortunately for you, there is a huge selection of them on the market today, and you can easily find what you need.
The leash must be comfortable
Your puppy’s first leash must be comfortable first and foremost: it is tailored to its weight and size, so as not to chew it and tear its hair.
The leash must be of appropriate length
Another condition for choosing is its length. For starters, take the shortest leash so that your movement control is complete. As time goes on, you will be able to identify the right time to buy a new, long leash.
Is It Better To Buy A Leash For A Dog Or Harness?
Many people think that it doesn’t matter which of the two products they chose at first and that it makes no difference because the dog is small. Well, dog trainers don’t think so.
What they make as an argument is that it is harder to teach a dog to move to Harness if it has been previously taught to leash.
The harness can also cause slight deformities in the dog’s movement because while they are small they are pulling, they are being “wrong” and therefore walking incorrectly.
The harness is easier for owners, but it is certainly not for dogs at first. Therefore, our proposal for a start is a leash.
The process of introducing a dog to a leash
Let the process of teaching a dog on a leash run lightly and let it be handled step by step.
For starters, let the dog sniff the leash. This way he will “get to know” him and make the first contact, which is very important.
You can start the adjustment process with a necklace to put on your dog’s neck during play, eating, and other “nice” moments in the apartment that otherwise have a positive effect on him.
After that, hook the leash to his collar, let it hang a little and hang for a minute, give the dog a treat, and then take it off. Repeat this several times for the dog to gain a positive association with the leash.
After some time of practicing this first exercise, the next exercise to teach a dog to the leash is:
– Put the dog on a leash
– walk the puppy around the house/apartment.
Take him through rooms he knows and feels safe and comfortable with.
This will lessen the fear he has, and with the delicious treat you give him after such a walk, you will surely be one step closer to getting your dog on a leash, which is actually your main goal!
After a few repetitions, the dog will walk happily with the leash, but it is important to remember that when stopping the exercise, immediately remove the leash and collar. Also, only put them on when you exercise so he can tie the leash to something beautiful.
Start running the dog outside on a leash
As you master the “home” walk, gradually start to go outside.
Walk the dog around the yard or in front of the building, just enough to get him used to the leash a little.
The sounds and smells he feels will awaken his curiosity, he will want to see / smell/smell even more, and when that happens (which is not difficult to recognize), you will know that the right time has come to start a serious walk on a leash outside the familiar circle.
It is important that when you start walking before the puppy gets tired, this will again create a negative association with him on the leash.
Also, when you start your first walk, it is best to have it in the evening when there are not many things on the street that can scare him, and only after a couple of exits gradually accustom him to passers-by, other dogs, cars…
If a dog gets scared, immediately squat next to him, anoint him, and pat him so he can relax and gain security in the environment.
Potential difficulties while walking on a leash
Puppies that cause walking problems can usually be divided into two groups:
1. How to teach a dog on a leash if it pulls
A puppy pulling a leash while walking is very energetic and can’t wait to get to know the world around her. When it comes to dogs, exercise at home is the most important thing.
Walk him through the yard/hallway keeping his leash short, with the command “Go” or “Next to me”.
It is very important to keep a single voice command and repeat it when you ask him to do something.
A good trick is also to pat your leg to let the dog know that he needs to go with your foot or to put a bag of sweets in your pocket so he doesn’t go in front of you.
Gradually loosen the leash, and when the dog walks without pulling, reward it with a treat and compliment it.
If he gets upset again and starts jerking, stop walking and wait until he calms down.
It is best to practice this exercise when the dog has already consumed a small amount of its energy because then it will be more tired and obedient.
2. How to teach a dog on a leash if he refuses to walk and stop
Some dogs just refuse to walk in the open air. And as much as the owner does his best to run it, whatever tricks he uses, it’s simply not possible. The only thing that comes to his mind is to just lift him off the ground and take him home.
You need to be patient and kind to your puppy. There is a simple explanation for this behavior: He is scared!
At home, just keep practicing with your dog walking on a leash. Always make sure that the dog is rewarded for its good behavior.
If your pet is scared of the outside sounds and smells, you may need to make sure that you gradually introduce him to the outside world before taking him for a walk at all.
What is important is that you complete every successful dog training exercise on a leash, as well as all other types of training, with nice words as well as play so your dog can enjoy listening to your commands.