Among the first things to teach your German Shepherd pup is how to walk on a leash. This might not be an easy ride, so get ready!
It might sound counter-intuitive at first. Why not teach the dog how to behave? Or teach them to stay close to the owner? Well, these are great qualities to develop in a dog. However, more often than not – your ability to handle the dog using a leash will come in handy.
It is not only that you’ll find it difficult to control your dog if they don’t know how to walk on a leash properly. You can also cause serious damage to the dog if applying too much force on the leash, or actually, hurt yourself. Try pulling back an adult German Shepherd that’s taking off after a squirrel or a cat? A dislocated shoulder is probably not the biggest problem you could end up with.
Training your puppy to get used to a leash is a worthy effort (Credit: Town & Country Magazine)
The earlier you train your pup, the better
Puppies are simply going to get bigger and stronger, and it’s going to be harder to break bad habits. Just as with kids – it is much easier to embed good habits and character traits in them when they’re still young. You can easily cultivate traits, habits, rituals, attitudes and so on. Puppies are like sponges – they are so eager to learn and absorb new information that you’re providing! Use this moment to train your puppy the most basic things. This will benefit you largely in the long run.
How can you make training to walk on a leash fun? Well, that’s a reasonable question. First off, you may start with picking a nice and cozy collar. Something your pet will like, even if for a little bit. Ultimately, these things are there to restrict your pet, so don’t expect much love for them.
Remember not to pull too use too much force. Also, avoid being too loose on your dog. Because you’ll either get a dog that will be scared stiff of the notion of going out on a leash or, on the other hand, a dog that will hardly notice the leash at all. You want to get that golden middle to be able to control your dog and not be very strict at the same time.
Grannick’s Bitter Apple to the rescue!
Dogs love chewing stuff! If you have (or have had) a nice pair of leather shoes – you probably know that yourself now. Putting some Grannick’s Bitter Apple on the leash and collar will deter the dog. Then you will not have to worry about them chewing off the collar or the leash and going AWOL.
Finally, remember, that each dog behaves differently whenever you pick up the leash. If you’re lucky, your dog may be a fast learner and love walking alongside you. And if not, you have to get ready to do some training and leash-walking basics.