Puppy Leash Skills: Ready to Level Up?

First and foremost, puppy leash skills require a delicate balance of understanding and guidance.

It’s a dance between teaching your pup to walk beside you like a pro and taming their natural urge to pull.

Some puppies readily accept the collar and leash, while others resist with all their might.

Similarly, some owners find themselves needing to introduce the leash to their furry friends almost immediately, while others can go months without any leash contact.

Patience, self-assurance, calmness, and avoiding haste are the key points.

As a responsible owner, you want to help your puppy level up from being a puller to becoming a confident and well-behaved walker.

In this blog post, we will explore effective techniques and valuable tips to transform your puppy’s leash skills.

It’s not just about turning your puppy into a pro walker; it’s about strengthening the bond between you and your furry companion, enjoying peaceful walks, and creating countless memories along the way.

What Age Should You Introduce the Leash to Your Pup?

The ideal time to introduce the leash to your pup is between 3-4 months of age, as this is when they are most receptive to learning new things.

By this stage, their vaccinations are typically completed, allowing you to combine various spaces such as your home, yard, and even the local dog park.

However, it’s important to consider factors such as the breed, individual age, and the unique temperament of your puppy.

These aspects play a significant role in determining the best approach for leash training and tailoring it to their specific needs.

How to Select the Ideal Leash and Collar Combo?

To select the ideal leash and collar combo for your puppy, there are several factors to consider. Here are some steps to help you make the best choice:

  • Assess your puppy’s size and breed: Consider the size and breed of your puppy, as different collars and leashes are designed to suit specific needs. Small and toy breed dogs may benefit from shoulder harnesses that avoid placing pressure on the neck or throat, while large and giant breed dogs may require thick, heavy-duty collars that provide durability and security.
  • Determine your puppy’s behavior and training requirements: Take into account your puppy’s behavior and any specific training needs. For puppies learning to walk on a leash or prone to pulling, back-clip harnesses can be a suitable choice to protect their throats until they master loose-leash walking. Martingale collars and harnesses are recommended for leash and behavioral training, providing support and control for dogs that cannot be accommodated by regular collar types.
  • Consider the collar’s material and design: Collars are available in various materials such as leather, woven nylon, or cloth. Flat collars are the most common and adjustable, allowing your puppy to comfortably adapt to wearing one regularly. Breakaway collars are a suitable option for puppies spending time outside, designed to come undone if they encounter obstructions or potential choking hazards.
  • Evaluate the leash type: Consider the leash that complements the chosen collar. Retractable leashes provide flexibility and allow your puppy to explore while maintaining control. Standard leashes made of leather, woven nylon, or chain are recommended for large dogs due to their durability and strength. Opt for a longer lead for walks in open spaces.
  • Seek professional advice: If you’re uncertain about which collar and leash combination is best for your puppy, consult a veterinarian or a dog trainer. They can provide personalized recommendations based on your puppy’s individual needs and help you make an informed decision.

Always prioritize your puppy’s safety and comfort when selecting a leash and collar combo.

Regularly check for wear and tear, ensure the fit is snug but not too tight (two fingers of space), and never leave a collar on your puppy unattended.

Patience and Rewards: Collar Familiarization

When introducing your puppy to the collar, it’s essential to take a gentle and gradual approach.

Avoid situations that could trigger fear or discomfort when putting on the collar.

Instead, choose moments when your puppy is engaged in other activities and less likely to notice it.

Playtime can be an excellent opportunity for this.

Ensure the collar is snug but not overly tight, allowing your puppy to get used to the sensation without feeling constricted.

The key is to help your puppy learn not to pay much attention to the collar.

Additionally, consider putting the collar on during mealtime, as associating it with pleasant experiences can make acceptance easier for your furry friend.

Patience and positive reinforcement are the cornerstones of successful collar familiarization, leading to enjoyable leash experiences in the future. [1]

Step Into Leash Mode: Attaching with Confidence

Step into leash mode with confidence by gently attaching the leash to your puppy’s collar and allowing them to explore freely while dragging the leash along.

Be sure to supervise these moments closely to prevent any entanglements or potential injuries!

It’s a great idea to incorporate playtime with other dogs or engage in interactive activities like fetch to keep your puppy entertained.

Periodically, take hold of the leash and call your puppy to come to you, encouraging them with gentle and positive reinforcement.

If your puppy starts pulling, stop immediately, as the goal is for them to understand that such behavior is unacceptable.

Utilize small, easily consumable treats during training, ensuring your puppy can quickly enjoy them and stay focused without spending too much time chewing.

Step Up the Game: Boosting Your Puppy’s Leash Confidence

Learning new things through play is the best approach, but the level of progress your puppy attains in training ultimately depends on you.

It’s crucial not to reinforce bad habits or actions with a smile, treats, or cuddles because your puppy will interpret it as approval and acceptance.

There may be instances when your dog sits and refuses to move.

What should you do?

Simply ignore them, drop the leash, take a few steps forward, and then start calling them.

Your puppy will quickly realize their mistake and come towards you.

It’s not uncommon for dogs to be obedient and walk calmly by your side without a leash but resist when they’re tied to one.

Avoid rushing to impose your will, but remain persistent.

Sometimes, all it takes is for you to stand still and allow the puppy to grasp the situation.

Walk in Style: Leash Training a 9-Week Sarplaninac Puppy

Our training process commences as early as 3 months of age, introducing them to the concept of a leash through playful interactions.

With unwavering dedication, we attend to every pup, tailoring our approach to suit their unique personalities and needs.

Along the way, we encounter various challenges like resistance, leash biting, stiffness, and confidence issues, which we skillfully address by adapting our methods and devising personalized training plans for every individual.

It is not recommended for sarplaninac puppies to begin training on a full stomach or to use a dog harness when it comes to this breed of dogs!

We encourage you to watch the following video, showcasing the leash training of a 9-week-old Sarplaninac puppy, a testament to the effectiveness of our methods.

Leash Training Progress: When Will The Puppy Be Ready?

The duration can vary widely and is influenced by several factors.

The process may last from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the breed, age, temperament, size, and physical activity level of the puppy.

It’s essential to consider the puppy’s weight as well, as excess kilograms can strain their skeleton!

However, we firmly believe that dedicating 5-10 minutes (per day) to playtime can never hurt when teaching a puppy to walk on a leash.


Leash training is a crucial skill for every puppy, as it not only ensures their safety but also enhances their overall well-being.

While there is no fixed timeline for leash training, patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key.

Understanding the individual needs and characteristics of your dog, such as breed, age, and temperament, will help tailor the training process for the best results.

The goal is to create a comfortable and enjoyable experience for both you and your furry companion.

Remember to take breaks, reward good behavior, and make training sessions fun through play and interaction.

Thank you for your attention, and we hope that this blog post has provided valuable insights and tips for leveling up your puppy’s leash skills.

If you have any questions or would like to share your experiences, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Happy leash training and best wishes for many enjoyable walks ahead!


My name is Alen Stefanovic, and I am the founder and administrator of the website "Awesome Sarplaninac". As an economist-trade manager, and web designer, I have a passion for the Sarplaninac breed (number 1 dogs for me). My father has been breeding these dogs since 1990, and through the website, I aim to share valuable information about nutrition, care, and training for both puppies and adult dogs. Whether you're a new or experienced owner, you'll find plenty of helpful tips and resources on the site. Welcome to "Sarplaninac FCI 4302", and I wish you a pleasant stay.

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