How to train your adult dog to walk on a leash?

Learn how to train your dog to the leash and collar – tips for all ages

The collar and leash are essential accouterments that are used not only for walking the pet, but also for training, weaning and education. That is why it is important to begin to train the puppy to the collar and leash at a young age, when the process of habituation occurs quickly and unnoticed by the pet and its owner. It is much more difficult to work with an adult dog, which has a fully formed and less flexible character.

At what age to train a puppy to the collar and leash

Experts recommend introducing your puppy to new objects for the first time at the age of a month and a half. Most likely, the unfamiliar thing on the neck in the beginning will irritate the puppy, but the main thing is to show some patience, not to punish, not to behave aggressively and efforts will be rewarded.

The training process usually begins at three months of age, at which time you can accustom the baby to the toilet, its own place. However, it is impossible to go out with a puppy in the street without a collar and a leash, which is why the collar is put on the pet for the first time at one and a half months. The process of adapting the baby to new objects is divided into several stages, in order to facilitate the task, not to traumatize the psyche of the puppy.

Choosing a collar

The choice of collar is important. Keep in mind that your dog will grow, and there is no need to choose expensive, special equipment for the first lessons. The most comfortable collar is a flat, lightweight collar that will not cause discomfort.

Stages of domestication

The earlier you start training your puppy, the easier it will be for you in the future.

Not surprisingly, the first introduction of the pet to new things causes a protest, but it is quite a predictable reaction. To make the process of getting used to the dog as easy as possible, experts recommend splitting it into several stages.


It should be remembered – the issue will not be solved in one day, it will take regular practice when the dog is calm or playing. It is necessary to introduce a system of rewards from the first day. There are several options for rewards for the pet, each owner can choose the one that the puppy likes.

How to Encourage a Puppy:

  1. Give him a treat every time he follows your instructions diligently.
  2. Your puppy probably has a favorite game, after a lesson with the collar – play with your pet.
  3. Clicker rewards are used to communicate with a dog without physical contact, in which case the owner praises the puppy with an audible signal.

Now the puppy should gradually get used to the collar. If he gets nervous and tries to take it off, don’t worry, try to calm him down.

How to calm a puppy:

  • Distract your pet with play.
  • Encourage your puppy every time he agrees to wear the collar.
  • Make sure he is comfortable in the collar, as it should fit snugly around his neck without restricting his movement.

Your puppy should only be at home with his collar on when someone is looking after him, if you go out and leave him alone, the collar should be taken off.

Every puppy is different, some don’t want to give up his freedom of movement, some don’t even notice the new object. Either way, when you tie the leash to the collar for the first time, leave it loose and let him run around so he knows he’s safe. For the first few days, be sure to keep the leash from entangling your puppy as he plays and runs. Give your dog a treat each time you remove the leash.

Outdoor leash training

Once your puppy is comfortable at home, on average four days, try walking outside with him. What nuances to consider when going out for the first time with a collar.


Very often dogs that respond calmly to a leash in the home begin to behave completely differently in the street – they whine, bark, don’t want to go, and just lie down on the ground. The task of the owner is to remain calm, not to scold the dog, not to use violence. Remember that many dogs behave like their owners; if the person is calm, the puppy is more likely to take his example from him.


Take a treat with you when you go outside and try to calm him down with a treat or distract him with a game. Slices of sausage or cheese are good as a treat.


Respond appropriately to what he does – give him praise and encouragement if he obeys, but punish him if he misbehaves or misbehaves. There are methods for combating bad habits, they’re effective, but only if they become part of the system and are done routinely.

Adult dog training

Only through practice will you help your dog learn everything he has been trained to do more quickly. To do this, take your dog for a walk every chance you get, preferably several times a day, remember to be calm and follow a few simple guidelines.

When walking, stay slightly in front of the dog, thus demonstrating your control over the situation. The dog will be obedient when he feels superior to his owner. You will probably need to give the lead a bit of a tug at first when he starts to tug on it. If he starts to behave inappropriately, calmly call him over and reward him with a treat after he’s obeyed the order. During walks, don’t be distracted by your cell phone or show anger and irritation.

Keep a close eye on other owners and dogs. It can happen that a pet becomes nervous and reacts inappropriately to the excitement of other pups, rushing toward them, trying to get into the game. If you notice that the dog’s owner can’t handle it, distract your pet with a treat.

Choose your ammunition wisely. The length of the leash should range from 1.22-1.83 meters. In most cases, this length of leash allows you to control the dog’s behavior. It is better not to use strict collars, in most cases they are necessary to correct the behavior of adult dogs with a complex character.

выдвижные поводки

Why you shouldn’t use retractable leashes:

  1. The owner may not always have time to react to the movement of the dog, resulting in the pet in a few seconds is in a dangerous place, for example, on the road.
  2. In the event of a fight between dogs, the retractable leash will quickly become tangled and impossible to coil.
  3. A strong pet will have no trouble ripping the cord from the plastic base.
  4. If you carelessly grab the rapidly unwinding leash, you can burn your hand.
  5. The dog does not feel when the length of the cord ends, and accelerating can cause injury.
  6. The retractable leash does not restrict the dog’s movement much, other pets may see it as a threat and start fighting.

The optimal choice is the classic two-meter leash, ending with a loop that can be put on the hand.

Taking the dog by the collar

This is a basic step, as the owner will certainly have to do it every day when he has to go home at the end of his walk. Most puppies perceive a hand sharply extended to them as a source of danger, because at this time the person comes very close, looks into the eyes, grabs the neck, that is, invading personal space.

Some dogs will run away and some may react aggressively. The owner’s job is to convince the puppy that his actions are not threatening. It is not recommended to use playful encouragement in this case, as in the future the dog will get used to lashing out and running away cheerfully after the owner picks him up by the collar. Encouraging him with a treat will help him remain calm and react correctly to being touched by the harness.

Algorithm of action:

  1. Prepare a treat – the pieces should be such that the dog has no problem swallowing one.
  2. Sit down next to your dog, a little to the side of him, take your time reaching out and touching his collar.
  3. When puppy takes his nose away from your hand, give him a treat and let go of the collar.
  4. Repeat the same, but hold the collar with your other hand. Alternate hands until puppy is no longer distracted by the hand touching the harness.
  5. Now you need to make sure that the puppy does not look at your hands, but only at his owner’s eyes. To do this, take the puppy by the collar and hold it until he turns his gaze to your face in surprise. At this point, praise him and give him a treat. If he doesn’t look at you, show him your hand holding the treat and bring it to your chin. As soon as he follows your hand, give him the treat.
  6. Practice the exercise five to ten times daily, changing positions by touching the collar from different directions. After that, you can make the task more difficult – if the pet is trained in the command “Come to me!”, add touching the collar to it. Call your dog, grab his collar, praise him, give him a treat, and let him go.

Possible problems

The puppy is constantly pulling the leash

Every time the dog resists and does not want to go in the direction indicated, starts pulling on the leash, stop, but do not tug the dog. Let him understand that any attempts to walk in the opposite direction from the owner will end in nothing. Call the baby and give him a treat, if you use this scheme constantly, the dog will soon give up the habit of pulling on the leash.

The puppy does not want to go and defiantly does not move

Use a treat and your patience. As soon as the dog has stopped, take a few steps away from him and ask him to come up to you to get the treat. When he complies, continue walking. Only by staying completely calm can you teach your puppy not just to walk on a leash, but to enjoy his walks.

How to put a collar and leash on a dog correctly

How well the collar will be put on the dog for the first time depends on how quickly the pet will get used to the new clothes.

To begin, simply place the collar in front of the puppy and wait a few minutes, during which time the puppy will get to know the new thing and make sure it is safe. Be careful not to let the puppy play with the collar, otherwise he will continue to treat it as a toy. If the dog chews vigorously, take the collar away and leave off trying to put it around his neck for a while. After about ten minutes, when your dog is no longer interested in the item, try again.

Stock up on treats, call your puppy in, give him a tasty treat and show him the collar. Just before trying to put on the harness, reward your dog again with a treat. Handle him gingerly as any misstep will frighten him away and you may not be able to try again for a long time. The first time you wear the collar, try not to touch the puppy with your hands. Once your pet has agreed to try on the harness, be sure to give him a treat.


If the dog gets scared and runs away, apply one of the techniques:

  1. Use the collar as a tag, approaching which the puppy gets a treat.
  2. Take the collar in your hand, stroke the puppy with it and feed him something tasty.

This will help your dog become accustomed to the collar and tolerate its touch more easily. As soon as you feel your pet is not afraid of the object, try putting it on and taking it off immediately.

When you do this, let the puppy go to a safe place and don’t disturb him for a while.

The next day, wear the collar for a few seconds, following a similar pattern – don’t be stingy with treats, be as calm as possible and show no aggression. After another day, try putting the collar on and playing with the dog for a while, if he doesn’t try to take it off, leave it on and if he looks anxious, distract him with a game or treat.

When the dog is perfectly calm in the collar, do not take it off even at home, but only if there is someone in the room.

Be sure to consult – whether the dog can stay for a long time in a row in the collar, for example, dogs hunting breeds during the work in the field necessarily released from the ammunition so as not to be injured.

Common mistakes

Error Consequences
Improper tightening of the collar. If you put the collar on too loosely, the puppy will just jump out of it.

If it is too tight, there is a high risk of injury to the dog. In addition, the collar will be perceived by the pet as a source of discomfort.

Roughness in putting on and taking off the collar. It will lead to the fact that you will not be able to get your pet to wear the harness and you will have to take measures to correct the dog’s behavior.
Abrupt jerks while walking. The dog will remember that the collar is painful and unpleasant.
Coercion. This will cause the dog to develop the wrong attitude toward the collar.
Permission to play with collar and leash. The owner must show with every action that the harness is a safe signal for the walk.

In conclusion

Always remember the sequence of your actions, if the dog behaves well – encourage him. And every time after a misbehavior, punish him. Otherwise the dog will not understand what the owner wants from him. The dog, like a small child, requires training, explanations of every step and action. Only patience, love and knowledge of all the nuances and peculiarities of the educational process will help you to raise a kind and obedient dog.

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