Advice about puppy's first outdoor walk please(8 Posts)
Our 12 week puppy is free ( injection wise) tomorrow to have his first walk outside.
We have been carrying him around outside, to the ships and school although he's a big lab and very wriggly so we haven't got out as much as we might have if he was smaller. He's generally a good boy, not nervous and very motivated by food.
We've been practising a bit with a soft collar and lead in the house and garden. A lot of this time has been taken up trying to address lead biting, lead tug of war and leaping about- by rewarding good behaviour.
I understand that initial walks must be very short and as a lab he should not leap about.
I'm not sure where to start though. I want him to have positive first experiences, and at the same time I'm hoping to train him to be a pleasure to walk so wonder if we need to set expectations from the start.
I'd love to hear about the initial trips out of people's puppies, and would welcome any advice.
We are booked into puppy training classes, but they don't start for 4 weeks.
With my lab, the first thing I did was train to walk to heel. It massively paid off when she was stronger than me! I did this by walking when dark so there was minimal distractions. It honestly worked a dream. As she could walk further and longer we did daytime walks.
Thanks Astickintime, that is a really great idea and might help him to feel nice and tired at bedtime following his dark walk.
I assume the best way to reach to walk to heel is a clicker and treat when walking more or less to heel? There is so much different advice that it's hard to know where to start!
It's a bit vague, I think back in those days it was all about saying 'heel' low and sharp, while turning a tight circle into the dog so they follow you closely. I remember dangling a treat in my hand with lots of praise so she nosed my hand eagerly and paid a lot of attention to me as we walked. Also she was quite timid so was spooked by shadows in the dark, which helped her stay close such a lot. I remember stopping until she bounced back to heel and then continuing, it really was all about training and less about having a walk, which was fine because they can't go far when they first have walks anyway.
My pup was initially quite scared of all the new noises, cars, buses etc. In hindsight I should have walked somewhere more quiet. He did not like the dark either. A few more walks and he was fine! just start outside the house perhaps and then a bit longer each time. Good luck
Same as Yokohamajojo. Cars scared him plus the dark. He also didn't take to walking on the lead at all and would sit down.
I found taking him to a secure area and letting him off the lead (where he stuck to me as glue) helped him get used to being outside. Then after a few times he started to tolerate walking on the lead on the road more.
My puppy lead bites- chewing and playing with it was distracting her, so I now have a light chain between her harness and the lead proper. Result, she no longer is interested
in chewing and pays more attention to me.
I'd second getting a small chain lead, they're no fun to bite so it will help prevent lead chewing, alternatively when his starts chewing/playing tug of war drop the lead. I'd also start with recall now as pup will not be confident enough to stray far at that age, with a long line attached and lots of treats. Don't be afraid of meeting other dogs but don't let pup become too excited. Hope it goes well
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