How Soon Can I Take My Puppy For A Walk?
If you’ve adopted a new puppy recently, getting started on the right foot can help you have a lifetime of enjoyment with your new friend.
So what are some things you can do to raise a happy and healthy puppy?
Read on (and watch) to see some helpful tips and see when can you take your puppy for a walk.
First thing, introduce your puppy to a collar and leash.
We see people wait until their puppy is 16 weeks and older before they put a collar on their puppy because they think he’s too little. Unfortunately by waiting, you’re missing a crucial development period in yiur puppy’s life. Start soon with collar and leash training when they’re little and most important, keep it all positive.
Introducing your puppy to a collar is a simple thing. When you’re sitting on the couch or laying on the floor, just take the properly sized collar and place it in his neck. You can reward him by giving him an extra little treat 🙂 Your puppy will probably scratch at his neck and that’s ok and normal. Leave it on him for a few minutes then take it off.
The next day, do the same thing. Place the collar on and leave it for a little bit, maybe 5-10 minutes.
Repeat this for a few days and leave it on the same length of time.
On day 4 or 5, leave the collar on a minute or so longer and repeat that for a couple days.
After a week or so, your puppy should be used to his new collar and scratching still might occur but probably less.
If you see that your puppy is totally fine with the collar from day one or two, awesome, just don’t rush it. Pushing things too fast can set your puppy up for failure. Don’t force him to wear it for prolonged periods at the very beginning if he seems totally uncomfortable. Again, it’s perfectly normal for him to scratch and roll around a little while he’s wearing it at the beginning. You want to be the one to remove it and again, make it a positive experience.
If your puppy is crate trained or you’re working on crate training with him, we suggest removing the collar (and harness if you use one as he gets bigger before you put him in the crate. Once you remove him from the crate, it can be placed on him again.
Leash walking can be introduced the same way.
Here’s some tips on how to take your puppy on a walk:
Attach the leash and let him walk around the house for just a few minutes with the leash. Using the right size leash is important. Use one that’s appropriate to his size. For a 1lb-3lb puppy, you don’t want a wide or heavy leash, just a simple skinny or thin one will suffice.
As your puppy grows, using different leashes might be beneficial to you but remember, you’re trying to set your puppy up for success, not failure. Use a lightweight one that’s not cumbersome for him.
So you’ve let your puppy walk around your house for a few minutes at a time for a few days, what’s next?
Take him outside, maybe out in your yard or out to your mailbox.
Walking your puppy on leash is a time for him to bond with you and a HUGE learning experience. You can start teaching him the correct way to walk on leash almost immediately as well. How can you do this?
You encourage your puppy to stay beside you instead of way out in front of you. By doing this you’re on your way to teaching him to walk politely on leash and to not pull. Remember though, it all needs to stay positive and not forceful. Don’t ever pull or push your puppy into a ‘correct’ position.
Learning takes time and if you find your puppy loves a certain kind of treat, use that on your short walks to encourage him to stay in the position you want. Another tip: if he starts pulling on the leash, just stop walking, get his attention and lure him back to you. Don’t pull him back to you, he needs to do it on his own. And don’t let him pull you. If you allow this from the beginning, you’re helping create a BAD habit. You’ll be calling a trainer when he’s a year old because he’s pulling your arm out of socket. (just kidding)
So there you go. Some tips and a short little video that talks about how soon you can take your puppy out for a walk.
If you have any questions at all or need advice on puppy rearing or puppy training, give us a call or visit our website.
Loving puppy breath,
Kelley Stewart, CEO | Pet Sitter
sit-stay-play In-home pet sitting & more.LLC