Early leash training is significantly beneficial to not only facilitate basic bonding activities but also when training your pup. Getting your greyhound puppy accustomed to wearing a leash from an early age will contribute to enjoyable and stress-free walks, promote a good relationship with your dog, facilitate good dog behavior and help avoid accidents or unwanted responses.
Greyhounds make great family dogs, and will definitely be part of outdoor activities with the family. Considering the breed’s size and speed, you will want to have a pet that is easy to take out with you on a leash, right from the time he is a little puppy. Here are a few things to know about leash training dogs:
Tips for leash training a greyhound puppy
Without the correct training, walking a greyhound on a leash can be tough. When the dog pulls and strains, you will not be in control of the situation, and the action can bruise the canine’s throat. Below are some tips on how to leash train a greyhound puppy.
Start from day one
One of the keys to successful leash training is to start as early as possible. Early training is crucial because young puppies can absorb more of what they learned. You can start getting the puppy used to wearing a collar from as young as eight weeks. During collar and leash introduction, have the pup wear them while playing with him indoors.
Get the right equipment
Greyhounds have large, elongated necks and small heads. You will need to make sure that the collar you choose is a perfect fit so that it does not slip off or injure your little canine when he starts pulling on the leash. A standard leash that is sturdy enough will not break when the pup pulls.
Keep training sessions short
Greyhounds do not have much stamina and tend to get tired and hot a lot more quickly. For greyhound puppies, long and intense training sessions can be stressful and damaging to their developing joints. The little ones also have a short attention span and will lose focus quickly. Make sure your training sessions are short and frequent to avoid exhausting the puppy.
Train with dog treats
Leash training is part of the overall training that teaches good behavior. You can use healthy treats such as little pieces of jerked meat or dried liver to encourage and reward positive behavior. The treats should be small enough for the pup to chew and swallow quickly and safely so training can continue.
Teach a cue
Teaching your pup cues in the early stages helps make further training easier. Pick a word or sound and use it in a quiet, undistracted area to get the puppy’s attention. When he turns to look at you, reward him with a treat. Repeat this several times so that the pup associates the cue with a treat, and will come to you for the treat.
Be patient and consistent
When training your greyhound puppy, you should not expect too much too soon. Puppies will learn at different speeds, so you will need to be patient and consistent when training the little dog. Try not to rise to anger or make a fuss when your pup does not accept the collar or is not learning as quickly as you expected.
Progressive leash training
Practice walking the pup on a leash indoors before taking him outside. The outdoors will present new challenges as the young greyhound will be intrigued by new sights, sounds, and smells. Make your cue sound and move a few steps away whenever you notice that the pup is about to get distracted.
Walking beside you
As the puppy grows, hold a treat in your hand at his head level to encourage him to walk alongside you. Reinforce that it is good to walk beside you by giving him a treat every time he does well.
Common mistakes we make during leash training
Leash training is an integral part of behavior training for dogs. Your pup needs to have a positive attitude towards training so that he can learn valuable lessons. A great way to create a positive attitude towards leash training for your puppy is by avoiding the following:
Inconsistent training behavior
Inconsistent training behavior in terms of rules and reactions when the pup breaks the rules can be confusing for the canine. Inconsistent training will make it difficult for the animal to learn and contribute to a stressful leash training process. For effective training, you should establish a leash training routine and have consistent rules, punishments, and reinforcements.
Misunderstanding your dog
Many people view leash training as a process where they tell the pup what to do, and the dog responds accordingly. However, the owner and the dog are partners who should work together to ensure a successful training process. Make sure you understand the unique personality of your puppy and create a personalized training program for him.
Using a retractable leash
Greyhounds love to run and have a natural instinct to chase small animals and objects. A leash is a safety device that keeps your pet from dangerous things such as aggressive dogs and moving cars. Using a retractable leash will expose your pup to danger and make it difficult for him to learn since he will have the freedom to go wherever he pleases.
Keeping a tight leash
Pulling on the leash in the hope that the mild pain you cause will stop the puppy from pulling may only make him pull harder. However, you should not rush forward to slacken the leash when the dog pulls. This will teach him that pulling works, making the leash training process harder.
Using fear or pain as feedback
The use of pain and fear to correct negative behavior can prevent the pup from learning effectively. Punishment in these forms may cause your dog to be afraid of you and look to others for security and affection. The best way to train a puppy is by using positive feedback.
Walking too slowly
When leash training a greyhound puppy, you have to be mindful of his physical capabilities. However, walking too slowly can result in pulling issues since humans will naturally walk slower than dogs. Keep an eye on the dog’s pace and pick up yours to see if there is any improvement.
Over reliance on distance as a measure exercise
Greyhound puppies will definitely be fragile during the early stages of growth and development. Rather than focusing on the distance to be covered during leash training sessions, you should do the walks for a given duration. This will also help to protect your pup’s little joints.
Choosing the right leash for your puppy
The type of leash you choose will play a role in determining how quickly and successfully you train your puppy. There are different types of leashes on the market today, offering dog owners a wide range of options. Here is what to look for in a leash for puppies.
There are three main types of leashes: standard, retractable and adjustable leashes. Standard leashes are the most common and vary in length between four and six feet. A standard leash is the best for training puppies since its length cannot be adjusted. This keeps your greyhound puppy safe by preventing him from darting off into traffic or other animals.
The most common materials from which dog leashes are made are nylon, leather, and chain. When considering the best material, you should think about durability, affordability, ease of maintenance, and comfort. Nylon is easy to clean and affordable, while leather is long-lasting and ensures a comfortable grip. Chains are a good fit for large, strong breeds and puppies that like chewing leash materials.
Your puppy will pull on the leash from time to time. Similarly, the dog will want to venture outdoors, whether it is raining or the sun is shining. This is why the leash material you choose should be able to withstand exposure to the weather and wear-and-tear caused by the dog’s activity. It should also resist shrinking and damage from rubbing against different objects.
The size and temperament of your individual pup should help you choose the right leash length. However, puppies are generally full of energy and love to play. They will also want to explore the world around them when you take them outside. A good leash should be long enough to provide some freedom and short enough to ensure you are still in control.
Width is an essential factor in selecting the right leash. Thick leashes are perfect for puppies that are chewers or strong pullers, while thinner ones are lighter and less restrictive. You should consider the breed and temperament of your pup so as to buy a leash that will keep him safe while allowing you to retain control.
Safety should be a top priority when leash training your greyhound puppy. The leash you pick should have a sturdy clip that easily attaches and releases under different conditions. The clip should fasten the leash securely to the collar so that your pup does not break free while on a leash. A good leash clip should be made of a material that will not rust, corrode, or tarnish.
Some leashes come with unique features that make work easier when training your pup. Special grip handles, springs to absorb the shock of a pulling dog, reflective strips for nighttime walking are a few features you can consider. There are also lashes that are equipped with built-in waste bag holders and flashlights.
Our top leash picks for greyhounds
Choosing the right leash for your greyhound can be tough. These dogs are big, powerful, and extremely fast, factors that can expose them to serious dangers if not controlled. Greyhounds have a strong prey drive and will take off after small animals before you know it. Below are some of the best leashes for greyhounds:
BAAPET strong dog leash
This dog leash is made of durable rock-climbing rope and has a thick girth. The BAAPET dog leash is sturdy, long-lasting, and chew-resistant, making it an excellent option for greyhound owners. Padded handles ensure a comfortable grip when walking the canine, while the reflective stitching makes you visible to keep you safe when it is dark. The five-foot length of the leash delivers the perfect balance between control and freedom.
Paw Lifestyles hands-free dog leash
This Paw Lifestyles hands-free leash can hold dogs up to 150 pounds. The unique design of the leash features a built-in waist belt that keeps your hands free. The soft, comfortable belt has a pouch that is designed to carry your mobile phone. You will also get another pocket to hold items like dog treats, poop bags, and cash. When you need more control over your greyhound, there are two handles: one for relaxed strolling and another for keeping the pup close by.
SparklyPets heavy-duty leash
This modern and stylish SparklyPets dog leash is made of thick rope, has a strong metallic hook and rugged leather joints. The shock-absorbing and tough products are perfect for use when handling greyhounds that pull a lot. This leash is lightweight but stable and features durable stitching that can withstand any condition. The reflective stripe makes you visible at night, and the padded loop handle is comfortable to hold.
Fairwin braided leather dog leash
The leather material from which this Fairwin dog leash is made delivers extra pull force and a classy look. Designed to be exceptionally strong, the leash has high tensile resistance and can comfortably accommodate up to 500 pounds of force. The copper alloy clips and lightweight construction of the product make it stand apart. You will enjoy convenience and comfort when walking your greyhound, thanks to the 5.6-foot length.
Primal Pet Gear dog leash
This double-handled leash is great for big dogs since it offers two levels of control. You can use the end handle when going for a comfortable, casual stroll and the handle closer to the collar when you want more control. Both handles are padded with foam-like materials for comfort, and the leash is stitched with reflective thread to ensure increased visibility at night. The Primal Pet Gear dog leash is made of quality materials for durability.
Chai’s Choice padded reflective dog leash
Chai’s Choice padded reflective dog leash is a reliable product with a heavy-duty load capacity so you can keep your greyhound under control. The soft padded mesh provides comfort for both you and your dog, while the 3M reflective material and nylon webbing ensure excellent nighttime visibility. The leash attachment is made of durable zinc-alloy materials, with the leash offering dog owners tons of bright colors from which to choose.
Getting your puppy used to a leash
It will take time before your puppy gets used to a collar and leash. During this period, you can expect behavioral problems as the canine reacts to the leash. It is essential to know how to handle the situation and correct the behavior through repetitive reinforcement. Here is leash training simplified.
When the pup pulls
This is a common reaction among puppies that are not yet accustomed to collars and leashes. Once you notice that your greyhound pulls on the leash, you should stop and stand very still. Maintain this position until the leash relaxes, and your pup comes back to you. When the leash relaxes, you can proceed on your walk. Make sure you avoid jerking the leash or dragging the dog along with you when he pulls in the other direction. Repeat this technique as necessary.
When the pup lunges
Lunging is a reaction you are likely to witness, particularly in the first few days of venturing outdoors with your puppy. The young dog will find the new surroundings intriguing and may go after something while on a walk. It is vital to keep a close eye on your greyhound puppy so you can redirect his attention before he lunges. Immediately you realize that the pup is startled by something, increase the space between him and his target before the dog gets too close.
When the pup barks
Some puppies will bark or growl before they get used to wearing a leash. Handling this behavioral problem will require that you understand why your pup is becoming aggressive. When the puppy barks at other dogs while on a walk, you may want to ensure that he gets enough mental and physical stimulation for his breed and age. Depending on the situation, you should also find out what the young dog is trying to communicate.
When the pup bites the leash
There are several reasons why a puppy would eat their leash. The dog could be bored, feeling insecure, trying to get attention, or simply to pent-up energy. Rather than scolding your dog for chewing his leash, you should get him to relax at the sight of the leash. Start by touching the leash while it is on the wall, without picking it. If your pup stays relaxed, reward him for the calm behavior to get him to see the leash as a cue for relaxation.
Use the right techniques to encourage proper behavior
Encouraging proper behavior will go a long way in ensuring successful leash training. When you notice behavioral problems, you can try to adjust the collar position so that it is not too tight or too loose. You can also shorten the leash to be in better control of the pup and check his feet for thorns, swelling, cuts, or bruises. Other options include walking more frequently and using treats to reward good walking behavior.
FAQs about leash training a greyhound puppy
At what age should I start leash training my greyhound puppy?
Training can start when the pup is eight weeks old by getting him used to wearing a collar for some time. When the young dog is 10 to 12 weeks old, you can introduce leash walking as a fun game. However, you should consider the physical capabilities of your puppy.
Why should my pup walk on a leash?
No matter the size and age of your dog, teaching him proper behavior will make walks a pleasure and strengthen your bond. Leash skills will also come in handy when in public spaces and help to keep your greyhound puppy safe.
How do I get my puppy to stop pulling on the leash?
The simplest way to teach your dog to walk without pulling on the leash is to stop and stand still when he pulls. You should then reward him with treats when he comes to you.
How much room should I allow the leash to extend when walking my puppy?
Your puppy will not need more than five to six feet of distance when walking him casually. This leash length is enough to give him the freedom to roam around while still ensuring you keep control of the situation.
What should I do if my dog refuses to go where I want him to go?
It takes time to teach any dog good leash manners. When the dog does not go where you want him to, you should investigate if an object is distracting him. Encourage him to obey orders and reward him for positive behavior.
How do I get my puppy to enjoy training?
Use positive feedback to encourage good behavior and withdraw the said positive feedback as a form of punishment. Small treats and praise when the puppy does well will keep him interested in training. You can also introduce fun games and visit new places when leash walking.
How long does leash training take?
The amount of time leash training will take depends on an individual puppy. However, you should not expect too much too soon. Try to move at a pace that will ensure your little furry friend understands the lessons you want him to learn.
Leash training is a critical aspect of pet care. Your greyhound puppy will not only be part of your family but will also be by your side during some of your daily activities. Making sure the dog behaves in a way that you consider acceptable will help you have a great relationship.