Dog and leash
One of the most important tasks a dog should master is walking on a leash. If you have a well-trained dog you will be able to take him/her for a nice and safe walk in every environment. This is especially important in urban areas, with which the dogs aren’t usually acquainted.
Leash training should be stared as soon as possible. However, it should be noted that the first walk should take place after vaccination. Regular strolls enable the dog a healthy life, via giving the dog the needed amount of movement and contact with other dogs. Another restraint is the weather, such small dogs as Chihuahuas are very sensitive to low temperatures and walks should be limited to a couple of minutes.
Before the first walk we should put a collar around our dog’s neck. We do this in a way that will not scare the dog. Firstly, we let the dog sniff the collar, and when the dog feels comfortable we put it on him and play with the dog to show him that a collar it a fun thing. Thanks to it the puppy will forget that it has anything on it’s neck. A convenient thing is to leave the collar permanently around dog’s neck, but in such case we should check regularly if it isn’t too tight, as puppies grow surprisingly fast.
Once the dog learns to walk in a collar, we can start attaching it to a leash. You should choose a leash that is made out of hard elastic materials and is adapted to the small breeds. It should have sturdy fastening, so that the dog can’t escape.
Initially a dog should walk with the leash attached, but without anyone touching it. We treat this stage as a game that will get the dog accustomed to its leash. The next part of this lesson is to stand, leash in hand and we call the dog, in hope that he will come to us. When the dog gets this we finish the exercise and detach him only when he is standing next to us. It is very important to reward good behaviour. The final stage is trying to hint the direction we want to go in. After a couple of tries the dog will excel in it.
While strolling with the dog outside, we have to show a great deal of perseverance and never give up or allow the dog to do the exercise incorrectly. We can’t let a dog to pull at the leash, but when this happens we have to stop and let the dog calm down. If we do this persistently the dog will realize that it is a thing that is unwanted and will stop. It may take up to a week, but we should remember that the older the dog is the more time will be needed to train him. Last but not least is to remember that a walk should be a playful time for your dog, therefore after a training make the walk as fun as possible for both of you.
If you happen to have a neighbour or member of family who has a calm, well trained dog it is advisable to accompany them during their walks, this will allow your dog to have a good example. We should also let the dog sniff and play with other dogs especially with the same breed or with one of similar size.