How to Get Your Dog Comfortable with a Leash

Updated: Apr 12


Why Is Leash Training Your Dog Important?

It may seem basic, but training your dog to walk and behave on a leash is actually a detailed process. Teaching your dog to behave on a leash will help keep them from pulling in a different direction when on walks. While the role of the leash is to help you monitor and adjust your dog's movement, leashes should be viewed more as a safety measure than a method of controlling your dog.


Steps to Success:


  • Get dog into a sterile, non-distracting environment.

  • Place leash in front of the dog and reward with treats each time your dog acknowledges or interacts with the leash.

  • Begin putting the leash on and off your dog, incorporating a marker word and treat each time the leash is removed.

  • Once they are comfortable having a leash clipped onto their collar, begin allowing your dog to walk around with the leash on.


Keep In Mind:


Your dog's leash is a safety barrier, allowing you to make sure they don't put themselves in harm's way. The leash isn't there for you to control your dog, only to keep them from harm.

 

Related Article:

The Science of Service Dogs: How Trained Service Dogs Help Veterans with PTSD

 

Training and Nurturing Puppies at Project 2 Heal:


At Project 2 Heal, we breed Labrador Retriever puppies for the purpose of donating these animals at 8 to 12 weeks of age to one of our partner organizations. From there, our puppies are trained extensively in service dog work and matched with an individual in need.


Our process begins with Early Neurological Stimulation, which are exercises conducted during the first two weeks of life—beginning at only 48 hours after birth!—that slightly stress the puppy's nervous system and allow them to become less reactive to novel stimuli as adults. This process includes the following:

  • Tactile stimulation: Stimulating puppy paws through touch our tickling.

  • Holding the head of the puppy erect.

  • Holding the head of the puppy pointed downward.

  • Supine position: Resting the puppy on its back in the palm of hands.

  • Thermal Stimulation: Placing feet of puppy on top of a cool, damp towel and allowing the puppy to move about.

Service Dog Scent Training:


Also occurring during the first 14 days, service dog training includes a process called early scent introduction. This training exposes dogs to smells it will encounter during working life. During this process, trainers pay close attention to the way puppies react to various smells. This helps identify which puppies may not be suited to work as a service dog.


Service Dog Clicker Training:


Championed by Karen Prior Academy, clicker training service dogs is a method that teaches puppies about associations. Puppies learn commands through a combination of rewards and clicking sounds. During service dog training, high-level tasks are broken into smaller tasks, after which puppies are rewarded with food and stimulated with sound from a handheld clicker.


Eventually food and clicking sounds are phased out so that puppies are able to execute tasks upon command.

 

Our mission is to reduce the cost and time necessary to place a service dog with a veteran, child with Autism, or adult with disabilities.

 

How Can You Help Further Our Mission?

When you donate only $5 per month, your contribution covers important expenses, including:

  • First vet visit for entire litter

  • 50 pounds of high-quality dog

  • 1 puppy eye exam

  • 6 bags of high-value reward training treats

  • 1 puppy-in-training service dog vest

As you can see, there are a number of ways that $5 monthly donations can make a real impact at Project 2 Heal. With an average cost of $5,000 to raise and train a puppy litter of puppies through the first 8 weeks of life, we'd love for you to join us on our mission.


Click below to become a donor at any level that works for you. We need your help to raise puppies and change lives.

 

$5 Monthly Donors


Our bread and butter (or should we say, "kibble?"), these donors cover items listed above, including first vet visits!


I Want to Cover Vet Visits!


$10 Monthly Donors


Each of our $10 monthly donors feeds an entire litter from birth to donation. (That's a lot of puppy food!)


I Want to Cover Vet Visits!


$25 Monthly Donors


$25 a month prevents fleas and ticks for a pup. With 30+ puppies expected in 2021, these donors mean the world!


Fleas and Ticks? Eww!