The Ultimate Guide to Train Your Shih Poo to Walk on a Leash
As a proud owner of a Shih Poo, have you ever wondered why your furry friend can’t seem to walk properly on a leash? Have you struggled with their disobedience and the embarrassment of them pulling you around? Training your dog to walk on a leash is a crucial part of their development, and it’s not always an easy feat. However, with the right techniques and mindset, it can definitely be achieved. In this article, we’ll discuss the dos and don’ts of training your Shih Poo to walk on a leash, as well as some common issues you may face along the way. By the end of this article, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying peaceful and enjoyable walks with your furry companion.
Why Walking on a Leash is Important?
Walking on a leash is an essential skill for Shih Poos. It’s not only a form of exercise but also an opportunity for them to explore the outside environment. Leash training can enhance the bond and trust between you and your furry companion. It can also prevent your Shih Poo from getting into trouble or danger, such as running into the street or confronting aggressive dogs. However, it’s important to note that leash training can be a challenging process, especially for first-time dog owners. You may need to combine it with other training techniques like crate training or obedience training to help your pup become a well-behaved and confident companion. You can learn more about these training methods by reading our articles on crate training, obedience training, socialization, and house training.
Benefits of Walking Your Shih Poo on a Leash
Walking your Shih Poo on a leash is not only a great way to bond with your pup but also has several benefits for their physical and mental well-being. Here are the top reasons why you should start walking your Shih Poo on a leash:
- Promotes Exercise: As with any dog, Shih Poos need exercise to stay healthy and maintain a healthy weight. Walking on a leash is a low-impact exercise that can keep your Shih Poo active and improve their overall fitness level.
- Provides Mental Stimulation: Walking on a leash exposes your Shih Poo to new sights, sounds, and smells, which can provide important mental stimulation. This can help prevent boredom and destructive behaviors like chewing or digging.
- Strengthens the Bond: Walking with your Shih Poo on a leash is a great way to build trust and deepen your bond with your pet. It can also help promote obedience and reinforce your role as the pack leader.
- Improves Socialization: Regular walks on a leash are a great way to introduce your Shih Poo to other people, pets, and new environments. This can help improve their socialization skills and reduce the risk of behavior problems like anxiety or aggression.
- Reduces Stress: Walking is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety for both you and your pet. This is especially true if you live in an urban area or have a busy household that can be overwhelming for your Shih Poo.
By regularly walking your Shih Poo on a leash, you can help them stay physically fit and mentally stimulated while providing important bonding, socialization, and stress-relieving benefits. If you are looking for other fun ways to keep your Shih Poo active and engaged, you may want to consider trying some agility tricks, which can provide valuable mental and physical exercise.
When to Start Walking Your Shih Poo on a Leash?
Scheduling your Shih Poo’s first leash walk is crucial for their future behavior. Here are some things to keep in mind when determining when to start walking your Shih Poo on a leash:
- Wait until they have completed their vaccinations: It’s important to keep your Shih Poo safe from diseases and illness that they can encounter outside. Wait until your Shih Poo has completed their vaccinations before taking them on walks outside.
- Start as early as possible: Getting your Shih Poo accustomed to walking on a leash as early as possible can help make the process smoother. Starting as early as 8-10 weeks old can help build the foundation for good leash behavior.
- Observe their comfort level: Before taking them on a leash walk, observe your Shih Poo’s comfort level with the leash and collar. Introduce the leash and collar slowly, and make sure they are comfortable wearing them before heading out on a walk.
- Consider your Shih Poo’s energy level: Shih Poos can have high energy levels, and it’s important to take that into account when deciding when to start leash training. Make sure your Shih Poo has had enough playtime before a leash walk, as this can help minimize their desire to pull or become overly excited.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure your Shih Poo is physically and mentally ready for leash training, making the process more enjoyable for both of you.
The Dos of Training Your Shih Poo to Walk on a Leash
Taking on the responsibility of training your Shih Poo to walk on a leash is an important step in establishing a strong and healthy bond between you and your furry companion. However, it can be overwhelming to determine what actions to take and which ones to avoid. To help you out, here are some crucial dos of training your Shih Poo to walk on a leash that will ensure a positive and effective training experience for both you and your pup. Make sure to take note of these valuable tips!
Do Understand Your Shih Poo’s Personality and Behavior
One of the most important things to keep in mind when training your Shih Poo to walk on a leash is to understand their personality and behavior. This means taking into account their individual traits and tendencies, and adjusting your training strategies accordingly.
To help you better understand your Shih Poo’s personality, consider creating a simple table that outlines their likes, dislikes, fears, and motivations:
|Playing with toys||Loud noises||Thunderstorms||Treats|
|Snuggling with owners||Baths||Vacuum cleaners||Praise|
|Going on walks||Being left alone||Strangers||Attention|
Once you have a better sense of your Shih Poo’s likes and dislikes, you can use this information to create a training plan that plays to their strengths and addresses their weaknesses. For example, if your Shih Poo is highly motivated by treats, you can use this to your advantage by rewarding them with small treats each time they follow a leash command correctly. On the other hand, if your Shih Poo is fearful of strangers, you may need to start by practicing leash training in a quieter, more secluded area before moving on to busier locations.
Taking the time to understand your Shih Poo’s personality and behavior can help you be more effective in your leash training efforts. Creating a simple table of their likes, dislikes, fears, and motivations is a helpful way to organize this information and use it to tailor your training plan.
Do Choose the Right Type of Leash and Collar
Choosing the right type of leash and collar is crucial when training your Shih Poo to walk on a leash. Here are some factors to consider:
- Size: Make sure to choose a leash and collar that is appropriate for the size of your Shih Poo. For small breeds like Shih Poos, a leash that is too heavy or a collar that is too wide can be uncomfortable and even cause injury.
- Material: The material of the leash and collar is also important. Nylon and leather are common choices, but make sure to choose a comfortable and durable material that also fits your personal preferences.
- Type of Leash: There are several types of leashes available, including standard leashes, retractable leashes, and training leashes. Standard leashes are the most common, but training leashes can be helpful for teaching your Shih Poo leash manners.
- Type of Collar: Collars come in a variety of types, including buckle collars, martingale collars, and head collars. Buckle collars are the most common, but for dogs that tend to pull, a head collar may be more effective. Always make sure the collar is not too tight, and never leave a collar on your dog when they are not supervised.
- Comfort: Lastly, comfort is key. Make sure the collar and leash you choose are comfortable for your Shih Poo, to ensure they are not distracted by discomfort during training. Always supervise your Shih Poo when wearing a collar and leash to make sure they are not in distress.
By taking the time to choose the right type of leash and collar for your Shih Poo, you can help ensure a comfortable and successful training experience.
Do Start Indoors and Use Positive Reinforcements
When it comes to training your Shih Poo to walk on a leash, it’s essential to start indoors and use positive reinforcements. This method helps your Shih Poo stay comfortable, confident, and focused. This approach is suitable for both puppies and adult dogs.
Why Start Indoors?
Starting indoors is a great way to introduce your Shih Poo to a leash. This technique allows you to teach your Shih Poo basic commands such as “come,” “sit,” and “stay.” This method gives your Shih Poo a sense of familiarity with the leash and collar, which can make the training process more comfortable.
Using Positive Reinforcements
Positive reinforcements are an effective training method when teaching your Shih Poo to walk on a leash. Positive reinforcements include verbal praises, favorite treats, and playtime. These reinforcements help motivate your Shih Poo to behave correctly during the training session. Instead of punishing your Shih Poo for not following commands, you reward them for completing tasks.
Table: Examples of Positive Reinforcements
| Positive Reinforcements | Description |
| — | — |
| Verbal praises | Cheer your Shih Poo with positive words such as “good boy” or “great job” |
| Favorite treats | Offer your Shih Poo small treats like biscuits or a piece of cheese |
| Playtime | After finishing the training session, play with your Shih Poo with their favorite toy as a reward |
Remember to use these reinforcements regularly during the training sessions to help your Shih Poo associate the leash with positivity.
Starting indoors and using positive reinforcements is an excellent technique for training your Shih Poo to walk on a leash. This method can help your Shih Poo stay calm, confident, and focused, which leads to successful training sessions. Remember to be patient, consistent, and use positive reinforcements to create a pleasant and effective learning experience for your Shih Poo.
The Don’ts of Training Your Shih Poo to Walk on a Leash
As important as knowing what to do when training your Shih Poo to walk on a leash is knowing what not to do. Avoiding certain practices can make the process smoother and more enjoyable for both you and your furry friend. Here are some don’ts to keep in mind during leash training.
Don’t Use Force or Physical Punishment
When training your Shih Poo to walk on a leash, using force or physical punishment is not the way to go. It may seem like a quick fix to get your dog to comply immediately, but it can lead to detrimental long-term effects. Here are some reasons why you should never use force or physical punishment during leash training:
- It can damage your relationship with your dog: Using force or physical punishment during training can cause your dog to become afraid of you. This can damage the bond between you and your pet and create trust issues that may persist even after the training is over.
- It can cause physical harm to your dog: The use of force or physical punishment can cause physical harm to your dog. This includes bruises, cuts, or other injuries that may require medical attention.
- It can create anxiety and fear: Punishing your dog physically can create anxiety and fear in your pet. This type of fear-based training can lead to aggressive behavior, nervousness, or reluctance to go for walks.
- There are effective alternatives: There are more effective, humane ways to train your Shih Poo to walk on a leash. Positive reinforcement is one such method that involves rewarding your dog for good behavior, such as walking without pulling. This method is not only effective but can also strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
Using force or physical punishment during leash training is not a recommended approach. It can lead to long-term damage to your relationship with your pet, cause physical harm, create anxiety and fear in your dog, and there are more effective, humane alternatives available such as positive reinforcement. Remember to always be patient, consistent, and kind when training your Shih Poo to walk on a leash.
Don’t Let Your Shih Poo Pull You from One Place to Another
When it comes to walking your Shih Poo on a leash, it’s essential to establish proper leash etiquette from the start. One of the most crucial don’ts is letting your Shih Poo pull you from one place to another.
Here’s why: Allowing your dog to control the walk can result in a lack of control and can be detrimental to both you and your furry friend.
Here are a few tips to prevent your Shih Poo from pulling you:
- Be consistent: When walking your Shih Poo, always ensure that you are leading the way. If you allow your dog to pull you, even once, it could set an unwanted precedent for future walks.
- Use positive reinforcement: Encourage your Shih Poo to stay by your side by using positive reinforcement techniques. Offer praise, treats, or even toys when your pup is walking calmly by your side.
- Stop and start: If your Shih Poo starts pulling, stop walking, and wait for them to calm down before starting again. This approach can help teach your dog that pulling will not result in getting where they want to go any faster.
- Use a no-pull dog harness: Consider using a no-pull dog harness designed to redirect your Shih Poo’s natural instincts. These harnesses work by reducing the dog’s pulling power, making it easier to control their behavior while walking.
Remember: Your Shih Poo looks up to you for guidance and leadership, so it’s essential to be patient and consistent when training them to walk on a leash. Don’t let your furry friend pull you from one place to another, and you’ll both enjoy a more enjoyable and stress-free walk.
Don’t Rush or Overcrowd the Training Sessions
When it comes to training your Shih Poo to walk on a leash, it’s important to remember that this process takes time and patience. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is rushing or overcrowding the training sessions. This can lead to your dog feeling overwhelmed, confused, and even resistant to training.
To avoid rushing the training sessions, start slowly and gradually increase the duration and frequency of the sessions. You can start by simply putting the leash on your Shih Poo and letting them get used to the sensation of having something attached to them. Once they are comfortable with this, you can then try taking a few steps with them on the leash, rewarding them with treats and praise for good behavior.
Similarly, it’s important to avoid overcrowding the training sessions. Don’t try to cram too much into one session, as this can also overwhelm your dog and cause them to feel frustrated or resistant. Instead, break the training into short, manageable sessions throughout the day. This will allow your Shih Poo to process and retain the information more effectively.
In addition to avoiding rushing and overcrowding, it’s important to be consistent with your training. This means using the same commands and techniques each time you train your Shih Poo to walk on a leash. Consistency will help your dog feel more confident and comfortable with the training process, which will lead to better results in the long run.
Training your Shih Poo to walk on a leash can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By taking your time, avoiding overcrowding and being consistent in your approach, you can set your dog up for success and enjoy many happy walks together in the future.
|Start slowly and gradually increase the duration and frequency of training sessions||Rush through training sessions or try to cram too much in at once|
|Break training into short, manageable sessions throughout the day||Overcrowd training sessions or try to train for too long at once|
|Use consistent commands and techniques each time you train||Switch up the commands or techniques you use during training|
Common Issues When Walking on a Leash and How to Solve Them
You’re excited to finally take your Shih Poo out for a walk with their new leash and collar, but as soon as you step outside, your furry companion acts up. Pulling, whining, and acting fearful are just some of the common issues that can arise when walking your Shih Poo on a leash. But don’t worry, with a few simple tips and tricks, you can overcome these challenges and make walking a pleasant experience for both you and your furry friend. Let’s explore some of the common issues when walking on a leash and how to solve them.
Pulling on the Leash
It can be frustrating and uncomfortable when your Shih Poo pulls on the leash during a walk. It’s important to address this behavior to ensure a pleasant and safe walking experience for both you and your furry friend. Here are some helpful tips to stop your Shih Poo from pulling on the leash:
|Stop and Go||When your Shih Poo starts to pull on the leash, stop walking and stand still. Wait until they calm down and then start walking again. This teaches them that pulling gets them nowhere and that walking politely on the leash is more effective.|
|Change Direction||If your Shih Poo pulls in a particular direction, change course and head in the opposite direction. This will encourage them to stay close to you and pay attention to your movements.|
|Use Positive Reinforcement||When your Shih Poo walks calmly on the leash, reward them with treats, praise, or a favorite toy. This helps to reinforce good behavior and encourages your furry friend to continue walking politely on the leash.|
|Use a No-Pull Harness||If your Shih Poo continues to pull on the leash, you may want to consider using a no-pull harness. These harnesses have a front attachment that redirects your furry friend’s attention and prevents pulling.|
Remember to always be patient and consistent when training your Shih Poo to walk on a leash. With time and practice, your furry friend will learn to walk politely by your side without pulling.
Fear or Anxiety
It is not unusual for Shih Poos to experience fear or anxiety when walking on a leash, especially if this is their first time. Separation anxiety, past traumatic experiences, or unfamiliar surroundings can all contribute to their fear.
Here are some ways to help your Shih Poo overcome fear or anxiety while walking on a leash:
- Start small and slow: Begin indoors or in an enclosed area where your Shih Poo feels safe and secure. Gradually move to more open spaces, such as your backyard, before venturing out onto busy streets or unfamiliar areas.
- Praise and reward: Use positive reinforcement to reinforce their good behavior. Offer verbal praise, treats, or their favorite toy when they follow your lead or show signs of bravery.
- Keep a relaxed grip: If your Shih Poo senses that you are tense or anxious, they are likely to mirror those feelings. Thus, it is important to keep a relaxed and comfortable grip on the leash. Avoid yanking or pulling too hard, as this can add to their fear.
- Identify triggers: Determine what specifically caused your Shih Poo’s fear or anxiety. Is it a loud noise or an unfamiliar object? Once you know the cause, you can work on desensitizing them to it through gradual exposure and positive reinforcement.
- Consider calming aids: There are natural supplements and calming aids, such as lavender oil or pheromone sprays, that can help soothe your Shih Poo’s anxiety. Consult with your vet if you think this might be a helpful strategy.
- Be patient: Remember, fear and anxiety may not disappear overnight. Be patient and consistent with your training. Work at a pace that feels comfortable for your Shih Poo and celebrate small successes along the way.
By following these tips, you can help your Shih Poo overcome fear or anxiety and enjoy their walks on the leash. Remember, a positive and patient approach can go a long way in building their confidence and trust.
One common issue you may encounter while training your Shih Poo to walk on a leash is distracted behavior. This can happen when your furry friend sees something that piques their interest, such as a squirrel, another dog, or a patch of grass. It can be frustrating, but it’s important to handle the situation calmly and patiently.
Why Distracted Behavior Happens
Distracted behavior can stem from your Shih Poo’s natural curiosity and desire to explore their surroundings. It can also be a sign of anxiety or fear. For example, if your dog is nervous around other dogs, they may become fixated on them while out on a walk. Additionally, if your dog is used to having free reign during playtime, being restricted on a leash may lead to restlessness.
How to Handle Distracted Behavior
The first step in addressing distracted behavior is recognizing when it’s happening. If your Shih Poo suddenly pulls on the leash or stops in their tracks, take a moment to assess their surroundings before reacting. If they seem agitated or afraid, try to remain calm and reassuring.
One way to prevent distracted behavior is to keep your Shih Poo engaged during walks. Bring along their favorite toy or treats to use as positive reinforcement. You can also try varying your route or walking at different times to keep things interesting.
If your Shih Poo becomes fixated on something during a walk, try directing their attention elsewhere using a treat or toy. You can also practice “watch me” commands to help them focus on you. Additionally, if your dog starts pulling on the leash, come to a stop and wait for them to calm down before continuing.
Preventing Distracted Behavior
While it’s not always possible to prevent distracted behavior, there are some steps you can take to minimize the chances of it happening. Make sure your Shih Poo is well-exercised before going for a walk so they aren’t bursting with energy. Additionally, ensure that the leash and collar are properly fitted and comfortable so your dog isn’t distracted by discomfort.
By understanding why distracted behavior occurs and taking steps to address it, you can help your Shih Poo become a successful leash walker. Remember to stay patient and positive, and don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional dog trainer if you need additional assistance.
|Causes of Distracted Behavior||How to Handle It|
|Natural curiosity and desire to explore surroundings||Keep your Shih Poo engaged using toys and treats; vary walking routes to prevent boredom|
|Anxiety or fear||Remain calm and reassuring; practice “watch me” commands to help focus attention|
|Restlessness due to restricted movement on leash||Use positive reinforcement; minimize distractions during training sessions|
After following the dos and don’ts of training your Shih Poo to walk on a leash, you should be well on your way to enjoying peaceful walks with your furry friend. Remember that patience and positivity are key during this process. It’s important to understand your Shih Poo’s personality and behavior, choose the right equipment, and use positive reinforcements.
Avoid using force or physical punishment, as this can harm your dog and create a negative association with leash walking. Instead, use gentle redirection techniques to teach your Shih Poo that pulling on the leash is not acceptable behavior. Additionally, ensure that you are not rushing or overcrowding the training sessions, as this can be intimidating for your dog and hinder their progress.
If you encounter common issues such as pulling on the leash, fear or anxiety, or distracted behavior, remain calm and patient. Work to gradually address these issues using positive reinforcement and consistent training techniques.
Overall, training your Shih Poo to walk on a leash is an important part of their development and can lead to many benefits, such as improved obedience, socialization, and exercise. By following these tips and being dedicated to the training process, you and your furry friend can enjoy many happy walks together.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best age to start training a Shih Poo to walk on a leash?
It is best to start leash training your Shih Poo when they are around 12 weeks old, as this is when their personalities and behaviors become more established.
What type of leash and collar should I use for my Shih Poo?
Choose a collar that fits snugly but not too tightly around your Shih Poo’s neck, and a 4-6 feet leash made of nylon or leather. Retractable leashes are not recommended for leash training.
How can I teach my Shih Poo to walk on a leash without pulling?
Teach your Shih Poo to walk on a loose leash by stopping every time they pull and only moving forward when the leash is loose. Reward your Shih Poo with treats when they walk calmly beside you.
What should I do if my Shih Poo is afraid of the leash?
Give your Shih Poo some time to sniff and investigate the leash before putting it on. Start with short training sessions using positive reinforcements, and gradually increase the length of the walks.
Can I use a harness instead of a collar for leash training?
Yes, you can use a harness for leash training, but make sure it fits snugly and does not restrict your Shih Poo’s movements. Harnesses can be useful for dogs with respiratory problems or neck injuries.
How many times a day should I walk my Shih Poo on a leash?
You should aim to walk your Shih Poo on a leash for at least 20-30 minutes twice a day. However, the actual frequency and duration of the walks depend on your Shih Poo’s age, health, and activity level.
What if my Shih Poo is too excited and distracted during walks?
Use positive reinforcements to redirect your Shih Poo’s attention back to you, such as treats, toys, or verbal praise. Avoid walking in crowded or unfamiliar areas until your Shih Poo learns to focus on the walk.
What should I do if my Shih Poo becomes aggressive towards other dogs while on a leash?
Avoid confrontations with other dogs by walking your Shih Poo in less crowded areas or at quieter times of the day. Enroll your Shih Poo in obedience training to learn how to socialize with other dogs.
Should I use a clicker for leash training my Shih Poo?
Clickers can be effective for marking and rewarding desired behaviors during leash training. However, clicker training requires patience, consistency, and proper timing to be successful.
Can I take my Shih Poo for a walk immediately after meals?
No, it is recommended to wait at least 30 minutes after your Shih Poo eats before going for a walk. Walking immediately after meals may cause digestive problems or discomfort for your Shih Poo.