As a loving and caring Pit Bull owner, you will undoubtedly spend a lot of your time in training your dog. You will probably do some crate training, obedience training, maybe even agility training. But, one of the most enjoyable things you can do for your Pit Bull is leash training. He may not think very highly of it at first, but once he has the hang of it, your outside time with him will be much more enjoyable for you both. Leash training is also an important step in training your Pit Bull for shows, if that is your ultimate goal.
Most experts recommend that you begin leash training your Pit Bull when he is around six or seven weeks old. Usually at this age, he will have a better attention span, and will be up for walks with you.
When you first start walking with your Pit Bull puppy, you may want to allow the puppy some freedom at first, so that he can explore his area and play. The training at this time will be teaching your Pit Bull puppy to stay with you during your walk, and come when you call him. By letting the puppy explore, and then calling his name, he will learn that you want him to come back to you. It is important to praise and reward your Pit Bull puppy when he does come when you call him. Some trainers will use treats to get the puppy to follow them at first. Due to his short attention span, you shouldn’t expect this to work for long. You should give the puppy a treat, and let him go play, then try again a little later. By using treats and rewards, and being patient, your Pit Bull puppy will catch on fairly quickly.
When your Pit Bull puppy has mastered the walk without a leash, and coming to you when you call him, you can probably begin training him on a lead. Most veterinarians will recommend starting with a nylon collar before trying a choker collar. Most of the time, the choker collar isn’t needed, unless you have a very strong willed Pit Bull.
Usually the best place to start leash training is your own backyard. The Pit Bull puppy is probably already very familiar with this area now, so he will be less focused on exploring, and more on training. You also don’t have to worry about other animals on the scene, as you would at a park or local walking track.
Again, when you have the collar on and are ready to begin, bend down and offer a treat to get your Pit Bull puppy to come to you. After successfully doing this a few times, start to walk a little with the puppy on the leash. If your Pit Bull puppy follows you, praise him and give him a treat. In the event he doesn’t follow, which often is the case the first time around, start all over again. Once he starts to follow you without resistance, try walking a little bit further each time. Your Pit Bull puppy will soon learn to be lead, without him even noticing he is doing something he may not want to do.
Continue working with your Pit Bull often, as any training should be ongoing. The more training and practice your Pit Bull gets, the more accustomed to the leash he will become.