The secret to having a well-behaved dog is to start training them while they are still a puppy. Many people feel that puppies might not be able to be trained, but good behavior in adult dogs starts with good behavior learned while your dog is still just a pup.
One of the first things that you should start training on your puppy is how to walk on a leash.
In addition to it being a law in many areas, you should always walk your dog on a leash. Walking an untrained dog on a leash is different from walking a leash-trained dog on their leash. Untrained dogs will strain or pull on the leash, which can hurt their throat and/or neck and it can hurt your shoulder. Untrained dogs will run around, get tangled around things and still attempt to chase things or get into something that they should not. A dog that is trained to walk on their leash will walk with you and not be as apt to try to dart away from you. You have greater control over your dog while they are on a leash when they are leash trained and it is just a safer and better experience for you both.
The best thing to do is to start your puppy getting used to having a collar and leash on while they are young. Find a collar that is lightweight and comfortable for your puppy to wear. Make sure that it is not too tight. At first, your puppy may not like the collar because it is something new and they are not used to it. The best way to get them used to the collar is to put it on them while they are busy playing.
While your puppy is preoccupied, put the collar on them and then immediately play with your puppy. They will probably forget about the collar. Leave the collar on until your puppy has forgotten about it being on. Do this a few times a day to get them used to the sensation of wearing their collar. If they start to paw at the collar, distract them with toys until they are so caught up with playing that they forget about the collar.
Now, it is time to get your puppy used to have the leash clipped to the collar. You do not need a heavy-duty leash for your puppy; just a lightweight, simple leash will be fine for your puppy. Once your puppy is comfortable and does not mind wearing their collar, you can clip the leash to the collar and then just let your puppy drag the leash around to get used to it. Do not leave your puppy unattended during this stage! Play with your puppy to encourage them to get used to moving while wearing their leash.
You can now move onto the next stage. For this, you should have some training treats. Training treats are small, bite sized treats that you use to reward your puppy for doing the right thing during their training. While your puppy has their collar and leashes on, go to the other side of the room and call them by name to you. When your puppy comes to you, praise them and give them a treat. If your puppy does not want to come to you, you can use a favorite toy to help get their interest.
It is time to get your puppy used to walk with a leash around the house. Keep the leash loose and make sure to praise them often. When they walk around the house with trying to pull the leash or run away, you can give them a training treat every now and then as well as praise. Your puppy looks up to you and when you praise them, it is a positive reward for them. Never yank or pull on your puppies leash to try to keep them by your side. That is the wrong way to leash train your puppy.
If your puppy starts to wander away, call them back to you and when they come back to you, give them a treat and some praise. If your puppy starts to pull or strain on the leash, stop walking and call them back to you. If you keep walking your puppy while they are pulling on their leash, they will think that it is acceptable behavior. Get them used to the idea while they are young that they will not get their way by pulling on the leash. Wait until they return to your side before you start walking again.
Once your puppy is used to walking around the house on their leash, you can start taking your puppy on walks outside. You might want to bring training treats with you for the first several walks outside to help get your puppy to come back to you when they get distracted. Just remember, if your puppy gets distracted and tries to wander away or pull on their leash, do not yank the leash or pull back, just stop walking and call them back to you. When they come back to you, that is when you give them the training treat and the praise. Eventually, you can cut back on the treats and just give praise.
Once your puppy is walking on a leash without problems, you can add the heel and the stay command if you wish. Walking on their leash should be a fun experience for both you and your puppy so keep it positive and enjoy.