The sooner you start leash training your puppy, the sooner he will be able to walk with you in a safe, happy environment. However, this isn't always an easy task. Puppies are often afraid of collars and leashes; and as such, should be introduced to them in a loving and patient way. Before you start leash training your puppy, you should buy him a collar with an ID tag, a leash, and some of his favorite treats. You need a regular dog collar, choke collars are not recommended for leash training. Start the training session by putting the collar comfortably, but securely around the puppy's neck.
He will probably paw at the collar and roll around at first. Don't laugh at him or encourage this in any way, but don't punish or scold him either. After a few minutes the puppy will forget it's there. Once the puppy accepts the collar, you should attach the leash. Don't pull him; just let him walk around wearing it for a while. Do this indoors with supervision so the puppy can't tangle the leash on something and become hurt.
After a few minutes, take the leash off. Repeat this process several times while leash training your puppy. Attaching the leash to his collar at meal times will help him to associate the leash with something pleasant. After he is comfortable wearing the leash, pick up the other end. Don't walk him; instead let him lead you around if he wishes.
Try not to put him in a position where he wants to pull or strain against the leash. Try luring him towards you. If he comes, give him lots of praise and possible a treat; if he doesn't come don't punish or scold him because that will only make him more afraid of the leash.
When he begins to walk praise him generously. Every part of leash training needs to be as pleasant for the puppy as possible. When the puppy is comfortable walking on the leash, practice in a familiar area without distractions. Gradually widen the walking area. Once wearing the collar and walking on the leash are conquered, it's time for you and your puppy to learn how to manipulate stairs. The same patience and encouragement required for leash training is necessary for training your puppy to climb stairs.
You should find a wide, inviting staircase and sit at the base of the steps with your puppy. Go up one step and encourage your puppy to follow with your voice and a treat. If he follows make a huge fuss telling him how wonderful he is and give him the treat. Repeat this until he is no longer intimidated by the stairs.
While leash training your puppy, never punish him for not climbing the stairs or try to force him. Forcing him will only impede the training process and give him something else to be afraid of. Although leash training your puppy can be challenging it is absolutely necessary for his safety. Remember, new puppies are a great responsibility and this is only one small part of the training the puppy will need for a smooth and happy transition from a puppy to a dog.
Mike Long runs a dog training website that focuses on educating people about the different ways of training your dog or puppy. If you would like to learn more, including additional articles, and training tips, tricks, and ideas, check out his site at http://dogtraininginfo.wordpress.com.