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Taking the lead: Tips for leash-training your puppy
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Taking the lead: Tips for leash-training your puppy

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Many people have welcomed new puppies into their homes during this unprecedented time and are ready to get outside with them. Going for walks is a great way to provide exercise not only for your dog but for yourself as well.

Your new pup probably won’t know how to walk nicely on a leash when you first bring him home. All it takes is some time and training, and you two will be going for daily strolls in no time. The American Kennel Club offers the following tips for teaching your puppy to walk on a leash:

Be consistent

Determine what side you want your puppy to walk on and stick with that side to avoid confusion. Find a toy or treat that your puppy really likes and use either of them to gain your pup’s attention and to motivate him before you start walking.


After putting the leash on your puppy, start with him at your preferred side. Hold the toy or treat at the center of your waist to keep his attention on you. It’s extremely important to maintain your puppy’s focus when there are so many distractions around.

Speak up

Give a verbal command like “let’s walk” or “heel” to begin walking with your puppy. As you walk forward and your pup successfully walks along with you, praise him by saying, “Good boy, walk!”


For every few feet your puppy walks beside you appropriately, stop and give him a little piece of the treat or let him play with the toy you brought. Start with five steps, then build up to 10, then 15. Eventually you’ll be able to reduce or eliminate the use of a treat or toy altogether.


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Nothing compares to the excitement and joy of bringing a new four-legged family member home to love and care for.  But when that home is an apartment, special considerations must be made before and after adopting. Here are our tips for ensuring you and your pet are both happy and comfortable with apartment living.

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Dear Cathy: I have a 13-year-old male Shiba Inu and a 1-year-old female Shiba Inu. We brought the female home when she was 8 weeks old. Needless to say, my older guy isn’t happy about her being here. Before her arrival, my male dog was calm, mellow, easy-going, loveable and didn’t bark. My female is a barker, is hyper, wants to be the boss and has gotten my male dog so nervous he won’t eat if she’s near him. He doesn’t even want to come inside if she’s in the house. I’m at my wit’s end. Any ideas will be helpful. — Susan, Huntington, New York

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