How to Train a 9 Week Old Puppy to Walk on a Leash?

How to Train a 9 Week Old Puppy to Walk on a Leash?

Training a puppy to walk on a leash is not just about good manners; it’s a critical safety measure. Without proper training, puppies can develop dangerous behaviors like pulling or running off, which can lead to accidents or injuries. It’s essential to teach them early how to walk calmly by your side.

Training a 9-week-old puppy to walk on a leash is an important step in their early education, helping to set the foundation for good behavior and obedience. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to introduce leash walking to a young puppy:

1. Introduce the Collar/Harness

  • Start Indoors: Begin by letting your puppy wear a collar or a harness around the house. Choose a lightweight and comfortable collar or harness that’s suitable for a puppy’s size.
  • Adjust for Fit: Ensure it fits properly; you should be able to fit two fingers comfortably between the collar/harness and the puppy’s neck.
  • Gradual Introduction: Let them wear it for short periods initially, gradually increasing the time as they get used to it.

2. Introduce the Leash

  • Attach the Leash at Home: Once comfortable with the collar or harness, attach the leash and let your puppy drag it around under supervision to get used to the weight and feel.
  • Hold the Leash: After a few sessions, start holding the leash during indoor practice. Encourage your puppy to walk with you using treats and praise.

3. Start with Short Sessions

  • Keep It Positive: Training should be fun and positive. Use treats and your puppy’s favorite toys to motivate and reward them.
  • Short Duration: Keep training sessions short, around 5-10 minutes, to maintain their attention and prevent fatigue.

4. Teach to Follow

  • Use Treats for Luring: Hold a treat in your hand near your puppy’s nose to lure them into walking alongside you. As they follow the treat, walk a few steps, then give the treat as a reward.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Always praise your puppy for moving with you and for paying attention to your cues.

5. Practice Inside

  • Controlled Environment: Start practicing in a familiar, distraction-free environment, such as inside your home or in a quiet yard.
  • Build Confidence: As your puppy gets more comfortable with the leash, gradually introduce new challenges like longer distances or new areas of the house.

6. Move Training Outdoors

  • Quiet Outdoor Areas: Begin outdoor walking in quiet, enclosed areas to avoid overwhelming your puppy.
  • Gradually Increase Challenges: As they become more confident, slowly introduce more distractions and new environments.

7. Consistency and Patience

  • Regular Practice: Consistency is key in training. Practice regularly and maintain a routine.
  • Patience is Crucial: Puppies will naturally be distracted and playful. Patience and persistent positive reinforcement are essential for effective training.

8. Socialization

  • Meet New People and Dogs: Once they are comfortable walking on a leash, allow your puppy to meet new people and other dogs during walks to enhance their social skills.

Training a puppy to walk on a leash is a gradual process that requires patience and consistency. By making the experience positive and rewarding, you’re setting up your puppy for a lifetime of enjoyable walks and good leash manners.

What are the benefits of training puppy to walk on a leash?

Training a 9-week-old puppy to walk on a leash offers several significant benefits that contribute to the long-term well-being and social development of the puppy. Here are some of the key advantages:

1. Safety

  • Control in Public Spaces: Training a puppy to walk on a leash ensures that you can keep them safe in potentially dangerous situations, such as near busy roads or around aggressive animals.
  • Prevention of Lost Pets: A leash-trained puppy is less likely to run off and become lost when outdoors.

2. Socialization

  • Exposure to Diverse Environments: Leash training allows puppies to explore various environments safely, which is crucial during their socialization period (typically up to about 16 weeks). This exposure helps them become well-adjusted adults.
  • Positive Interactions: Puppies learn how to interact safely and politely with other dogs and people while on a leash, which is an essential skill for social behavior.

3. Behavioral Development

  • Foundation for Training: Leash training is a fundamental part of overall obedience training. It teaches puppies to follow cues and behave calmly even in distracting circumstances.
  • Reduction of Fear: Regular walks on a leash help reduce fears and anxieties about the outside world by familiarizing puppies with various sights, sounds, and experiences.

4. Physical Health

  • Exercise: Regular walks are vital for a puppy’s physical development. They provide necessary exercise that helps prevent obesity and related health issues.
  • Energy Management: Walking helps expend energy and can reduce behavioral issues linked to pent-up energy, such as excessive barking, chewing, or digging.

5. Bonding

  • Strengthening the Owner-Pet Relationship: Spending time walking and training together strengthens the bond between you and your puppy. It establishes trust and mutual respect and sets the foundation for a lifelong friendship.

6. Future Convenience

  • Ease of Handling: Puppies that are accustomed to walking on a leash are easier to manage as they grow into adults, especially when visiting vets, groomers, or public places.

Starting leash training at a young age sets a puppy up for success by embedding positive habits early. It makes future training easier and ensures that the puppy grows into a well-mannered, confident dog.


Training your puppy to walk on a leash is a fundamental aspect of their education that sets the foundation for a lifetime of safe and enjoyable walks. By incorporating these steps into your routine, you prepare your puppy for many adventures to come, ensuring they grow into a well-behaved and confident dog.

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FAQ about puppy

Can a 9 Week Old Puppy Walk on a Leash?

Yes, a 9-week-old puppy can start learning to walk on a leash. At this age, leash training should be very gentle and primarily focused on getting the puppy comfortable with wearing a collar or harness and following simple commands. The training sessions should be short, positive, and done at a slow pace that suits the puppy’s attention span and physical capabilities.

How Do You Discipline a 9 Week Old Puppy?

Disciplining a 9-week-old puppy should be gentle and focused on positive reinforcement rather than punishment. Here are some effective strategies:

  • Redirecting: Instead of scolding, redirect your puppy’s unwanted behaviors to acceptable alternatives. For example, if they are chewing on furniture, give them a chew toy instead.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Reward good behaviors with treats, praise, or playtime to reinforce those behaviors.
  • Consistent Commands: Use simple, consistent commands to teach them right from wrong. If they do something undesirable, a firm “no” can be used, followed by redirection to the correct behavior.
  • Time-outs: If the puppy is overly excited or misbehaving, a brief time-out in a crate or a quiet room can help them calm down.

At What Age Do You Start Leash Training a Puppy?

Leash training can begin as soon as you bring your puppy home, typically around 8-9 weeks old. Early training involves getting them used to wearing a collar or harness and following basic commands. Actual walking on a leash should start slowly, with a focus on making the experience positive and enjoyable.

How Much Should I Walk My 9 Week Old Puppy?

At 9 weeks old, puppies have limited stamina and their joints and bones are still developing. Walking should be limited to short sessions of 5-10 minutes, a couple of times a day. Avoid strenuous exercise and keep walks leisurely, allowing the puppy to stop, explore, and not overexert themselves. As they grow older and their endurance improves, gradually increase the length and frequency of the walks.


Article by

Kyra Luo

Product Design Manager

Kyra is the Product Design Manager at QQPETS, where her expertise in developing high-quality, customized pet products and keen insight into market trends has helped hundreds of clients achieve their goals, save money, and satisfy consumer needs.

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Kyra Luo

Product Design Manager

Kyra is the Product Design Manager at QQPETS, where her expertise in developing high-quality, customized pet products and keen insight into market trends has helped hundreds of clients achieve their goals, save money, and satisfy consumer needs.

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