How would I feel if this was me?
In the case of introducing your puppy’s first lead, it is useful to imagine yourself in your puppy’s position. Imagine you have a collar or harness on. You’ve only really just started getting used to this on your body. Then, the humans attach a lead to you which restricts your movement and it sometimes jangles around your face. Initially, at what seems to be random times, you feel pulling on your collar when you reach the end of that lead. Over time, you learn that this tension happens when you get to the end of the lead. This tension is generally uncomfortable. Plus, there is the frustration of not being able to move in the direction you want to go.
So, this sounds perhaps a bit annoying or a bit frustrating, but not too big of a deal right? Not too big of a deal if it happens just once, but most puppies will have their lead on at least once a day for walks or other outings. This feeling of frustration every single day then compounds and long term affects our pup’s feelings towards their lead. This is where you may see the puppy biting at the lead to try and control the tension, or other frustration based behaviours.
How to introduce puppy’s first lead so they love it
Instead of having our puppy frustrated when on lead, we want them to love it. We’ll use the same approach we used in introducing puppy’s first collar. Note, it is best to introduce your puppy to the lead after you have had some sessions getting them comfortable with their collar or harness.