Steps to Walking a Dog on a Leash

Updated on July 30, 2019
newfclub profile image

The Newfoundland Club of America—responsible for the preservation, protection and welfare of the Newfoundland Dog in America since 1930.

Select a collar or harness that is correct for the job. Collars and harnesses for walking are available in a myriad of styles. Not every one will work equally well for every pup. Do you have a bold, headstrong puppy? A no-pull harness might work well for you. Is your pup already focused on you and eager to please? You might do well with a flat buckle collar. Have a pup who is a little more timid? Try a limited-slip (martingale) collar which can be put on somewhat more loosely than a flat collar but that ensures your pup cannot slip out accidently by backing up if afraid.

Be sure the harness or collar fits your pup. Given how quickly Newfoundland puppies grow, this should be a weekly check-up to make sure there are no pressure points or tight areas. Finding an adjustable collar or harness during puppyhood is an ideal solution, and then an adult size can be purchased when your pup hits maturity.

Start by introducing your pup to the collar/harness. Show it to the pup, allowing them to sniff, but not to chew or mouth it—you don’t want puppy to think it is a toy. Ask your pup to sit and slip the collar/harness over his head, talking and praising as you do so. Repeat, leaving the harness or collar on for a few minutes. If your Newf shows any apprehension, repeat these steps until your pup is calm. Next, put the collar or harness on fully. Encourage your pup to walk around. If your pup is anxious in the harness or collar, pair it with a familiar positive activity like having dinner.

Collar Choices for Walking Puppies

What is your favorite type of collar?

See results

Many breeders will begin leash training young pups by allowing them to drag short leashes around during play sessions. This is an excellent approach to socializing pups to what a tug from a leash feels like without negative repercussions. If your pup did not have this experience, you can replicate it by hooking a one or two-foot leash to your pups collar or harness and allow them to explore and play around the yard while you supervise to make sure they don’t get caught up. When they step on the leash, they will give themselves quick corrections and acclimate to the feeling without any drama. Do not let your pup treat the leash as a chew or tug toy and discourage any mouthing of the leash. This will cause issues later on.

When you start leash training your dog for walks, remember that your goal should be to have a dog that walks nicely with you without needing any physical restraint. Leashes, collars, and harnesses are tools to get you there. Since young pups cannot go for long walks, use the opportunity for several very short leash-walking sessions over the course of the day, always paired with an upbeat tone of voice and rewards (treats).

If your pup decides to forge ahead and pull, or put on the breaks and tries to backtrack, the best response is to “Be A Tree”—put down some roots and look up to the sky. Stop moving, ignore the behavior, give the pup a moment to collect himself, and then ask for attention and step out again heading in a different direction. Changing direction makes your pup feel like he needs to pay attention to you in order to know which way you are going.

Keep in mind these words from behaviorist Victoria Stilwell, “Contrary to popular belief, dogs that pull on the leash while being walked do not want to be pack leader, top dog, alpha, or dominant over their human. There is a much simpler explanation: dogs love to be outside, and the walk is a stimulating and exciting part of their day, so the desire to push ahead is very strong.”

As with training every new activity,start working in a familiar, low distraction environment (in the house when it is quiet) and slowly add novel locations and distractions. Don’t attempt trips to a busy park on a sunny Saturday until you and your pup are confident with your leash walking skills. Overwhelming a pup too early or too quickly can lead to fearful or reactive behavior.

© 2016 Newfoundland Club of America


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)