Trying to control a hyper Bernese Mountain Dog puppy on a leash can be frustrating and also having a new puppy parent can be confusing on how to train them.
If you want to have a well-behaved puppy on a leash and be able to walk with them comfortably, you are in the right place because in this post you will learn how to leash train a Bernese Mountain Dog.
Let’s get to it!
How To Leash Train A Bernese Mountain Dog Puppy
1.Choose a suitable collar and leash
There are several types of leashes, collars, or harnesses for dogs in the market but not all are good for your puppy.
Different leashes have different functions, for example, some are short and suitable for walking short distances, others are long and retractable which are best suited for walks in the park while others are heavy-duty leashes for the prevention of tugging or pulling.
The selection of an appropriate leash, collar, or harness for your Bernese Mountain Dog puppy is important for comfort and training purposes.
Do not use retractable leashes as well because your puppy will tend to go in front of you during training which will not be effective in getting control of the leash training process.
The best leash for training should also be 4 to 6 feet long. A short leash will ensure that your puppy will not walk ahead of you and will give you more control and encourage obedience to the leash.
The best leash we recommend is the Max and Neo reflective nylon leash. The leash is both durable and comfortable on your wrist during walks with your puppy.
The right collar size will fit well on their neck, which depends on your pup’s neck size. The Bernese Mountain Dogs neck size is between 20 to 26 inches in circumference and it is best to find a collar around this range.
For a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy size and one that will provide good support, we recommend the Mighty Paw Martingale nylon training collar. The collar allows you to have gentle control of your puppy while on a leash and is very durable.
You can either use a collar or a no-pull harness. The best harness for a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy is the Dean & Tyler DT harness which is easy to use, take off, and comes in different sizes suitable for your puppy.
Recommended Reading: Why does my Bernese Mountain Dog run away? (Explained)
2. Prepare your puppy on wearing a collar
Your puppy needs to get used to wearing a collar, which is important in this process of leash training.
This means you need to prepare them to be comfortable having it because they are not accustomed to having something and their neck.
Introduce the collar without a leash attached by putting it on their neck while playing with them and distracting them. Your puppy might be nervous at first or runoff but continue with the process until you get the collar on.
Do not put the collar on tightly, have it a bit lose around their neck to ease discomfort.
3. Teach them obedience words
Teach your puppy our command words such as “come”, “stay”, or “sit” while calling out their name to have them listen to your direction. Practice this while they are wearing the collar with the leash attached.
Reward them with a treat such as the Blue Buffalo Wilderness training treats and shower them with praise every time they obey the command. Repeat this until they can listen and obey.
4.Start training within your house
Start leash training within your house, which is a place where they are comfortable. Outdoor training immediately may not produce a good outcome because your puppy is not yet accustomed to walking on a leash.
Attach the leash to the collar or harness once your puppy starts getting used to them. With the leash attached, avoid holding on to it, instead let your puppy run around with it within the house.
Keep an eye on them so that they don’t get tangled up in it or the leash getting stuck in tight spaces.
Slowly start to hold on to the leash and call them to come back to you. Reward them with a treat when they listen and come to you.
Keep the sessions short, at most 20 minutes because puppies have a short attention span and they will get tired quickly.
5.Gradually start training outdoors
When your puppy starts to obey your commands, gradually start leash training outdoors, that is, either in your backyard or outside your home around your neighborhood. This will introduce them to their environment.
Keep treats in your pocket to use when you need to reward them for good behavior. If your puppy is afraid and shows reluctance to walk, you can sit at a bench and continue teaching them command words and other tricks. Calm them down and attempt to take a short walk.
When walking, use command words to call them to you to continue training them to obey your direction and use treats to reward them when they obey.
6. Correct bad behavior immediately
A puppy will want to explore their environment and they will occasionally do what they are not supposed to do because of their curiosity and playfulness. During this training, you will experience these incidents.
Also be prepared to deal with bad behavior around people, other dogs, and pets that you may meet on your walks.
Remember to always be calm, patient and don’t yell or harshly pull on their leash if they do not respond to your direction or show undesirable behavior.
Instead, correct bad behavior immediately by following up with a corrective action to direct your puppy to the desired action. The following are different ways of doing this:
- Resistance to walk
Your Bernese Mountain Dog puppy may refuse to walk, may lie down, or just sit. If they do this, start walking away, stop and look back at them and call them by their name with the command word.
When they respond to your call, reward them with a treat and praise them. If they don’t repeat the process.
- Pulling on the leash
When your puppy pulls on the leash to go ahead of you or go in the wrong direction, stop walking and don’t pull the leash back.
They will know they can’t go further without your movement.
Call them back to you and if they do come to you, reward them with a treat. In time, they will learn not to pull on the leash.
- Barking at other dogs
Your puppy may also bark at other dogs they may meet when leash training outdoors.
When this happens create a distance between them and the other dogs while calling them to direct their attention to you. Walk away with them.
- Lunging towards a target
Lunging towards people or other dogs can also happen when leash training outdoors. To manage this situation, keep a distance between your puppy and the target while also walking away with them.
Use command words to calm them down to stop the behavior.
7. Be patient and consistent
Bernese Mountain Dog puppies will not always display the behavior you want them to have during this training which is normal for a puppy.
Continue being patient and consistent throughout training, rewarding good behavior and in time they will learn to walk on a leash.
In this post, we showed you how to leash train a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy. The process is not as challenging as it might be perceived in getting a puppy trained.
The key thing to have in mind is to continue being consistent, patient, and calm.
By following the methods provided, you will successfully train your pup and have a puppy that can walk on a leash.
For more information on the Bernese Mountain Dog, breed information, health, behavior and care, feel free to check out the Bernese Mountain Dog guide for owners.