Once you have done your preliminary training at home, and your puppy is up-to-speed with their vaccinations, it’s time to try something new! Start by getting their attention with your treats, when they are on the lead, so they know you have them. Call their name or make a sound (this is your ‘cue’) that you want them to associate with ‘food is coming’. When your puppy looks at you, give them a treat. This should keep them focused on you. Keep giving treats for your puppy looking at you or coming to you when you give the signal. Click and reward whenever your puppy is in the required position or when lead is loose.
As your puppy gets the idea, gradually increase the distance between you both so your puppy has to walk to get to you and get their treat. Build this up so they have to walk a few paces with you to get the reward, and make sure to offer plenty of praise when they get it right. Puppies will only be able to concentrate for 5-10 minutes at a time. If you think your puppy is losing focus, it’s time to give them a break.
Gradually build up your puppy’s experience, so they have to walk for longer periods of time next to you before they get their reward. You’ll soon find that they are walking nicely! At this point, you’re ready to head outdoors. Expect some regression here, as the outside is full of exciting distractions! Keep the first walks short and keep rewarding for response to your cue.