Bringing your puppy on their first walk is such an exciting milestone for your pup and yourself. As you watch them take their first step into the whole new world, it is up to you to make this experience as positive and beneficial as possible.
Before you set foot outside, let us share with you some of the essentials and tips to help prepare you for that.
INDOOR BEFORE OUTDOOR
Preparation is important as you want to start your puppy’s first walk right. The collar or harness should be snug and comfortable. We do recommend an escape proof harness for puppies to be extra secure especially for the first walk. Whichever you choose, the process of introduction is similar. Take your time to introduce your puppy to their new collar or harness before putting them on. What we want to achieve here, is to associate positivity.
TIPS TO INTRODUCE NEW GEARS
• Show your puppy the collar or harness and give them a tasty treat - this builds a positive association with the piece of item
• Slowly move on to putting it on them loosely
• If your puppy is fighting against it, try using treats or toys to distract them and get more comfortable
• Allow your puppy to explore your house while wearing the collar or harness so that they get used to wearing one
• After they’ve grown comfortable, you can practice walking them with a leash indoor where there are lesser distractions
• Heap lots of praise and offer treats when you see them doing well as it encourages and motivates them
STEPPING INTO A NEW WORLD
The first walk is essentially a whole new world to your puppy. They may feel shy, excited, or overwhelmed by it, it’s like first day of school. It’s important to let them make the choices for themselves.
If your puppy is scared and wants to stay put for a bit, it’s okay to let them. If they want to snuffle in the grass, then go with it! Keep a nice loose lead and follow your puppy as long as its safe to do so. Do allow them the time to sniff and explore as sniffing and stopping to look at new things are all part of socialisation to new experiences. Smells provide your puppy with mental stimulation, so it will be beneficial to let your puppy do as much of this as they want to.
Before heading outside, it’s encouraged to plan ahead. As it is your puppy’s first walk, you don’t want to overwhelm and expose them to too much too soon. It’s best to pick a place that is nice and quiet to get started. Where's the place you want to go, what time of day, and how busy and crowded it will be.
In some cases where you might live by a busy road which may overwhelm your puppy, we recommend having a puppy carrier/ carrycot to help bring them pass the area until you’ve reached your destination to safely let them explore.
Prepare a checklist of the things to bring so you wouldn't find yourself missing a thing or two. It is important to prepare plenty of water and dog bowl to keep them hydrated. Poop bag and poop bag holder to clean up your puppy's mess. A small pack of tasty treats to reward any nice behavior from your puppy.
You can use a dog owner's bag if you want a nifty place to store extras for your walk. We have prepared a checklist for you here.
Remember, the walk is for them, not for you.
It is important to let your puppy have a fun and positive experience!