Introducing Puppy to Collar and Leash Training
The task of introducing your puppy to their first collar and leash should begin inside the home. We highly suggest training with a simple 6 foot nylon dog leash and a plain nylon collar. Save yourself a few bucks and wait before you buy any fancy collars. Your puppy has a lot of growing to do if fairly young and will outgrow their first few collars within months. In fact, depending on the breed, you may see yourself buying 2 to 3 collars by the time puppy is a year old. Collar size should be wide enough for you to fit two of your fingers between the collar and your dog's neck.
OK, let's get started. Begin with something positive! "What?", (you ask) When puppy is eating it's food of course!
5 EASY STEPS To Collar and Leash Train Your Puppy
These five easy basic training steps will help you get your new dog acquainted with its collar without inducing fear. Afterall, you want the collar associated with good things. Eating food! Your goal is to accustom your dog to the collar and leash a little bit at a time, keeping him well within his comfort zone at each step of the way.
1. Place Collar On Puppy: Begin by placing the collar on puppy while eating his or her meal.
Associate the leash and collar with something pleasant (food). Let puppy get used to the collar around its neck while eating during the first few days. Remember to praise after eating.
2. Attaching the Leash: When you notice puppy is comfortable with the it's collar, attach the leash while eating. Follow him (or her) around the house for a few minutes. Let puppy wander with the leash still attached. Do this for a few days or as needed. extending the length of time. Remember to praise!
3. Take Puppy Outdoors: Once you feel comfortable walking around the house, take puppy outdoors. While walking, hold the leash loop in your right hand, while coaxing the pup with your left hand holding treats. Puppy should be walking on your left side as well. Be sure not to allow pulling or straining on the leash at this point. Lure him back to you with praise and treats. Make these walking experiences pleasant and continue to praise!
* NOTE: Be cautious - Puppy should have its vaccinations before going outdoors for the protection of airborne dog diseases puppies can be most susceptible to.
4. Prevent Chewing On Leash With Distractions: If puppy plays or chews at the leash, (and he most likely will!) provide distractions. To get their mind off chewing the leash. Encourage puppy to move forward using treats and praise when he does well. By using body language and the puppy's name to attract puppy to follow, making leash walking a fun game. When finished reward excitingly with praise and a treat! This keeps puppy's mind on walking toward you, not chewing or resisting the leash as you begin walking. Be persistant - puppy is just learning and has a very short attention span. Keep walking sessions short - no more than 15 minutes.
5. Avoid Leash Pulling With Clockwise Turns: If puppy starts to pull forward, dragging you, quickly do a clockwise turn and walk in another direction. Doing clockwise turns will pull their head to the side so puppy has to hurry to catch up with you. Repeat the exercise until your dog learns that if he wants to receive your praise and treats he gets them by following you.
There you have it - These 5 easy steps should help guide your collar and leash training along quickly. Remember, training can, and should be fun! Don't expect too much all at once. Like people, dogs learn at different rates. Temperament and energy level will influence how quickly your puppy learns. Take it slow.
Need More Help With Collar and Leash Training?
Understanding your new puppy and their thinking is an important aspect of training. Perserverance, practice and patience will pay off in the end!
Keep your dog leashed at all times outdoors. In fact, most areas are required by law to have dogs leashed when outdoors and when not in confined areas.
As always, consult your local dog trainer if problems persist in any of your training. We highly recommend signing up for puppy classes when your dog reaches 4-5 months of age if possible. They are a great training introduction for both you and your puppy.
Have fun and best of luck to you and your new pooch!