Training your new puppy to accept the collar and lead
Of all the puppy training questions that seem too asked regularly is “When should I start training my puppy”. The answer is simple and precise, that is puppy lead training and puppy collar training must be immediately you are in sight of your new puppy training should begin and continue thereafter. Here are some simple tips to offer an understanding what is involved in training your puppy to accept and respond to the collar and lead /leash, and maintaining an obedient and disciplined puppy right from the very beginning of your relationship with your puppy.
Selecting the correct collar and lead should never be a difficult task as there is an endless supply of excellent puppy accessory stores that can supply excellent quality dog products which will satisfy your puppy’s control needs. With control being the operative wording as you must ensure that your puppy must to trained to be constantly under control at all times and the sure way of maintaining control of your newly acquired puppy is to ensure he is well trained while walking attached to a dog collar and dog lead. Starting your puppy off right is a phrase that we hear often when talking to other dog and puppy owners and even from countless veterinarians who is genuinely concerned with dog and puppy care and welfare.
Although it must be firmly understood that effectively caring for your puppy entails a multi-facetted approach which links into maintaining a healthy puppy so the puppy can concentrate on the training sessions. The puppy’s caring needs must be addressed including high quality dog accessories, dog treats, dog food and remembering probably as important concern is to provide your new puppy with the most comfortable dog bed and bedding accessories that you can afford. Puppies and dogs silently suffering from uncomfortable resting, relaxing and sleeping places can quickly develop a number of painful disease conditions, which can easily be avoided if appropriate bedding accessories were provided in the beginning at the puppy stage.
One of the painful conditions which need to be mentioned is Canine Arthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease and is characterized by inflammation and severe pain in a dog’s joints, and is caused by the breakdown of smooth joint cartilage that protects the individual bones within the joints. Once the bone ends are exposed any joint movement becomes extremely painful with joint movement and quickly deteriorates to an extent that surgical intervention becomes a necessity. Please understand that caring for your new puppy is a multi-facetted commitment, and this is only one of many dog care articles that need to be read, understood and followed.
Walking on a dog collar and dog lead is an important skill that every owner and dog must learn. Even the highest trained dog must never be taken outside the safety of the secure home or yard without a sturdy dog collar and lead. Even if your dog is trained perfectly to go off lead then loud noises, or stray cats, dogs, accidents and distractions do happen, and a sturdy collar, with proper identification attached, is the best way to be sure you will get your beloved companion back. Although it must be accepted that keeping your puppy or dog permanently held securely on the lead / leash during outside activity can prevent all unexpected distractions with worry free dog ownership.
Of course before you can teach your new puppy to accept a leash, he or she must first learn to accept wearing a dog collar, you will need to ensure the collar is strong and comfortable. The first step is to choose a dog collar that fits the puppy properly and comfortable for your puppy. It is important to measure the puppy’s neck allowing a given space to allow the puppy comfortable breathing space – although care need to be exercised that the puppy’s head will not ‘slip the collar’, so it is important to choose a collar size accordingly and with the utmost care and consideration. After the collar has been put on the puppy, simply let him or her get used to it. It is not unusual for a puppy to try to pull on the collar, whine, and roll or squirm when first introduced to a dog collar although you will need to be firm as long as the collar is a comfortable fit.
The preferred strategy is to simply ignore the puppy and let him or her get used to the collar and this may take a few hours before it will be ignored. It is a mistake to either punish the dog for playing with the collar or to encourage the behavior. Distracting the puppy often helps, and playing with a favorite dog toy, especially providing him with a high quality dog toy such as the Kong Dog Toy – which incorporates an inner chamber which can be filled with dog treats, or eating some favorite treats, can help the puppy quickly forget that he or she is wearing this strange piece of equipment.
After the dog has learned to accept the collar, try adding the leash. Hook the leash to the collar and simply sit and watch the puppy. Obviously, this should only be done either in the safety of the house or in a confined and secure outdoor area. The puppy should be allowed to drag the dog leash around on its own, but of course the owner should keep a close eye on the puppy to ensure that the leash does not become snagged or hung up on anything and become a risk of choking.
At first, the leash should only be left on for a few minutes at a time and if you can allow your puppy to participate in playtime with dog treats as a reward for positive learning. It is a good idea to attach the leash at mealtimes, playtime and other positive times in the life of the puppy. That way the puppy will begin to associate the leash with good things and look forward to it. If the puppy shows a high degree of fear of the leash, it is a good idea to place it next to the food bowl for a while to let him get used to it and accept it slowly. Eventually, he will come to understand that the leash is nothing to be afraid of and wearing the leash and not realizing he is wearing it.
After the puppy is comfortable with walking around the house wearing the leash the puppy will need to be continuously supervised throughout this process as the choking risks must be eliminated, it is time for you to pick up the end of the leash for a few minutes and if possible try to incorporate the leash into a positive experience and if relevant reward with a dog treat for positive reward. You should not try to walk the puppy on the leash; simply hold the end of the leash and follow the puppy around as he or she walks around. You should try to avoid situations where the leash becomes taut and any pulling or straining on the leash should be avoided as this dog training process need to be extended in the earlier stages. It is fine for the puppy to sit down. Try a few games with the collar and lead. For instance, back up and encourage the puppy to walk toward you. Don’t drag the puppy forward, simply encourage him to come to you. If he does, praise him profusely and reward him with a food treat or dog toy. You should always strive to make all the time spent on the leash as pleasant as possible and offer good positive behavior with a reward and make a commitment of consistency.
It is important to give the puppy plenty of practice in getting used to walking on the leash in the home as it is a familiar area and unexpected risks can be minimized, although an understanding that an open house with family and visitors entering and leaving can easily result in one of the outside doors can be left ajar with the opportunity your puppy needs for escape. It is best to do plenty of work in the home, since it is a safe environment with few distractions. After the puppy is comfortable walking indoors on a leash, it is time to start going outside, beginning of course in a small, enclosed area like a securely fenced yard. After the puppy has mastered walking calmly outdoors on a leash, it is time to visit some places where there are more distractions, you must be aware that you puppy needs to be secure and positively supervised. You may want to start with a place like a friendly neighbor’s yard. Walking your new puppy around the neighborhood is a good way to introduce your neighbors to the new puppy, while giving the puppy valuable experience in avoiding distractions and focusing on his leash training and gaining the necessary relevant experience that is so important in the early stages of your puppy’s learning curve.
Puppies sometimes develop bad habits with their leashes, such as biting or chewing on the leash. To discourage this type of behavior, try applying a little bit of bitter apple, Tabasco sauce or similar substance (just make sure the substance you use is not toxic to dogs). This positive dog training strategy usually convinces puppies that chewing the leash is a bad idea.