One of the first training steps to your puppy is making him comfortable in wearing a collar and a leash. As a dog owner, you will be walking your dog frequently and the leash is the perfect tool to keep everything in control and to stay out of danger while going on a walk with your dog. It is important to allow your dog to get used to it while he is still young.
Puppies are full of vigor and youth, and he might try to chew the leash to shreds and scratch their collar off. This is because they are trying to get off their own restraints. The good thing is, most puppies will be able to learn fast because they are still in the growing stage.
As his owner, you have to do your best to be consistent and maintain the training properly so as not to hinder the developing trust of your puppy to the leash and collar.
How to choose the right collar and leash
Purchasing the right collar and leash for your puppy is a must. Some collars and leashes may look intimidating to your puppy and cause him to hate them.
At the same time, choosing the cutest collars and leashes would not do you any good because you may not know the material components if they are the most suitable to your puppy. Check these tips on choosing the right collar and leash.
- Pick a lightweight collar
You are picking a collar for a puppy, which is of course smaller in size than adult dogs. Heavy collars will make your puppy uncomfortable and it might strain his neck.
- Choose a regular collar
Do not pick a choke chain or various correctional collars that may hinder your dog’s training.
- Try to get a snap collar
Collars with buckles are somewhat difficult for your puppy to be worn. Buying a collar that use snaps or clips to wear will make your puppy not feel uneasy.
- Purchase a well-fit collar
To measure the correct collar size for your puppy, wrap the collar around your puppy’s neck and insert two of your fingers between the neck and the collar. That should be the exact fit for your puppy’s neck. Do not immediately buy a collar that he will grow in to.
- Look for a lightweight leash
Good material for a leash that is soft and lightweight is a perfect choice. Some would prefer webbing or even custom made paracord leashes for this. Do not use metal chains as they are heavy and would cause strain to your puppy’s neck. Buy a leash that is suitable for your puppy and not when he’s an adult already.
Steps To Follow To Get Your Puppy Used To A Collar And Leash
You can’t always make your puppy wear the collar and leash immediately then walk them around. It is a gradual process that your dog will learn step by step. These are the following detailed methods on how to get your puppy used to a collar and a leash.
1. First steps
Before making your puppy wear the collar, be sure that they are in a calm mood and both of you are in a safe and quiet place, void of distractions. Also, your attitude should be positive since your puppy may feel that you are not.
Get your puppy to be used to the collar for a small amount of time then little by little, add the duration. Make sure that your puppy’s collar fits just right and not too loose or too tight. Too tight collars will make your puppy feel uncomfortable while collars that are too loose will slip off your puppy’s neck.
2. Put the collar on your pup
After both you and your puppy have relaxed, fasten the collar around their neck. Do it smoothly and swiftly, or your dog will get suspicious of your actions. Make them feel like it’s not a big thing to wear a collar. Different puppies may have different reactions, and some might even immediately try to remove the collar from their necks.
Try to assess your puppy’s behavior after wearing the collar. If your puppies seem to scratch their collars off and shake it off their necks, then let them be. Do not remove the collar as it would reinforce the behavior of shaking it off.
Wait until they stay calm before removing. If he managed to stay calm for a long time, then reward your puppy. Try to make the collar stay at around 5 – 10 minutes before removing it again.
4. Gradual increase of frequency
After your puppy have successfully worn one, you should now be able to let your puppy gradually acclimate in his collar. You can do this by setting up short collar training schedules every day. Increase the time that your puppy will wear his collar every day while rewarding him with a treat afterwards. This will make a positive association between your puppy and the collar itself.
5. Attaching the leash
Once your puppy has successfully completed his collar training, you may now begin with leash training. Make sure that your puppy is comfortable in their collar before hooking up the leash on it. After clipping the leash, do not hold on yet to it and just let your dog drag it behind. This is to make him accustomed to having the leash attached to his collar.
6. Pick up the leash
Your puppy should now be used to having the leash clipped on his collar after few days. You should now pick the leash. Do not put pulling pressure but instead let the leash relax and follow your puppy wherever he walks.
7. Be the leader
After having the puppy walk around with the leash, try to lead him to a short walk. Do not pull your puppy behind when you are trying to direct him to a direction. Use tasty treats instead or his favorite toy to entice him to walk over to your direction. After some repetitions, your pup should now be following you even without using treats.
8. First walk
You can now walk along with your pup after following these steps. Start by having short walks on relatively safer areas before moving to wide, busy areas like the park. Make sure that your puppy enjoys his walk so as not to make him feel fear from walking. Congratulations on your walks with your puppy!