This is the final installment of the Training Tips for Your New Puppy article series. Good luck and enjoy bonding with your new friend.
For a puppy being attached to a lead or leash in any way is a completely unnatural act. So, the first time you attach a dog collar and leash the reaction most likely will be fear and anxiety. You want to make this a pleasant act for your puppy, here’s how.
You want to buy a very comfortable and soft dog collar that is the right fit for your puppy. You don’t want it tight at all, make sure you can slip two fingers beneath it. Just before you feed your dog, slip on the collar, this way the collar around his neck will be completely forgotten at the sight and smell of his meal. Remove it right after the meal and praise him. Repeat this process while gradually lengthening the time that the collar is on.
An easy game to play that will teach your puppy about a leash is to attach a piece of wool or string to the collar, about the normal length of a lead. Toss a ball or a toy and let the pup chase after it, then pick up the end of the mock leash, without it becoming tight, and follow him around. Repeat this a few times over the next couple of days.
Eventually you want to attach the leash that you intend to train him with on to the collar during meal time. Call your puppy to his food while allowing the leash to drag on the floor behind him. You can then remove the leash and collar after the meal while praising. Repeat this process for a couple days. Then when you call him for his dinner pick up the leash and follow him to his meal as if you were walking him. Repeat regularly until the puppy seems completely comfortable with you holding the leash while he walks.
Through this type of association with things your puppy enjoys, eventually the leash and walking will be looked at as something enjoyable.
Being a Friend and a Leader
Your leadership and friendship are the two most essential components to success in your puppy’s training. Make sure you have a clear approach and method for training and always remain firm and consistent. Be sure to avoid any methods that involve punishment such as choke chains, physical discipline and other bullying tactics. You want to be your dog’s friend, not just a boss. Take this advice and your puppy will well adjusted and well trained and you will have a great experience as your dog ages.