You might have seen puppies and dogs walking down the streets with a Collar and Leash looking properly trained. The fact is, this is a skill that needs to be mastered. This is the most important skill every dog owner can and must teach to their puppy.
Collar and leash training are crucial because it affects the development and outcome of other types of training. In this article, we’ll look at how to get your puppy used to wear a collar and leash, as well as how to utilize both to enhance its behavior.
If you want to have a successful collar and leash training sessions, you must be consistent and patient. Taking your puppy for a walk will enhance general obedience and responsiveness as well as providing much-needed exercise for your developing puppy.
Before getting onto our main area of this guide, there’s one thing you need to consider, which is also the most important thing for this training.
Which Collar Is Right for Your Puppy?
The first thing to prioritize before anything is which collar is best suited for your puppy. There are various types, shapes, and colors out there on the market, but you have to be very selective and choose what best suits you as well as your puppy.
Some things you may consider include the following:
- The temperature of the puppy
- Your individual preference
- The collar that suits your puppy’s personality
- The collar must fit perfectly around the puppy’s neck; it may not be tight or too loose
Types of Collars
Understanding your puppy’s behavior and temperament, you can decide which collar would be best for him or her. For instance, if your puppy is obedient and follows what you say, you can go with a soft collar, but you should go with a collar with prongs if it’s the opposite.
1. Buckle Collar or Soft Collar:
These are best for obidient puppies and dogs. They’re made from a variety of fabric textures, as well as different designs and colors. You can also choose to have your puppy’s name engraved on the collar for identification purposes (This helps a lot when your puppy gets lost). Buckle collars have holes placed at regular intervals through which the buckle has to be fixed. Also, many other collars with hooks can release faster than the standard buckle collar. This will prevent your puppy from getting choked.
2. Prong Collars:
Some people may think that this one is illegal, but it’s way safer than other collars if used correctly. If your puppy doesn’t sit at one place or stalls and pulls whenever you attach him with a collar and a leash, then this option would be perfect for you.
When you tug the leash, the prongs prod the puppy’s neck to keep its movements in check. The prong collar is intended to be the most gentle method of training your dog without causing it any harm. Here’s how to measure the prong collar if you decide to use it-
- You can apply the half-finger principle. An average person’s finger measures 1/2 inch in breadth.
- Between the end of the prong and the skin of the dog’s neck, leaving 1/4 inch of space.
- The reason for using your finger to test by placing it under the prong rather than a ruler or other instruments is because it can break and harm your puppy.
How To Introduce Your Puppy To A Collar and Leash
Now that you have selected the best collar and leash for your puppy, it’s time to introduce these accessories to your pet. The collar must perfectly fit around your puppy’s neck. It should neither be very thick so that it chokes your puppy and should neither be too thin that it breaks off easily.
Let’s get into some details on how you can introduce the collar and leash to your puppy:
1) The First Step
Your puppy will happily accept and wear the collar and leash if you are gentle and patient enough. After attaching them both, first, let your puppy walk around the lawn on his own to see if it is okay or not. If your puppy tries to remove or tries to take off the collar, then it must be uncomfortable for him. If your puppy seems happy and runs all around, you must be ready for the next step.
2) Attach the Leash To The Collar
Once the puppy has become accustomed, slowly attach the leash to the collar and, after some time, pick up the leash and start walking with him. Remember to keep the leash high enough and speak in a friendly, encouraging manner as you walk.
Make sure the leash doesn’t get tangled with something else. If this happens, your puppy will feel like it has just been seized by something and will react in fear and possibly harm itself.
Try to keep the leash attached for only a short period at first. It should be for probably at least a few minutes. When deciding when to tie the leash to the puppy, you need to be very gentle when he or she is already in a good mood or having fun, such as during a meal or playing.
The appropriate timing will help the puppy form a positive relationship with the leash and relate it with joyful memories. Once the puppy gets familiar with the collar and the leash, make a habit of keeping it next to its food bowl or wherever your puppy spends a lot of time.
You might be thinking, how will this help? It makes a lot of impact on them because they will see it now and then and adapt the habit as they will take it and accept it as part of their life.
3) Don’t Give Verbal Commands At The Beginning.
Do not expect proper discipline, even if your puppy has been familiar with the leash. The idea is to get your puppy used to walking on a leash and to walk with you without resistance. If your puppy begins to pull out the leash, gently change your path and create a noise to distract him.
During this introduction, no verbal directives should be used as you are just helping your puppy to be familiar.
Taking the time to introduce your puppy to the collar and lead properly will help you teach him the fundamentals of obedience. Slowly you’ll notice that your puppy is now happy with the collar and the leash.
Don’t Use Heavy Equipment.
Collars and leashes with lightweight equipment (buckles, snaps, and rings) are ideal for pups. If your breed requires it, you can replace the hardware with heavy-duty hardware once it has matured. Check your puppy’s collar size regularly and loosen it as his neck develops.
Change the collar as it gets too tight or too loose. This is very important because it affects the training and sometimes can be harmful to your puppy.
What to do if Your Puppy Freaks Out And Just Won’t Stop Pulling?
If this is the scenario, then you have to use a different method. Treat your puppy with some treat or food it likes the most so that they come to you on their own.
Stand still without making any movement, let your puppy try to pull themselves away, and let them struggle.
When your puppy stops freaking out, release all the pressure that you kept on the leash and then give them a treat for becoming calm. This will teach them that freaking out will not help them in any manner. Repeat this process till the time they stop freaking out.
After your puppy has learned to stay quiet to earn a loose leash, they will need to work a little harder to earn their treat. So now, you may only reward them if they move toward you without you giving the treat. Repeat this process a few times.
Repeating this process will help your puppy understand how to stay calm and not freak out when the collar and the leash are attached. Now you can follow the steps and walk with your dog as described earlier in the article.
Common Mistakes That You Should Avoid
1. Don’t Rush
Many people make this mistake. They are just like small babies who will also take time to be accustomed to new things as it’s their first time. You have to be very gentle and patient, and if you weren’t then, we would advise you not to pet a puppy.
2. Don’t pull on the leash yourself.
Nothing will be accomplished as a result of this. The minor discomfort you create is unlikely to be enough to stop your puppy from tugging, and it won’t teach them anything. Puppies and dogs fight restraint; thus, pulling them just makes them pull harder.
3. Jerking on the leash
If your pup is moving in the same direction you are, you should never pull the leash. Always keep the tension on the leash when they move far from you; this will help them understand that you will pull the leash if they go far.
Getting your puppy familiar with the collar and leash takes more time than you must have thought. It requires skill and training that needs to be followed daily so that your puppy can get familiar with them.
Keep the main points in mind and follow them so that it doesn’t get hard enough for you to train your puppy and make him obedient. Always research the type of collar and leash you want before you buy them. It should be appropriate for both the puppy and you.
If your puppy doesn’t like the collar or the leash, you must change them and bring in the right one for them.
However, use the tactics outlined in this article. The procedure will be as stress-free as possible, and you’ll have created the groundwork for subsequently training your puppy not to tug on the leash, rather than them picking up negative habits that you’ll have to break and work upon.