It's never too early to train your pup to walk on a leash. As a
matter of fact it's often a bad idea to wait until the pup has
grown a bit to get them used to being on a leash. Young dogs
take time to adjust to wearing collars and leashes so make sure
that you start this practice as soon as possible. The sooner
they get used to the idea of wearing a collar the easier it will
be on both them and you.
Buy a good pup collar with an id tag on it before you start
training. Personally I always have my cellphone number etched
onto the pups id tag - just in case they manage to sneak out.
This has worked on at least once occassion. Don't use a choke
collar during leash training - it gives the dog the wrong idea
about what's going on. When you're putting the pups collar on do
so gently and with care but do make sure it's firmly closed -
this can be difficult to judge at times with the amount of puppy
fat on their necks. The puppy might paw, whine and scratch at
the collar at first but will then adjust to it - once you don't
fuss over it then neither will the pup.
You can now attach the leash to the pups collar. Again do this
very gently - you don't want the puppy to associate the collar
and leash with fear or pain. With the leash attached let the pup
stroll around the house so they can get used to the idea of the
leash being there. A great idea is to attach the leash to the
pups collar as they receive a meal from you - this develops a
pleasant association for them in their formative years.
Once the pup is comfortable with the fact that there is a leash
attached you can now pick up the leash. Don't lead the puppy
around - instead let him lead you to wherever he's going. This
allows the dog to still associate freedom of movement with the
collar and leash being present. Praise your puppy as often as
possible during leash training - every aspect of this training
needs to be as pleasant and rewarding for the dog as possible
for there to be true long term benefits.
Leash training a new pup is a challenge in itself it's not
something you can ignore - it's absolutely essential for the
pups safety. The sooner the training starts the more rewarding
your relationship with your little doggy buddy can be.
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