Before you go to pick up your new puppy, buy a puppy leash and collar to put on your dog when you bring it home. Sure it might be little and you are planning to carry it, but just in case, you'll need something to grab onto if it squirms away. And puppies can squirm!
Buy a lightweight leash and small collar for the early going. You will only be using these for the first few months, as your puppy will grow out of this set, so don't spend a lot this time around. Be sure though that the buckle is secure and cannot pull apart. Also, check the leash clip to ensure there is no way it can unfasten from your dog's collar. Don't try to buy a collar and leash for life as your puppy will surely be able to slip out of the collar. As well, new puppies have a habit of chewing on leashes if you leave them lying around, so in all likelyhood you are going to have to buy another leash anyway!
For small breeds we suggest Li'l Pals as they are made for very small dogs. The collars can adjust to neck sizes as small as 1" and the hardware on the leash is light so that it doesn't bog your little friend down! For medium to large breed puppies the small size of most other collar lines is the place to start. Leashes are typically 4 or 6 feet in length and this choice is more of an owner's preference. We prefer 6 feet as it allows us to hold the leash in both hands for added security. Dog Leashes & Collars
1) As above, when the leash isn't attached to your puppy's collar, hide it! For whatever reason, they do seem to like to chew up their leashes. Especially the expensive leather ones!
2) Let your dog wear it's collar at all times except when you put it in it's crate. For the first six months we recommend taking the collar off when it goes in it's crate, just in case it gets caught up. Do not use a choke or correction collar on a young puppy and never put any sized dog in a crate with a choke or correction collar on it.
3) For the first week, practice around the house by attaching the leash to your dog's collar and letting him drag it around. This is to get him used to the feel of it. Watch that he doesn't try to chew it and also that he doesn't get hung up.
4) Once he has a feel for the leash, pick up the other end and follow him around. Don't try to direct where he goes or worry about pulling. You are merely getting him accustomed to your holding the other end. Continue this exercise for about a week.
5) It is time to take control when your puppy starts pulling you around most of the time. This should be done however, in a fun, positive way. Bring a favorite treat or special toy with you. In the midst of your pulling session, show him the treat or toy and take off in another direction. If he follows you willingly, praise him extensively and give him the treat or toy. If he does not follow you, or has other ideas, lead him in the direction you want with the treat or toy. Praise him immediately for any movement toward the right direction. Make sure that your praise is timed for when he is moving in the right direction and not when he is still resisting. Keep at this exercise daily and he will soon catch on.
6) Never get angry and do not pull or jerk on the leash. It is natural for a puppy to pull away from you rather than to go along with you. As well, getting angry could affect your dog's trust in you or lead to a phobia about the collar or leash.
Follow these basic guidelines and you will soon have your puppy walking with you on his collar and leash.
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