Puppy Lead Training
Most people think that their new and fluffy puppy shouldn’t be walked on a lead until it’s quite a bit older and bigger. This is true to a certain extent but you can certainly introduce your pup to the lead prior to his/her initial walk.
Whilst your puppy is still indoors pop a very soft collar on them. Leave it literally for about five minutes and if there is no major reaction praise and offer a treat as a reward. By major reaction I mean throwing a bit of a ‘wobbly’ whining and running around etc, etc. Most puppies will display minor signs of discomfort or slight concern at the strange object placed around their neck. You’d expect some indication of knowing the collar’s there. Perhaps scratching at it or zooming around in circles whilst trying to remove it or rubbing their head against an object or along the floor.
Ignore the actions, unless of course your puppy looks as though it might harm itself. The more you ignore the more your puppy will also ignore. If you make a fuss now your puppy will simply think its actions are correct and it does indeed have an issue to make a big fuss of!
The kindest item for your puppy to wear along with its collar is a harness. This will feel much stranger than the collar to begin with. You can purchase very soft, small puppy harnesses. They’re all different but most involve your puppy’s front legs stepping through it and then fastening on their back, the lead will then attach to this instead of directly onto the collar. If the lead fixes on the collar your little puppy will feel as though it’s being choked each time it takes a step, not a good introduction to walking on a lead.
Buy a short puppy lead and clip it onto the harness, just walk your puppy around on this inside and in the garden. You must ensure you remember to always praise and reward each step of the way. So walk a few steps and if there’s no reaction to the harness and collar then praise and reward, keep each training session short and sweet as puppie’s attention spans are generally short. A bored puppy becomes a naughty puppy very quickly.
You may not feel as though you’re really training your puppy as such because you’re not really giving commands but your puppy is still learning, trust me. He/she is being taught that wearing a collar and a harness is fun and it’s a good thing. Just by gently leading your puppy around is also teaching that you’re in control, simply call your puppy’s name and then very gently coax him/her to follow you by gently pulling on the lead. Remember to praise and reward and there you are you’ve already taught your puppy the very initial parts to both lead walking and recall work.
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