Collar and Leash
You will need more than one collar before your puppy grows up. He’ll grow through several sizes as he matures, so don’t spend a lot of money at first. Select a lightweight, narrow collar, then replace it as soon as it becomes too small. Round leather collars won’t pull out or break the hair on long coated breeds, while flat leather collars are good for short haired dogs. The collar should fit correctly, that is, loose enough to be comfortable but not so loose that it can slip over the pup’s head if he balks at the leash. To find out the correct size, measure around your puppy’s neck, then add two inches. A dog measuring 12 inches around the neck, for instance, would wear a size 14 collar. When on the dog, see if you can slip two fingers between collar and neckthat spells comfortand then with both hands see if you can pull it off without unfastening it. If you can, then it is not safe, for the puppy may put a paw through and hobble himself.
Attach the collar for a short time each day, especially during playtimes. Your pup may be one of those devil may care youngsters that doesn’t mind a bit, or he may resent it by pawing and rubbing himself along the rug. Don’t worry. He will get used to it, but right now try it on him for short periods only, perhaps just before mealtime.
Next comes leash training. When your puppy has learned to accept the collar, tie to it a piece of string or snap on a lightweight leash. Let him trail it over the floor, wherever he wishes to go. He’ll be a bit bewildered, especially if it catches on a chair leg and gives him a yank. Stand by and see that the puppy doesn’t tangle himself up and become frightened or injured.
After a few sessions of trailing, hold the leash loosely in your hand and follow the puppy around the room. The next step is to lead the puppy where you want to go. This is the first time he has been made to do something he may not want to do. If he balks, drop the leash, play with him a moment, then pick it up and try again. As you guide him along, talk to him continually, praising him, telling him what a very good dog he is. Soon he will disregard the tug at his neck. Once things go well inside, take the puppy outdoors. Always use a well made leash for outdoor walking, because even a tiny toy can break a string, get away, and run into the street.
The earliest and simplest lessons have been dealt with at length to stress the need for patience and understanding. Avoid frightening the puppy now and you will also be paving the way for all later training.