Training your dog or puppy to use a collar and lead is one of the easiest and most important steps you can take when starting a training program. Here’s how it works.
Be sure to have a collar available as soon as you bring your new puppy home. It should be puppy size, not dog size, so that it fits properly. To check the fit, you should be able to easily slide two fingers under it, to ensure that it is not too tight. But don’t have it so loose that your puppy can back his way out of it.
Your dog will most certainly try to get rid of this thing around his neck, until he gets used to it. This may take a few days so be patient. After several days when it’s obvious that he is unaware of the collar, you are ready for the next step.
At this point, attach a lightweight, short lead to the collar. The lead should be no more than about 3 yards long. Let him drag it around so he gets used to the feel of it. It is important to supervise him closely when the lead is attached, so you can quickly untangle it for him when necessary. Don’t let him drag the lead around if you are unable to keep an eye on him. You want to be sure that he is having a positive experience and does not become stuck and frustrated or frightened.
In a day or so, once he has gotten used to the feel of the lead, try attaching one end of the lead to your puppy and the other end to yourself. Then let him explore his surroundings as before, but this time he’ll be limited as to how far he can go because for the first time the lead is not free. When he reaches the end of his rope so to speak, call his name softly and entice him back to you with a toy or a treat. Make a big fuss over him, when he comes back to you when called.
When he gets used to this routine, you will have successfully taught your puppy lead bonding. And once your puppy is trained with a collar and lead, it will be so much easier to accomplish so much more in your training program.