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Preschool Dog Training: The Leash & Collar
Because all of your dog's formal obedience training will be accomplished with the help of a leash and a training collar, her pre-school training should include the adaptation with similar things. Originally, the dog should be fitted with a comfortable leather or nylon collar.
Make certain that the collar is not fastened either too tightly or too loosely. The dog will instantly make efforts to shed himself of this new “thing”. A loose-fitting collar would permit the dog to slip his lower jaw underneath the collar. In this jam, she could easily panic; or, even if she remained composed, she could chew the collar in two.
By the end of her first day of wearing the collar, she will have become accustomed to the device and it will no longer attract her attention. You can then connect a light leash to the collar and allow her to drag the leash throughout the course of the day – indoors and under your direction. By revealing the dog to a leash and collar in this methodical way, no traumatic experiences will be permissible to develop.
You must always keep in mind that you’re working with the mind of a dog. You’re actually molding it much like a potter molds her clay. You must always exercise care and loving understanding when it comes to your dog. When you hastily fasten a slip-chain training collar and leather leash to an 8-week-old puppy will not accomplish a thing, except to create a very bad experience. Bad experiences are the instruments from which trauma develops.
Let Your Dog Walk
Let her walk you wherever she wants to go (within the realm of safety, of course). Allow her explore for 10 to 15 minutes while you follow her holding the other end of the leash. When the time is up, pick her up in your arms, take her back to your home and take off the leash. Chances are she will have walked you back in that direction anyway, since a puppy's instinct directs her back to the “nest”.
Do Not Drag Your Puppy
After 3 to 4 outings in which the dog is taken away from the home – with the leash fastened and the dog permitted to walk at his will (with you holding the end of her leash), she should be ready to walk away from the home.
The leash should not be used as an instrument to drag your dog. Allow your dog to do the walking. All you have to do is hold onto the other end of the leash. Within the first seven days or so her connection with his new equipment, she will then start to make the connection of the new leash with control.
These daily trips on the leash have to be considered as part of your dog's pre-school training. People contact and socialization in the outside world is an extremely important part of this training – and a key to the puppy's future mental and emotional development. She'll see huge trees, hear loud noises from trucks, horns and passing cars, and be admired by an occasional passerby. The advantages produced by proper socialization at this time can never be reproduced later in life.
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