Your Rhodesian Ridgeback Puppy's First Collar and Leash

A collar needs to be one of the first things you deal with when a new puppy comes home.

Purchase a cheap nylon collar long enough to allow room for the puppy to grow. Put a collar on your pup within the first day or two home. Adult dogs should have collars just loose enough to pull over their head (with a little difficulty), however, that’s too loose for a puppy collar. A little leg can get caught in the collar very easily (especially since it is a new sensation around his neck). The puppy collar is put on so you can just fit a couple of fingers under it.

Puppies do not like strange, new things. This collar will cause quite a trauma! Since pups cannot express their displeasure, or take their "hands" and try to remove it, they will scratch at it. This does not mean it "itches", it just means it feels strange and somewhat uncomfortable.

Since you’ll probably have a leash on your puppy whenever you take her out to "go potty", she will get used to a leash rather quickly! Puppies dislike a leash more than they do the collar. When you first attach the leash to puppy’s collar, let him drag it around for a little while (supervised, of course!).

Next, pick up the end and let the puppy feel the resistance. You may experience anything at this point ­ from crying to twisting the neck, bucking, pawing, ­ some of the more resistant pups may actually urinate or defecate. Just remain calm and hold the leash. When the pup has calmed, you can either try the next step, or end the "lesson".

After the "big fight" is over, you can attempt to encourage the pup to follow you with gentle tugs and a lot of "good dog" vocal encouragement. With very resistant pups, some delicious treats (soft, moist, TINY bits) can be great motivation. You should be upbeat and positive with the pup and there should be a lot of praise for correct behavior (i.e. walking with you while on the leash).

A Couple of Notes about Leashes/Collars


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