One of the first things you should do is introduce a collar and leash to your puppy so he or she gets comfortable with them. A leash is required when you take your dog to any public place. It’s a great tool for keeping your dog under control and is a basic skill you need to teach.

When out and about, even the best trained dogs can get spooked by a loud noise or something they are not used to. They can get distracted by a cat or a squirrel or any number of things that they might want to chase and become the victim of an accident.

When you get a new puppy you should put a collar on right away. He’ll scratch at it and try to get it off but will soon get used to it. If you need to, you can distract him with a treat or toy and he’ll usually forget about the collar pretty quickly. Make sure it is not too tight. It should fit loosely around the neck but not so loose as to slip over the head. Keep in mind that puppies grow fast so continually check the fit to insure it doesn’t become too tight over time.

After your puppy is used to wearing the collar he needs to get used to a leash. Hook a leash to the collar and let him drag it around for a while. Remove the leash if you won’t be supervising. Always remove both before crating your puppy. Either can get caught in the mesh on the dog crate an asphyxiate your dog. I've not only heard of this happening, I also know someone personally that it happened to. It's a heartbreaking situation that can be easily avoided. You can start the leash training once he has accepted both collar and leash.

Teaching your puppy how to behave on a leash early will avoid a small problem becoming a big problem when he becomes fully grown. It’s much easier to handle a 15 or 20lb. puppy than a 70 or 80lb. adult, otherwise your dog will walk you rather than you walking it.

Even if you have a fenced in yard where your dog can run free, you need to walk him on the leash regularly so it’s not a big deal when you have to use a leash for a vet visit or any other reason.

Also, your puppy’s collar should have an identification tag on it with his name, address and phone number in case he should ever go missing. Hopefully you’ll never need it.

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