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With my puppy, I start small, and in a safe and low stimulus environment, e.g. inside the house. In this way, she is more relaxed and confident, and I set her up for success. I start by using a thick, flat, cloth collar and a very light leash. First, I just get my puppy used to seeing and smelling the collar. I tie that to positive events and rewards, so she sees the collar as a good thing. Then I very slowly increase the challenge.

I talk more about how I desensitize my puppy to a collar and a leash in the article above.

Teach a cue. Introduce your puppy to a sound cue that means “food is coming.” Some people like to , some people use a word like “Yes,” and some people cluck their tongue. Whichever you use, the method is the same: In a quiet, distraction free area, with the puppy on a leash and collar, make the sound. The second your puppy turns toward you and/or looks at you, . After a few repetitions, you’ll notice your puppy not only looking at you, but also coming over to you for the treat.

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For puppy's homecoming, you'll want to choose a lightweight starter collar and leashes Depending on the temperament and personality of your puppy, getting them used to the leash may be easier or harder than getting them used to the collar.

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Like when training with the collar, give treats and praise to your puppy to create a positive association with wearing their leash. You can also lure them with treats so that they walk around next to you while wearing their leash, without any pressure on it. This will set the stage for them walking next to you with a loose leash.

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Once your pup accepts the collar, put his leash on and then just sit and watch. Obviously, do this indoors or in a secure confined area. Let puppy drag the leash around on his own but keep a close eye on him so that he doesn't tangle or get hurt. Leave it on for just a fewminutes at first. Later, repeat the exercise for longer periods of time. Put your pup on leash during mealtimes, so he associates the leash with a pleasant event. If he is very fearful of the leash, you may want to put it next to the food bowl for a while before attaching it to his collar. Eventually he will see that no harm is coming and there indeed is nothing to be afraid of.Small-breed puppies are fragile, and their throats are particularly sensitive to the restraint of a collar. Although the collar is important for sporting an ID tag, if you have a small puppy, attach the leash to a harness instead of a collar.