The choice of the correct collar and leash is very important and o a long away to making training very much easier.


I’ve had pups that were  such good training material that I have been able to use a very light link-chain collar as early as  ten weeks, but  generally speaking the pup’s first collar should be a very light leather collar that can be adjusted to fit the increased size of his next as he grows


When the pup is eight weeks old put the soft leather  collar on  him as unobtrusively as you can, while patting him and making a fuss of him. He might object a little at first  to the collar being around his neck permanently, but he will soon get used to the idea

Even at this early age – if you dog comes from a good training background – you can introduce made to a very light leash made from very light leather or cord.


Let the first introduction to a lead be a happy and pleasant occasion so that he will have no memories of bad first experiences.  Nothing makes it quite as easy as small pieces of food.



Boiled liver, dried in the oven, is absolutely irresistible for pups.  Take tiny piece of the dried liver in your left hand, while hold the very light leash in your right hand gently coax the puppy to follow you your left hand, which you hold just in front of his nose, encouraging him to go forward


Even if you have excellent result from  this leash training exercise  at your very first attempt, don’t be tempted to continue too long.


 The golden rule with all obedience training is to stop when you are ahead.  Stop when the pup is doing very well and leave the slightly longer distance for the next time.


Many trainers and dog owners delay using a link chain training collar until the pup is very much older and let the older pup wear a leather collar for quite some time.


 The decision when to introduce a link chain collar depends on the temperament  of the pup. You will have to decide yourself when is the most suitable age.


When you do decide that it is now time to  introduce your pup  to the link chain collar, make the process  as pleasant a process as possible.


 Play with the collar and let the pup play with the collar.  Let him have pleasant associations with it right from the start.  If you do this you will have an adult dog who will be only too pleased to have his chain collar put around his next and in will actually nuzzle you and put his head forward encouraging you to put the collar on.


Once you have got the pup used to the idea of the chain training collar around his neck you can use the same motivational method of encouraging the pup heal on lead – at your left side – as you did right at the beginning – that is with small piece of irresistible  boiled liver.


Encourage the pup to walk closely on lead at your left side for longer walks each day. Encourage not  only with your left hand holding the liver, but also with your voice.  This is a pleasant, happy occasion and it is something that both owner and dog should enjoy.


Later as the pups gets older you can use a slight heavier link chain collar.  Opinions differ as to the correct length of chain link collar.  Some trainers prefer a shorter color because they believe that when the pup is trained to sit it makes it easier to lift your hand up high to encourage the sit.


I, personally, prefer the slightly longer training collar, because you have advantage of the whip-like action if ever the dog decides to lunge forward unexpectedly, perhaps at a cat that runs past, or a motor bike.


As far as the leads are concerned, make it easier on your hands by getting a strong, but good quality leather lead of suitable length, or, if you prefer, a leash made from soft, but extremely strong webbing.


At the moment I am involved in Schutzhund training at a specialist German Shepherd Dog Club, and the leashes we use are all made from strong, pliable leather.


My wife however, prefers to train her young German Shepherd bitch at an all-breeds training school together with a variety of different breeds. 


While visiting her training club the other day, I was amazed to see a  young trainer with a  Great Dane pup of about nine or ten months, using a chain  leash.    


I asked the young man why he wasn’t kinder to his hands?   I was surprised to hear that the Great Dane pup insisted on chewing all the leads – a practice that he was unable to break – and so he had no option but to use the chain lead.


To my way of thinking, this was totally unacceptable behavior and should have been stopped a long time ago, but because it wasn’t my club I smiled and said nothing.