We just bought a five-month-old puppy. It's been a week and I think I may have rushed the collar and leash training as the puppy can't walk straight with the collar on and frequently shakes her head and scratches at the collar. It's a very soft collar with a light name tag.

How long does it typically take a puppy to accept a collar? A leash?

Once the leash is on, she refuses to walk anywhere and puts on the breaks. I let her wear and drag the leash around a bit indoors to get her used to it, but as soon as I pick up the other end, she refuses to comply. Without the collar on she frolicks and plays and wants to get into all sorts of mischief like eating rocks and biting at branches. With that in mind, I'd prefer she were on a leash.

Should I try to find a thinner collar and start over from the top? !

1 Answer 1


A five month old puppy should be used to a leash by now. I'm guessing the previous owner didn't do that training for some reason.

I'd start by simply standing still with the leash on and using small treats to reward calm behaviour and help her focus on you rather than being tethered.

When relative calmness can be demonstrated when stationary, introduce some movement with encouragement and more treats.

A five month puppy probably wouldn't be expected to be fully leash trained at five months (ours certainly isn't), but you shouldn't have the thrashing "fish on a hook" behaviour.

The collar, it should be on pretty much all the time, just make sure that it's well fitting (you should be able to get two fingers comfortably under the collar). I don't know what the breed of your puppy is or what the current width of your collar is. The obvious thing to do is look at what other people are using with the same breed/size of dog and use that.

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