Introducing your puppy to his collar, her leash and the
stairs can be a challenge. However, if your puppy is trained properly it will be simple
Get Puppy To Climb Stairs
If your dog is afraid of stairs, or simply does not know
how to climb them, then begin slowly to build her confidence. Start off at the bottom of a flight of steps. A wide, shallow
stairway will probably be least frightening for your dog. Go up one step; encourage and lure your dog up with your voice,
a food treat or a toy. When she is successful, give her lots of reward and praise. Then go back down that same step. Repeat
only one step over and over until your dog goes up and down with ease and courage. Wait a while, then try two steps. When
your dog feels secure going up and down two steps, then try three steps and so on. Never force your dog to go up or down as
this will only frighten her and slow the process. Always use praise and lures to get your dog to go up or down a step. Don't
rush her into doing more than she can, take things "one step at a time."
Get Puppy to Accept His Collar
Young pups are often bewildered or unsure of themselves
and their newly acquired leash and collar. It usually takes only a few hours for a pup or even an adult dog to adjust to a
collar. Choose a collar that fits comfortably but securely. Choke collars are a training aid and should never be used as a
substitute for a regular buckle type collar. The collar should have an identification tag and license attached. Simply put the collar on the dog and let him jump, squirm, roll and paw at
it if he wishes. Don't encourage the behavior by laughing or trying to soothe him. Do not reprimand him either. It's best
to just ignore him and let him get used to it or provide some distraction to get his mind off the collar. Play, training and
eating work well to get the pup's mind off the collar. Once the dog accepts it, he won't even know it's there. It's similar
to a person getting used to wearing a ring or watch for the first time.
Get Puppy to Accept The Leash
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 few minutes 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. When you are sure he is completely comfortable walking around with the leash on, pick up the other end for a few minutes.
Do not try walking him yet. Just hold onto the other end and let him lead you around. Try not to get into a position that
will make him pull or strain on the leash or he will probably become afraid of it again. If he sits down, that is okay. You
just sit down too. Try backing up and enticing him to come towards you. If he hesitates, don't pull or drag him by the leash.
Try luring him over to you with a food treat or toy. When he starts to walk, praise him profusely so he knows how happy you
are. Give him lots of time to get used to his leash and always try to make it a pleasant experience. Give your pup lots of practice getting used to walking on leash in his own home, since it is a familiar environment
with minimal distractions. When he is comfortable indoors, try going outdoors. Again, begin in an area with few distraction
such as your front or back yard. When the two of you have mastered this, you are ready for places where there are more distractions.
This exercise won't be difficult, since you've both had lots of practice beforehand at getting it right. If your pup is biting and chewing the leash, try applying bitter apple, Tabasco or some other unpleasant tasting (but
nontoxic) substance to the leash. Reapply before every outing. Remember to always walk your dog on-leash. A dog off-leash is always in danger; accidents happen very quickly. Your
dog's safety as well as compliance with your local leash law, is your responsibility.