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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
We are bringing home a standard pup later this spring, at approx 11 weeks old, and I'm beginning to gather supplies. I've read a lot of very helpful threads here, but I'm still rather confused about what we need in terms of leashes and collars. I hope you can help!

We will have the kitchen gated off, and there's an exit there to the backyard, which is fenced. We will be crate-training (crate in kitchen) for sleeping and daytime breaks. I would like to have the pup tethered to me while I'm with him in the kitchen to help me keep a close eye during house-training. For this purpose, would I use a collar and a 6-ft leather leash? Any specific type of collar? (Is there such a thing as a puppy collar?)

Also, I'm hoping to click train. Can i use the same 6-ft leash when training basic commands indoors and out? Or do i need something different for that? (Or am i supposed to train off-leash when indoors, but on-leash in the backyard?)

Should I also get a 15-20-ft long line for recall training in the yard--and can i use the same collar? Or is a 6-ft leash sufficient for that age?

I understand the collar should be removed when the dog is not on a leash for safety. So if he's not tethered to me or, say, if he's in the crate, would I use a slip leash to take him outside to potty? (I assume when tethered, he'd stay on the 6-ft lead to go out.)

I've also seen the martingale mentioned--is that an alternative to a slip leash, or is that what i should use as a collar with the 6-ft lead?

And, do i need a harness at this point, or no?

So much is new since the last time I had a dog--Thank you for your patience with my questions!
 

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I like martingale collars because the puppy can't escape them. You simply pop the collar over the dog's head, so no need for a slip leash to go outside to potty at two am. Slip the martingale over the puppy's head with the leash already attached to the collar, and go on out to pee. I used the same collar and same leash when I tethered my dog to me. You can use a harness if you prefer for the tether.

You can use the same leash indoors and out. I like six foot leather leashes because I find them easy on my hands. Don't worry about long lines, yet. I never used them, to be honest. I found they got tangled on shrubbery and trees. Instead, since your yard is fenced, play hide and seek in the yard off leash to build a strong desire to find you. This is a good foundation for coming when called.

Play this game AFTER the dog has gone potty. Go potty, take off the leash and have some fun together. Hide behind a tree, call your puppy, reward with treats and laugh and laugh for finding you. Wait for the puppy to sniff the grass, and hide again. Favorite puppy game for Noelle. And, still fun now, come to think about it. You can also play this game in the house.

One meal was divided between family members in different parts of the house. "Puppy, come!" run from kitchen to living room, get some kibble. "Puppy, come!" from the bedroom. Run from the living room to the bedroom for more kibble. "Puppy, come!" from the kitchen this time, get more food in the kitchen. Run from room to room getting bits of food each time, for one meal a day, every day for several months. The lesson? Come=food, food=survival, come=survival. And besides, it's fun for everyone. Your dog learns that coming when called is a good thing.

Good for you for thinking about clicker training. I clicker train, too. Timing is a critical skill in clicker training because you click the moment your dog does something you like. To practice your timing, click when lights change from red to green. Click the second a commercial starts. Click the second a tv show starts. Click scene changes. Start practicing timing long before you have a puppy. Remember that your clicker is like a camera shutter, taking a picture of correct behavior. Click a sit when the butt hits the floor. Since you'll have practiced your timing already, you'll find it easier to start clicker training.

I like clickers because they make a consistent sound that is devoid of emotion. I can say a word like, "yes!" in many, many different tones of voice. A click is always a click.

Have you researched training classes in your area? A good puppy kindergarten will make a world of difference. Have fun and congratulations on your new puppy!
 

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Our last dog (not Poodle...St. Bernard mix) wore her martingale as her main collar and Curry (our Poodle) has a martingale that buckles for new places, training, etc, since one of her “moves” is to back up. After seeing our last dog in her martingale get stuck in the crate, I just feel uncomfortable with her wearing it in there. We just use a 1” flat buckle canvas collar (from Etsy. They hold up well and are softer than nylon). I have it on her most of the time since our yard isn’t 100% fenced. She has never ever left (she’s very glued to us and goes to our deck if she can’t see us and waits) but you just never know.
 

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I particularly like Martingales for young dogs since as Click mentioned if they put the brakes on and you are still moving they can't pull out of them. However you can certainly use a Martingale for the life span of the dog. I would use a 6' leash for the tethering and such. I suspect you are thinking of something like a combo leash collar as a slip leash (for me a slip leash is a leash with no clip that you can easily slide through a collar). I don't think you need that kind of combo. If there is no collar on the pup you can just make a loop by putting the leash clip through the handle and holding it at the clip for an emergency potty stop.


I didn't rely on long lines to teach recalls. Most young pups are very happy to come after you. We did recalls between us with great treats and a bit of play for fast responses. For Javelin I made sure he developed fabulous centripetal attraction for me by playing with him in the yard to get him involved with me and then I got up and trotted off. I made sure he could catch up to me easily and immediately resumed play for a few minutes before leaving again. He always followed and was always moving as fast as he could. He has the best recall of all of our dogs. Sometimes teenage dogs retrogress and particularly can lose interest in coming when called. If that happens then you have to make the consequences of coming to you much more fun. A long line might help then and certainly can be useful when you work on generalizing sits and downs at distance and recalls when you are not in your fenced yard.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is all very helpful! Great tips on practicing with the clicker, Click! I will try that. My son and i were clicking at each other for various things, and it got to be a joke (he clicked whenever i found my reading glasses...lol). I have found a puppy class that's taught by a Karen Pryor certified trainer, so i'm hopeful about that.

Regarding a martingale, would I get a 3/4" or 1" collar for a puppy? Laurel, did you use a 1" all along? I will look at the canvas options. I saw this one, but i think it's nylon: https://www.lupinepet.com/store/original-designs-martingale-collar

Very good to know that I don't need a long-line, especially not right away, Lily. I love the idea of hide and seek games. I'm a little concerned about how it will go early on in the yard because even though it's fenced, we have a back neighbor whose dog (GSD) barks incessantly at us (or anyone) through the fence (and she can just manage to stick the tip of her nose between the slats) when we're in the yard, she can be so loud it's hard to talk over it sometimes. If that continues, it could be difficult to ignore during training, even though our yard is pretty good size. Kind of a bummer because most of the people on my block have well-trained dogs and take good care of them. The GSD seems to be left alone a lot, along with their other, very small, dog (a bichon, i think). When the little one is outside, they both bark at us! So i will have to figure that out.
 

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I'm a little concerned about how it will go early on in the yard because even though it's fenced, we have a back neighbor whose dog (GSD) barks incessantly at us (or anyone) through the fence (and she can just manage to stick the tip of her nose between the slats) when we're in the yard, she can be so loud it's hard to talk over it sometimes. If that continues, it could be difficult to ignore during training, even though our yard is pretty good size. Kind of a bummer because most of the people on my block have well-trained dogs and take good care of them. The GSD seems to be left alone a lot, along with their other, very small, dog (a bichon, i think). When the little one is outside, they both bark at us! So i will have to figure that out.
I'm fixing to get a new poodle puppy at the end of May so I can't speak from experience yet, but this would seriously worry me. I have a neighbor with dogs that bark aggressively and I am not sure I will let my puppy in my yard if their dogs are out because I don't want him to pick up on their bad behavior and become confrontational. I would think about ways to at least put up a solid barrier between your yards. You can get privacy barriers for stuff like this. The less exposure to them the better.
 

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I like clickers because they make a consistent sound that is devoid of emotion. I can say a word like, "yes!" in many, many different tones of voice. A click is always a click.
This literally just "clicked" with me (yes I went there, LOL)
You make such a compelling argument for clickers that I am tempted now to introduce this!
 

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If you are good on your timing with clickers they are really awesome since the sound is so consistent and uninfluenced by emotion. I just have really bad clicker timing since I often have too much stuff in my hands not to have to fumble for it. the timing really matters, has to be 3 seconds or less or it doesn't connect to the behavior you want to mark.


For a spoo pup a 3/4" martingale will be just fine.


As to the GSD next door, the barking make make teaching hard, but it will be great for proofing. I would start by doing short sessions of easy things at the far end of your yard from the rude neighbor. As your pup learns more and more you can proof closer to the GSD end of the yard.



Not quite the same situation, but when Lily was young and able to go on decent length walks with me our route often took us past a house with a really obnoxious GSD that would bark and jump around in the picture window of their living room (the people we very proud that the dog had graduated from puppy K at a chain store and considered him well trained, ugh). Lily was very displeased with having to be verbally assaulted by this dog who always seemed on the brink of breaking the glass to get to us. She would dig in and try to get me to turn around rather than passing the house, but I was determined not to let her make those decisions and instead used treats to keep her moving and ignoring the dog. Eventually she walked confidently past him doing his crazy disply and soon after he stopped barking at us. Even from across the street her calm and confident attitude tamed that dogs idiotic lack of manners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's a good idea, Lily, thank you. The GSD barks even if no one is outside, but if we're at the far end of the yard, it should be better. It makes me want to keep my pup on leash in the backyard though, at least until I can predict its reaction to the barking.
 
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