I have been reading your lab brats blog for a couple of months now getting ready to bring our own 8 week old Labrador puppy home. I have found your blog really interesting. Your labs are so beautiful. We have now had our yellow lab boy for 2 weeks and he is responding really well to his name and the commands come and sit. He is very adorable. But I was wondering if you had any tips on how to get him used to walking on a lead? He wears his collar all the time now, so we have been trying to get him used to a lead in our backyard but every time every time we try to walk him around the yard he sits down and grabs his lead and chews on it. It would be great if you had any useful tips as he is getting too big to carry!!!
Look forward to reading more about your lab adventures,
Congrats on your new family member! Brining home a new puppy is a very exciting and sometimes overwhelming time. I am glad the Lab Brats Blog has been helpful. *smile*
Getting a new puppy used to a lead is not that difficult but it does take some time. First, make sure that you are using a very light-weight lead with a small clasp. The more it weighs, the more it will annoy the puppy. If you already bought larger and heavier lead in anticipation for how big he is going to be in the end, just put it aside for now and get a smaller one to get you through the puppy training age.
Next, there are a couple of ways you can introduce your puppy to the lead. What I have seen work most often is putting it on the puppy while he is in the house and letting it drag behind him. You can do this for a few minutes at a time and then gradually increase the amount of time it is on him in the house. Don’t tug on it and if you have children, let them know not to pull on it as well. The last thing you want to do is have the puppy think it is a play toy or worse, think it is something to fear.
When outside with it, there should not be any extra lead hanging down near the puppy for him to get his mouth on. The leash should have a little slack but not enough to hang down near his face. If he does get a hold of it, have a special toy or something available so you can give a stern “No!”, remove the leash from his mouth, give him the toy/treat and then praise, praise, praise! This way the pup learns what it good and what is bad to chew on. It is actually on of the best methods of help curb Labrador Retriever chewing problems. This should help with getting your pup used to the leash and teaching him what he can and cannot chew on.
I did want to add one final note as you stated that your pup wears his collar all the time. That is great for getting him used to it but please remove the collar when crate training. Pups should never wear a collar in a crate (unattended) as the collar can get stuck on a part of the crate and strangle the pup. For more information on crate training, please check out this article on Crate Training Your Lab.
Good luck and let us know how it goes!