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You can start leash training as early as 12-14 weeks. Start by putting your puppy on a MARTINGALE adjustable collar in SMALL. It will adjust from 8" - 14" Get the same brand in a nylon leash in small 3/8 inch - 6 foot length. Adjust the collar so it WILL NOT SLIP OFF OVER YOUR PUPPIES HEAD. You should still always be able to get 1 finger under it, and then you will know it is not too tight. I do not leave collars on my dogs, however. It is extremely important that you CHECK IT WEEKLY FOR GROWTH if you must.
Never work your puppy longer than 5 minutes, AM and/or PM. Have a yummy treat with you and break tiny bits off, small bites of cheese, or a piece of chicken breast. Something your puppy LOVES! Do Not give the treat at any other time than your training session.
To start your puppy on a collar and leash, purchase at a MARTINGALE style adjustable collar in SMALL. It will adjust from 8" - 14" Get the same brand in a nylon leash in small 3/8 inch - 6 foot length. Adjust the collar so it WILL NOT SLIP OFF OVER YOUR PUPPIES HEAD. You should still always be able to get one finger under it, and then you will know it is not too tight. I do not leave collars on my dogs I only put one on when I am going to take the dog for a walk or for a training session. It is extremely important that you CHECK IT WEEKLY FOR GROWTH if you do.
Grass training: Keeping your puppy on your left side (ALWAYS) start walking slowly and your puppy may just start walking, but the normal is to scream, lay down and drag. The key is to show them the food and keep walking, dragging your puppy along. This is why you must be on soft grass. Say “come” and keep bending over to let them smell the food while you keep going. NO treat unless your baby takes a few steps without pulling. PRAISE them when they do, and stop to give them a treat, then start walking again immediately.
EVERY TIME THEY DO TAKE A COUPLE of steps, stop pulling immediately , pause, and give a treat. Keep walking when they are pulling, laying down, screaming, etc. This is the key to quick training. DO NOT stop and feel sorry for your pup or he/she will never learn. Never give a treat without some steps without a fuss.
After a few days when your puppy is taking many more steps without dragging or pulling, the treats are given less frequently, until you will not need to give any except after your practice. Once you start, do at least once a day with NO DAY OFF until walking with you.
You can do this twice a day if you want, but remember NEVER more than 5 minutes. If you do this faithfully for one week, your puppy should know how to walk on a leash with you. Be kind but firm, gentle yet strong. Talk baby talk, keep them feeling happy!
Using a crate is a good tool for housebreaking a dog. Dogs are naturally den animals, as were their ancestors, and instinctively enjoy seeking refuge in a small cozy area. Your puppy is probably already used to sleeping in a crate, but with company of course. If the crate is big enough you can even add a bit of newspaper to one end, especially if the pup will spend more than a few hours inside. A folding plastic or wire pen is also a good investment (30" high). You can set it up anywhere in your home or away to create a safe area. You may also put a crate in the pen, with a soft pad. The door can be removed. This way if you travel (door on of course), and put your Cavalier in the crate for safety (which is the only way I travel with my dogs) your Cavalier will already be used to the crate and not scream to get out. DO NOT have your puppy loose in the car, it’s not safe! THE BAG MOST CAVALIER OWNERS TRAVEL ON AN airplane is a LARGE Sturdi bag. www.sturdiproducts.com bag.
Young Children MUST sit on the floor in the beginning whenever they hold the puppy & NEVER carry the puppy. Puppies are very wiggly and can jump out of their arms, and again, they could be severely injured. Do not allow children to chase the puppy or wake the puppy from naps. You can create a monster instead of a typical loving Cavalier. Give your puppy it's OWN place. Your puppy will think of this as a little house, and may go in there to sleep.
Do not allow your puppy on the bed, sofa or any other high place until they can get up by themselves. It is dangerous. If they were to fall they could break a leg or hurt themselves in some other way. No open pens (no top) after 5 months. Put your puppy in a safe room, crate or pen to sleep in the beginning, even if it is in your bedroom. By 5 months they will be jumping up on what ever you allow them on. They can at that time, be allowed to sleep on the bed if you permit it.
Your Cavalier will want to sleep with you, and they are very easy to sleep with, as they are not restless and have no breathing problems. Your puppy will curl up next to you or on your pillow by your head. Sometimes on your head!.