I slipped collars onto Lily and Pippa today. I took the collars with me at breakfast time, placed them on the pups and fed them immediately after. They hardly noticed. Collars are the first step to leash training, and even if the collars were no big deal, I’m sure the pups will notice the leashes.

Pippa sports a new purple collar
I could place collars on them when they’re just little tykes but somehow I never seem to get around to doing that with my LGD pups. I don’t leash walk them when they’re little because I lean away from doing too much with the pups during the stage of bonding to sheep rather than me. I do handling of ears, tails, toes and food bowls, but otherwise I leave the pups alone.  When they’re little they follow me on their own volition, without leashes. Eventually that desire fades. When I might have trouble catching them, is when I tend to do a little leash work. It’s not my goal to train the LGD’s pups to heal on a leash but I do want them exposed to being led by a leash and the restraint a leash imposes so walking them into a vets office or tying them up while we do flock work isn’t a nightmare experience for them.

I’ve done hand feeding and food bowl manners with the pups as I find food is one item these dogs like to get argumentative about. Perhaps I just notice it because they’re not raised underfoot in the house so it’s far more apparent. Lily and Pip had to learn to fend off a wily wether lamb that tries to steal from them if I feed the pups in close proximity to the sheep.

Accepting but not fully relaxed about it
Lily still takes a protective posture around her food bowl and she’s pretty quick to utter a warning to any animal that approaches. Both pups accept me being there and I still practice having them be calm before feeding and putting my hands in their bowls. But no other better approach. As pups mature their almost frantic desire for food wanes and by adulthood, they’re often skipping meals and you have the opposite worry - dogs getting enough to eat when they’re working hard.