We have had a new puppy for three weeks and we are crate training him. Up until now we haven't needed to put a collar on him as he isn't allowed out yet and when we take him in the garden he just toodles around close to us to do his business. Our garden is huge and at the moment not secure as there are lots of shrubs and hedges with gaps in (we intend to fence it as soon as poss).Now he is getting a bit more daring we have decided to get a retractable lead to take him out in the garden. As he is not allowed to wear a collar in his crate we can't leave a collar on him all day (as he is in and out of his crate all day) so how do we do it ? Do we have to keep putting a collar on and off of him every time he goes out in the garden (which is very frequently at the moment and at very short notice !!). My friend leaves a collar on her dog and she says that it is stretchy but I didn't think that you were supposed to do that in case they get it caught. What do people do with dogs and collars if they are crate training them ? Sorry....bit long just a bit confused !
Presumably if you're watching him to take him out all the time then you'll be watching him closely enough to stop him strangling himself in the crate?
Basically I left the collar on when I was with ours, and took it off if he was unsupervised or the crate door was closed (pretty much the same thing in early days). I don't know if that's recommended practice or not, but there will rapidly become a point where you want a collar on your pup to assist in grabbing him both inside and outside the house! You'll also really want to get that garden secured asap as they will go from timidly following your feet to shooting off like a little canon ball into the hedge with NO warning!
Personally I'd ditch the extendable lead idea, as once/if you go to classes you'll be teaching him not to pull against you, so an extending lead kind of contradicts that. Get a very simple puppy lead/soft rope lead and practice with him in the garden on that, walking nicely (worry about heel etc later - but you don't want to be encouraging him to try and shoot off). Alternatively you can get long webbing lines called training lines which lots of people use for recall training, but I just ended up with dog knitting whenever I tried!! HTH