Leash Training Etiquette includes a positive approach method of leash training, questions to ask when selecting the right leash for your dog, and training activity ideas. This is a companion article to Leash Free Training.
Leash Training is not intended to punish, tug, pull, or control a dog’s movement. In our positive training approach a leash is not intended to assist in controlling, but rather, communicating the direction you would like your dog to move. A leash is a law in many areas and a gentle reminder for your dog to stay close to you when there are potentially harmful environmental distractions.
Leash Training is intended to communicate using your voice, gentle leash movements, and positive encouragement will build your dog’s self confidence in her goal to please you. It may help to think of a leash as a silk ribbon flowing between you and your dog.
Select a leash: Leashes need to be comfortable. Uncomfortable leashes and popular ‘pressure’ inducing leash designs can cause physical as well as psychological damage and create a barrier to positive relationship building. Ask yourself these questions when selecting a leash.
- Will this leash fit well?
- Should I use a collar or a harness collar combination?
Gradually increase the use of a leash and when appropriate incorporate Leash Free Training as well.
- Be patient,
- Consistent, and
- Gradually incorporate a playtime
- Start including a stair step agility activity altering between on leash and leash free, and
- Basic training commands (sit, stay, come…) shifting between on leash and leash free.
As your leash practice times increase over time you will discover for yourself how important the positive training is to your growing relationship with your dog.
A leash restricts your dog from leaving your side but, not in the way popularly believed. We do not use a leash to physically control our dogs. Rather we use a leash to communicate gently the behavior we want.
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