What is the aim of a leash?
- A chain, or rope used to hold an animal in check?
First of all, the purpose of a leash is not to hold an animal in check. The purpose of a leash is to connect the dog to the owner. Furthermore, last time I checked horses did not where leashes, and it’s these enormous truths of the leash and its appropriate roll in the lives of the owner/dog team that prompted me to take the time to write this article.
The leash is a great invention due to its simplicity and its objective. Without its own invention, we would not be, along with our loyal four-legged companions able to take advantage of strolls on nice summer days, or brisk morning walks, yet the inability and ignorance of the frequent dog owner when it comes to utilizing the leash makes me wonder why they do not come with instructions on how best to use them.
As I mentioned above, the leash was devised to attach you, the owner to your dog. The objective of the leash is not for the owner to be the anchor behind the pulling bull, which 9 times out of ten is the actual scenario. Thousands upon thousands of dog owners would enjoy walking their dogs ten fold if they just knew and implemented proper leash techniques when doing this.
The purpose of the leash when walking with your dog is to allow you the owner to have continuous control over your dog, it’s not to sentence your dog to a boring dull walk! Allowing your dog to venture into the boulevard to get a sniff, or venturing off course to be lavished with affection by passersby, is simply your dog being a dog
I understand that typically it’s simply a case of the public simply not knowing any better; however, taking the time to discover the correct way to use the most common dog product ever made would help to know end, the relationship, and general ambiance between dog and master.
Letting your dog pull you around, is just teaching him/her that having a taught leash is cool and you don’t mind being jerked from 1 place to another. The biggest fault with the educated leash scenario, is the owner will pull back when the dog pulls, thus encouraging the dog to pull thus initiating a tug of war which the dog usually wins.
The dog needs to understand that you are responsible for the situation and they are not. By keeping a slack leash when walking with your dog, you are giving yourself that extra foot of leash, in addition to an extra second to respond to your dog’s incessant forward lunges.
First of all you the owner need to know the correct way to handle your dog’s leash. Always make certain that your leash arm isn’t straight but bent. By doing this, you are not placing stress on your arm, and you are giving yourself an arm length of leash to use when responding to undesirable action from your dog:
This in itself, may be sufficient to discourage the behavior.
By suddenly straightening your arm and backing up, you’re delivering a loose leash, to taught correction to your dog’s forward lunging, thus putting a sudden and abrupt halt to your dog’s forward progress.
The third solution is to straighten your arm while turning and walking in the opposite direction. By doing this you are giving a loose leash, to a hard correction, that is ongoing and only stops when the dog complies with you.
The idea behind this strategy is to make an attempt to communicate to the dog that this type of behavior is unacceptable and you the owner will not tolerate it. You the owner want your dog to make the association between lunging forward, and the resulting discomfort that accompanies that act. If appropriate leash technique is used properly and consistently, one can put a stop to incessant pulling of any sort whether it be pulling forward, or pulling sideways. Always make a point to praise and reward the dog upon compliance! In doing so you are only strengthening the dog’s understanding that good behavior results in good results. By relaying the message to your dog that unwanted activity will result in discomfort, whilst compliance will lead to a good result, walking your dog will soon become a pleasure not a chore.