Leashes: Not Just For Walks!
Picture this: You're working on your dog not jumping on guests when they come over. Your dog knows "go to spot" when you're home alone. But now, your guests arrive, you're trying to get your dog to "Go to spot!" and he seems completely deaf! Instead, he's jumping all over your guests. (And they're likely petting him!)
This is exactly the scenario where you need a leash to help your dog out!
In addition to helping keep our dogs safe on walks, leashes are fantastic "training wheels". They're perfect for puppy training and for helping any dog with learning their manners.
We use them while our dogs learn until they're doing great, and only then do we take them off!
When Should I Use a Leash?
Anytime your dog is practicing something you don't want them to do! Some popular examples are:
Jumping on guests
Not coming when called when off-leash
Not listening to your cues (commands) in favor of other distractions!
Chewing inappropriate items in the house
When you leash your dog, you can:
Prevent them from practicing the behaviors you don't like (Practice makes perfect! If they get to keep jumping all over your guest, they're likely to do it again next time.)
Gently remove them from a distraction. This prevents them or other people from continuing to reward unwanted behaviors. (Like your guests petting your dog.)
Increase the chances they'll choose the RIGHT behavior. If I want my dog to lie down on his mat when I have guests over, it's much easier for him to choose this if he doesn't even have the option to jump all over them or get their attention.
When Do the Training Wheels Come Off?
First, practice training your dog with his leash on.
Practice with the leash on consistently. If your dog keeps getting to practice the unwanted behavior before he's leashed, it keeps getting rewarded! Then he's likely to keep doing it.
Your dog should be *really good* at his behaviors with his leash ON before you take those training wheels off.
When you think he's ready to make good choices on his own, you can have him drag his leash (if safe to do so). That way, if he starts to make a poor decision, you can still interrupt him and help him out.
When he's an A student, it's time to take those training wheels off! Celebrate your great training and let your dog enjoy his freedom. (You can always keep a leash handy for those extra-difficult moments where he needs a little bit of help.)
Not seeing the results you expect? Let your trainer know and we can help you!