Hi all, George here. Today I’d like to discuss proper leash usage. Now I have already covered this subject a little bit in my blog post about the private consultation I did with a rescue rottweiler. You can check that out here. But today I’d like to go into greater detail on the subject.
First and foremost, it is important to understand that the leash is more than just a restraint. It is a communication tool. With this in mind, the first thing to master is how to hold the leash. The most common mistake I see is to keep the leash tight at all times, giving the dog very little room to move. A tight leash makes the dog resist and act up. Instead, your dog needs to be given the opportunity to earn a loose leash. Ideally, the leash should be loose 99% of the time.
The leash should be held in your left hand, and your hand should be kept down by your hip. This will keep your dog by your side. When your dog strays, give the leash a quick snap and release. Do not maintain constant tension on the leash. Always be sure to maintain your dominant posture, and to not break your stride. Walk tall and with purpose, and your dog will follow. As far as your dog should know, you are the one going for a walk, and they are privileged to come along.
I wish you all the best of luck in training your dog, and hope they can give you as much joy as I get from teaching. Remember, you can control your dog’s behavior by controlling your own.
Be sure to check back often for more tips and tricks on giving your pet the happiest and healthiest life possible. George Domsic is the owner at Benchmark Pet Services, and has more than 40 years experience in the field of dog training and psychology.