Why I Keep My Dog On Leash
Way too much information is available over the internet these days on every topic under the sun – dog training and dog behavior included. Much of it is good and useful, but so much more of it is misinterpreted at best, and that can be harmful.
One topic that did cross my path recently had to do with leashes, and I found it to be not only helpful but also thought provoking. The question: why do I leash my dog?
For my purposes, the leash is a way to keep my dogs close to me, focused on me, safe and out of trouble; but it’s also a way to keep my dogs from bothering other people, from causing or creating a problem, from approaching a dog where one or the other could snap or snarl or lunge or attack.
I have several reactive dogs so, in public or crowded situations, I use a two- or four-foot leash. I don’t hold it tight, but I don’t let the my dogs get any further away from me than I know they can be without being a nuisance to others. It’s called training, managing, helping my dog practicing good manners in public.
What Is Your Dog’s Leash For?
Why do you have a leash on your dog? Is it to keep your dog CLOSE to you? Is it to keep your dog from being a NUISANCE to others? If you let your dog pull away from you to the end of a six-foot leash, at every opportunity, to check out everything in sight – including other people and their dogs, then you are missing a huge point and benefit of having your dog on leash. A leash is to help you help your dog have good manners – something that can’t be done if you allow him to pull to the end of it so that he is free to jump on others and barge his way into their space. In our obedience classes at Cloud Nine, I often say your dog’s leash should be loose but not long. A dog that is further away from you becomes less attentive to you. So just because you have a six-foot leash doesn’t mean your dog should have all six feet available to him!
Things To Consider For Good Manners In Public
Both for training your dog and being out and about in public with him, consider using a shorter leash – especially in crowded settings; consider keeping your dog away from other people and dogs until/unless you have your dog under control; consider not letting your dog greet anyone and/or any dog until you have asked if a visit from your dog is welcome; consider not letting your dog visit someone or their dog until you have given your dog permission to do so. The good leadership you provide (with the help of a shorter leash) and the good manners your dog demonstrates will be appreciated by the people you meet and greet along the way and will not go unnoticed!