A Leash on Your Dog Means Control of Your Dog

Leash on Your Dog Means Control of Your DogIt’s that simple. A leash on your dog means control of your dog – until he learns how to behave in the house. You would be absolutely amazed at the number of dog owners who say,

“Wow! I never thought of that! How clever. And, it works!”

The leash is  only taken off when you cannot personally supervise your dog – say at night when you are asleep or gone from the house.

I was on a dog forum recently and reading about a bad dog jumping habit someone was complaining about. That reminded me of a past client and still, to this day, I am absolutely astounded  at this phenomenon.  The fact is, a leash or line on your dog “in the house” is your best offensive tactic to gaining control of your puppy or dog. They are just much better behaved. If they are not on leash, they tend to make decisions of which we don’t approve.

I am literally amazed at the number of homes I go to with rowdy and unruly adolescent dogs and out-of-control puppies – all with one thing in common! They are all off leash – not attached to their owner in any way, shape or form!

Thinking back to this client, my first lesson was with their out of control rescue pup – small 15 pounder as I remember, 18 months old and certainly friendly enough but he spent the first 10 – 15 minutes of the lesson hurling himself at me and his owners trying to get up on the sofa to finally make his way to “a lap” for his share of love and affection. I couldn’t believe they watched their dog do this to me.  But it wouldn’t stop there. It was up-your-chest, lick-your-face and do it again over and over! Certainly the owners thought it was cute initially but it was now getting out of control (and that’s why they called me. 🙂

As we discussed their priority issues with their new pup, current behavior being at the top of the list, I simply put a leash on their dog and put my foot on the leash close to his collar giving him some maneuvering room but preventing his jumping.

I gave him a stuffed Kong toy and said, “Settle.” I then ignored the dog. He fussed and struggled for a while and then settled down with his Kong toy. When he tired of that he fussed a little more and then finally settled down while we talked.

Once he was quiet and relaxed for a while (about 5-10 minutes) I asked him to sit and invited him up on the sofa to sit nicely next to me. I maintained control of him on the sofa with the leash.

At the first attempt to crawl up and lick my face, I simply removed him from the sofa, using the leash (not making a fuss) and settled him on the floor once again – foot on the leash.  On the third attempt to sit nicely by my side on the sofa, we had success!   Some dogs may take longer. We got lucky! By the way, we also taught him to get off the sofa as well by sending him to his dog bed which was conveniently close by.

While some may find the leash a small inconvenience, when used inside the home with their pup or dog, the end result – good manners – is achieved  quickly – no, a whole lot more quickly! And it allows you to send a very strong message if you leash train your dog every day.

What’s the message: “I’m in charge. You have to listen to me now.”

The implications of controlling your personal space with your dog are huge!

Control your personal space with your dog. This means your couch and your lap. Don’t allow your dog to take charge of your space even if it is cute. Invite your dog into your space once he has earned the right by performing a sit – then say “Up!”  Balance time on the couch with equal time off the couch. He’ll respect you more because you did. And, with the new consistent boundaries, your dog will be a lot less stressed and anxious.

I also explained to my clients that training helps too.

We talked about the value of combining leash control in the home with 3 daily 2-minute obedience training sessions of come, sit and down to provide him with a sense of working for his owners rather than his owners following his lead.  Long walks allowed the owners to more constructively manage his energy rather than him using his destructive talents on their prized possessions back home.

I hope this information is helpful in training your dog.

Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children. “Opportunity Barks1”

Remember, sharing is caring.  Please “retweet and like” this post if you found it valuable.

Also, please feel free to print off a copy if it will help you as you are training your dog.

Oh, you might want to take this article to a friend’s house when you’re over there for dinner and their dog is jumping all over you.  Maybe just leave it on the kitchen counter as you leave.

Together, we can raise a happy and obedient dog

Jim Burwell, dog trainerJim Burwell is a “thanks for making the impossible, possible” professional dog trainer having trained 20,000+ dogs and counting– and serving more than 7,000 clients.  Jim’s easy to follow, common sense, and positive methods have made him the “dog trainer of choice” for 30 years.  One of his clients says it best: 

There are people who are so good at, and passionate about, what they do, that in their presence, one can’t help thinking that they have found their true calling and are doing exactly what they should be doing on this earth. Jim is one of these rare people. His quiet and understated manner, his effective technique for training dogs (and their families) is something which I feel fortunate to have witnessed and in which to have been an active participant

6 replies
  1. Sharon
    Sharon says:

    I discovered this method independently and it worked so well keeping my springer pup from harassing my husband in his chair. Then I went looking for others to see if it was recommended and ok. I’m glad it worked for us.

  2. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Monica: when doing the settle command you need to give your dog something more complicated than just a treat. Stuff a kong with some type of soft treat or use her kibble and just enough peanut butter to make her have to work for it. That should keep her busy and don’t forget to praise her when she is settled. That’s how she learns what you want. As far as grabbing the leash when you walk, simple say nothing and do a quick tug to get it out of her mouth. Again, praising on the walk when she’s doing what you want.

  3. Monica
    Monica says:

    Hi Jim,

    Thank you for the great information you always have. My dog is about 7 mos old a rescued Shepard mix. We have had her 3 months. Her new thing is to eat the leash or my foot when we are doing the settle command. so, even when I put my foot on the leash so she has very little room, she can still get my foot
    (she isn’t really hurting me, but not settling) even with a treat in front of her, She ate through a rope style leash in about 5 minutes and we moved to a flatter nylon one. That is better but I noticed she got a little nibble out of it the other day. Even when we are going for a walk, her first instinct is to start eating the leash. Any suggestions? Thanks!! Moniac

  4. BK
    BK says:

    Ha HA! I WAS one of those people who never thought of helping train my dog with a leash on in the house

    That is—until Jim came to help me. Amazing is all I need to say.

    Great training, so easy and really fun because my dog started listening to me and we started having a great time during training.

    Best advice and best trainer

  5. Leah
    Leah says:

    Great post. I’d never have thought of that, but it sure makes sense.

    I would imagine that having the leash to get your dog off the couch or simply keep them from jumping, gets rid of all the frustration and raised voices.

    Calm energy works with kids, great to know it works with dogs too

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  1. […] working on your dog’s in-house behavior. If every time Digger’s Mom has visitors, she puts him on a leash and begins to control Digger when visitors came over, he will quickly figure out what she wants – […]

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