Why are leashes necessary for dog training?
- This is the beginning of teaching your dog to stay or return to the space around you without the error and danger of your dog getting away (assuming the correctly fitted collar, harness or correctly configured slip leash is attached).
- Leashes are training wheels for dogs for later complex off leash training and behaviors (with proper training and safety protocols).
- Leashes provide for safe and easy supervision (never left on without supervision) inside too. When puppies and dogs have drag lines, it is easier to step on the line to stop them from getting something. They can also be used if the dog has behavioral problems (please find a professional dog trainer if you are having these problems) by having space between you when picking up a toy or taking them off a piece of furniture they are not allowed on.
- Dogs dragging leashes are a great start to off leash training (when ready and trained on leash to an appropriate level for what you are doing). This way you can proof your training (starting inside or in a contained area) to see how well your dog is really doing when you are not holding the end of the leash.
- Distance training is safer and easier to start on long lines and check cords. You start long line on a 15-20' leash (sometimes even a 10 foot), and you can progress to a 50 foot light line, shark line (invisible) or check cord to habituation your dog to staying in that area (unless later allowed not to, as long as they are very well trained to return of course).
- Leash laws and basic respect for other dogs, dog owners, and other humans is an important part of dog ownership. You should always have control over your dog when out around others. Others should be able to feel safe around you and your dog, when they are out enjoying the day. Dog owners do not have the right to needlessly frighten or injure others because they do not want to be responsible. Part of owning a dog is being a responsible and caring human being regarding your dog and the others around you.
- It is necessary for the dog to trust their owner when on a leash. Leashes and training your dog on leash helps them work through anxiety, fears, insecurity, being hyper all the time, and so on. Leashes are one of the pieces of equipment that are important for behavioral modification. Many owners mistakenly think that if their dog "does better" off leash, that they don't need to be trained or around others on leash. This is taking a very big risk, which usually turns out very badly for everyone.
We are lucky to have many leashes available to us, so we don't have to use just a basic rope. There are so many different clasps, materials, lengths, and special set ups to help us train our dogs. Whether your dog gets off leash or not, having a leash and having your dog leash trained is a very important part of your dog's life and their ability to be with you whenever convenient and possible. We will later go over the various types of leashes, the parts that make them safer and better made than others, and leashes that are made for different weather conditions or grips.
Your dog does not need to be on leash all of the time (unless something very unusual is going on), but training them to be able to explore the work on leash is, in my opinion, a very important piece of your dog's life and future safety. Value your dog by training them and keeping them safe.