The lead as a means of dialogue.
At one extreme, there are the owners who always have their dogs on the lead, often very short. They believe it’s best to take over dogs’ actions by controlling them and giving them constant instructions. These dogs have little chance to relax or enjoy the environment and no chance to think for themselves or to learn.
Such dogs are sometimes even unwittingly forced into situations which overwhelm them. They may see no option other than to close down or to defend themselves. These are dogs who are allowed no choices – but they get the blame if things go wrong. And sometimes they pay a high price for it.
At the other extreme, there are owners who let their dogs run around without a lead, practically wherever they are. These dogs have a lot of responsibility and may in difficult situations be denied protection and guidance. Sadly, this sometimes has the same outcome. If dogs meet a situation they don’t yet have the social skills to cope with, they may choose inappropriate strategies. Again, they had no support but they get the blame if things go wrong. And sometimes, they too pay a high price for it.
Luckily, there is now a stress-free and dog-friendly way of guiding our dogs through life.
By using the right lead correctly, a gentle connection between owner and dog is maintained, offering the right amount of freedom, but also security and support as the need arises.
Here, the lead is a means of dialogue. These dogs can rely on their communication being understood. They know their people have learnt to respond to them. They can count on support in situations which are difficult for them to judge or where they feel uncomfortable. Both dog and person help each other make appropriate decisions which both feel happy with.
In this way, the lead
– keeps your dog safe.
– furthers communication between you and your dog.
– builds trust.
– enables your dog to relax and investigate the environment in a natural way.
– enables your dog to cooperate happily with you.
Quality time with Leicester, summer 2014
Handling dogs well is so much more than simply holding a lead in your hand!
We use a long lead and mainly low-key body language. We create a relaxed atmosphere, in which dogs can rely on their owners. This is the ideal basis for them gradually to learn and improve the skills they need to cope with everyday life.
Whatever the age of your dog, you can learn to create the right conditions for him/her to
– solve problem behaviour, such as barking and lunging, long-term.
– communicate more with you.
– deepen trust in you.
– learn to make good decisions in social situations.
– cooperate with you without stress.
– relax and enjoy life.
Because only dogs who have been allowed to develop appropriate social skills are in a position calmly and safely to negotiate the challenges of daily life in our human world.
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