There are a total of 7 Chapters to this post, this is 6 of 7
Control The Environment (Tools: the Long Line and the Short Line)
In the last section we talked about Fido running rings around you in the home. I
have seen it so many times and it is often quite funny to start with. From little flufy
white dogs to great big clumsy dogs, they have this knack of staying out of our reach
when we want to grab them.
In this chapter I want to talk about the importance of controlling the environment
when we are training our dogs. It is equally true when we are outside and we want to
change a behavior or stop our dogs doing a certain thing. If they are out of our
control there is not a lot that we can do.
Have you ever heard the saying “there is no point in shutting the gate after the horse
has bolted”? Well this applies to dog training too. Once your dog is of the leash and
is refusing to come to you there is not a lot that you can do. Similarly inside the
home the dog that does not want to be caught will not be caught. Well at least not
without a lot of effort.
So here is the simple tactic that all good dog trainers follow. Keep control of the
environment. What does this mean to you? Well here are a couple of key tips.
Firstly, it means that outside at the park or the beach do not let your dog of the
leash unless either, you have a good recall and you know that your dog will come
back when you call them, or leave a line on your dog so that you can catch them
again easier. Te line could be anywhere from 2-30 meters long depending on your
dog and the situation that you are facing. You attach it to your dog and then drop it
on the ground. Then when they get too far away you simply stand on it and train
them to stay close by you.
Now you may be thinking, Oh no that’s not much fun! I don’t want my dog to be
the only dog running around with a line attached to them for the rest of their life,
however this is not forever! Inside my site I show you a dog who is never let of leash
because he runs away and in less than an hour we have him coming back to us every
single time of leash. However you will see that to start with I use a long line to make
sure that I succeed and set him up to win.
Secondly, inside your home you also need to be able to catch your dog easily and
calmly during training. Again, attach a short line to them when you are working with
them or trying to stop an unwanted behavior and suddenly all the silly chasing games
will stop. Now I would not use their lead as this will be too heavy and the loop on
the end can get caught up on things, rather a thin piece of string will do just fine.
Te short line that you should use inside the house will only need to be a meter, or
maybe two, long. You attach it to their collar and drop it on the floor. They then
drag it around, most dogs will not even notice it’s there and suddenly the tables have
turned. Trying to catch your dog becomes the easiest thing in the world! No more
screaming, shouting and chasing them. Instead you can calmly walk over towards
them, stand on the line and before they even know it you have them under your
control. Again it is only a training tool, and not needed forever, only when they are
in the learning phase.
Controlling the environment is a very important concept. It changes things from
being out of your control to being under your control. Only then can you start
training your dog! Of course before any of this training takes place you need to have
won your dogs mind and convinced them that you are the pack leader and that they
are the follower rather than the other way round.
I encourage you to take a tour around my video website which shows you how to do
all of this and much more: CLICK HERE