When to have your pet on a dog leash may sound like a very simple question, however, there are people who think a leash limits their pets’ freedom. I see many people letting their dogs out of the car at parks, daycare’s and their neighbor’s house without putting on a dog leash. I also see people who believe a leash is used to control their dogs. They take them for walks, but are constantly yanking their pet back or away from different things. So, when should we have our dogs on a leash?
In my opinion, a leash should seldom be used for control. If your dog is pulling you down the street, it is a good idea to for you to seek a positive reinforcement trainer that can help you teach him to walk nicely on a dog leash. If he is lunging at other animals such as squirrels, have your trainer show you how to desensitize him to distractions by the use of treats and praise. Using a leash to control your dog through corrections could negatively affect your relationship with him.
The only time I believe a dog leash should be used for control is during training sessions. You should have your pet on leash to keep him from wandering off during training sessions,
If a dog leash isn’t meant for control, what are they designed to be used for? Safety! If you take your dog with you in the car, on a walk, or whenever you leave your house, your dog should be on a dog leash. When your pet is on a leash, he can’t run out in the street and get hit by a car, or chase other animals. He can’t run off and get lost. I have helped countless dog owners search for their dogs because they didn’t use a leash and their dog ran off. I have also worked with owners that were traumatized when their dog attacked another dog that came running up to them. They thought their dog was aggressive, when in fact he was only scared.
In conclusion, the primary reason to have your pet on a dog leash is for safety, not control. Using a leash to control your pet can not only damage your relationship, it can also hurt your dog if done incorrectly. Use your dog leash and keep your dog safe.