The Other End of the Leash

A leash has two ends. At one end is the dog and at the other are you, the owner. The excitement of the dog is very much visible, when you have the leash in your hand and you try to attach the hook to his collar. He is just elated at that moment and pulls you out of the house with all the might he has. And if there is a dog outside your gate, the excitement mounts many times and he strains further, his toes virtually splay, front legs spread on the smooth floor of your compound and it is a big tug of war between you and him.
Naturally you are not very happy with his behavior and you try to stop him by shouting at him and pull him with all your might. May be you hold the leash tight with both your hands, your legs slightly apart to give you an extra leverage. But the dog seems to win the game.
Your anger mounts. But have you ever thought what goes inside the mind of your dog? While you curse him for being a naughty dog, he thinks that you are a big hindrance in his freedom. He sincerely wishes that the leash connecting you two should not have been there and he would have scaled the boundary wall and torn to bits the dog trying to mark the pole opposite!
Compared to you, your dog does not have the word anger in his dictionary. He might get agitated, feel th discomfort of the leash, might express it by tugging at the leash, pull you or even try to bite the leash, but he never gets the idea of attacking you to set himself free. You know why? Because he considers you as his master, as his leader and he has been genetically programmed to be subservient to the master. He cannot dream of showing his anger to you, unlike the way you do it.
Imagine you have a German shepherd at the other end of the leash. You cannot be more powerful than him, yet he never takes a revenge of the thrashing you gave him last night. If you have not tamed him, not trained him and he pulls you flat and you break your wrists, it is your fault not his. Because he is mighty powerful and his pull can make you fall flat in a second. But mind you this jerk on the leash he gives is merely due to excitement and not due to anger.
If you want a calm and docile dog at the other end of the leash, you have to learn to be calm yourself. You have to learn to follow a routine and never ever lose your temper at the dog. Even if you do not know the a b c of dog training and you do not have a choke collar and a nylon leash, you can still train your dog to walk with you without pulling you.
The first thumb rule is NEVER to walk out of the house with the dog without a leash. Best is to keep the leash near the door, so that you may attach the leash, precisely a moment before you go out with the dog.
Over a period of time, you will find dog will initially hesitate to go out without a leash and gradually stop at the door and wait to be leashed. All this happens without a command. Your routine becomes his command. You will notice that after a further lapse of time your dog may carry the leash in his mouth and place it on your feet, begging you to leash him and take him out.
For you a leash may just be control mechanism, a gadget to restrain him. But for a dog it is the passport to go out of the boundary of the house to explore new scents, hear to new sounds and if possible play in the park.
Therefore, whenever you put on the leash on your dog, always remember that while you are at one end, your dog is at the other and before stepping out always try to fathom his expectations.
Image (c)

More By  :  V. K. Joshi (Bijji)

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Comments on this Blog

Comment Thanks Raman, I am glad that you learned something from my blog

05-Jun-2013 11:40 AM

Comment Yet another important piece from you sir. Everytime I read your writeups, there is something new to learn. I faced the same challenge with my boy (GSD) and i corrected it with having a positive mindset and never scolded my dog. He is a much better boy now with some exceptions that i can live with :)

Dogfather Sidhu
03-Jun-2013 22:14 PM

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