Why Leash Manners Matter

I have long been a proponent of proper leash manners. It makes walks so much nicer.. and safer too.

Often, I see my neighbors “water skiiing” with their dogs.. you’ve seen it.. people with their arms full out in front being walked by their dogs. That is accurate, by the way. The dogs are in control of that type of walk; leading the pack. That’s a dog that could get into a street before you can see what is coming.. that’s a dog who is out of your control. More than once my neighbors aggressive dogs have popped around a corner WELL before I can see a human.

My kids were taught leash manners from the beginning. They learned about them when they were wee babies, because we kept leashes on them in the house.. they dragged them around behind them. Handy when you need to grab a wriggly puppy. Only when we were home and watching of course. The exception was Targ, the first dog I taught to walk on a leash. But the one and ONLY time he dragged me, was when Mr. Ding-a-Ling went by and didn’t stop.. looking back.. it’s funny.. at the time, not so much.

I’m not saying my kids don’t make mistakes; they do. Sometimes they use their leashes as a “safety net”, knowing I’m going to stop them. Both girls have been known to push a little… heck, it’s the bullmastiff breed. If they don’t like you, they will let you know. Fortunately, they are excellent judges character and rarely do we see a “hey get OUT of my FACE!” unless it’s really necessary.. or under high stress, when the act first, ask questions later attitude comes out. Funny, I see it more in the girls than I ever saw in the boys..

but I digress.

This morning, while walking the girls in the rain (the boys never liked walking in the rain. Evidently, they melt) Qay shook pretty hard.

And the leash clip POPPED off her collar (oh I should add, I didn’t make this leash… I like thin cotton leads for walking.. your basic black)

The ONLY reason I knew was that the clip hit me in the leg.

Qay had resumed casually walking along side me.. didn’t even notice.

Whew! I was able to calmly reach down and reattach her leash.. neither of us missed a beat (or step for that matter)

My dogs walk without any tension on the lead. If they pull, we stop. Dogs who pull are constantly being rewarded with forward motion. It’s what they want! No leash? nothing stops that forward motion. If that leash clip had popped off a dog who pulls… wow. Talk about a reward! That dog could go ANYWHERE!

And probably would.

If you need help with a dog that pulls, I suggest the following
What all Good Dogs should know