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Charlottesville's Professional Dog Grooming

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Charlottesville, VA 22911

Dog Whispering – Leashes

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006 by Mike Cronk

Archived from “The Paw Report:”  Issue #4, October
In the last issue, I explained the time commitment Caesar Millan suggests for daily training—a 45 minute walk in the morning followed by basic obedience sessions.  Keep in mind that the walk he describes is brisk and the lead is kept short with the collar high on the neck—no harnesses or lengthy leads there!


If you can follow his example, it sure makes our job easier when we call upon dogs to be still on a grooming table.  If your dog is pulling you out the door and generally all over the place while on lead, imagine our frustration in trying to keep him still for brushing, bathing, and drying.

Many owners are afraid they will “choke” their loved ones and don’t want to be cruel or mean—I certainly don’t advocate pain!  Yet, a snug leash and firm, consistent discipline at an early age will teach your pet to mind a leash and he won’t be interested in misbehaving or pulling and subsequently choking himself. 

Which do you think is better for your relationship? 

 1)  You can be firm and teach your dog to heel in the first 6 months. 

 2)  You can avoid “being mean” but then are unable to walk with your dog because he jerks you every which way for the next 10-14 years every time you go for a walk, to the vet, or to the groomer. 

Yup, you’re right!  They call it “tough love.”
For my Danes, I used a slip chain collar for controlled walks and their regular I.D. collar for fun walks.  This way, I avoided confusion.  The sound of the links clicking—not any actual choking—let my dogs know what was expected of them.  A collar with large links provides this effect the best and limits injury.  When it was playtime and I was willing to extend the leash but still wanted some semblance of control, I just used the regular collar.

With a good dog, the real joy for both of us is when they’ve learned from the walks to respond consistently to voice command.  Once this happened, the leash was no longer needed at all.  Now that’s what I call a good time!

P.S.  The use of a harness fails to give proper lead training (and thus results in difficultly with grooming).  Harnesses were designed for sled dogs.  What do sled dogs do?  Pull!  Don’t be surprised when your dog uses a harness for its original



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