The idea behind a close tethering, which is a two to three foot lead, is to teach your dog to enjoy being tied up close to you for short periods of time. Close tethering is not a substitute for a fenced yard and you will want your dog to understand that this is an opportunity to nap and please you at the same time. It is detrimental to your dog to be tied-up alone daily for long periods of time. By adapting your dog to a tether, it will actually increase its freedom. Your dog will now be able to go more places with you if you can 'park' your pup knowing it will not create a problem.
Below are eight uses for close tether training your dog:
- Bonding: An excellent bonding exercise for the independent dog is to have the dog next to you every minute possible when you are home. If no other place is available, tie him to your belt or ankle which is called, "umbilical cording."
- Security: Close tether training gives yor dog the security of knowing where it belongs and how to act when taken to a new environment.
- Housebreaking: Dogs do not like to eliminate in their immediate area. Take the dog out regularly and praise appropriate elimination. If elimination does not occur, return to tethering and praise quiet inactivity.
- Calming: Calm the hyperactive dog inside the car or house, especially when you have guests.
- Separation Anxiety: Once calm, gradually leave for increasing time periods, while staying under the threshold where anxious signs begin. Ignore the dog when leaving and returning. This is part of the desensitization process. Remember, a relaxed dog can be tethered for hours.
- Destructive Tendencies: Provide an approved chew toy because close tethering prevents the dog from destroying any of your possessions and concentrates their focus on their toy. If separation anxiety is the cause, begin desensitization.
- Dominance: If the dog acts aggressive, give him a "time out" tethered away from you for 10-20 minutes. Tethering reduces territorialism and lowers hierarchical status.
- Socialization: The tether can be used as part of a socialization program by allowing the dog to see and be apart of people's activities without being the center of attention.
A dog who can be tethered without fussing possesses a skill that will be handy in many situations over its life. Remember, your dog's greatest joy is to be near you and please you.