You have two choices when your dog’s leash gets caught on a tree:
You can either:
• Fix it.
• Throw it away.
Don’t do either of those. The easiest way to correct a lost or loose leash is to get your dog off the leash as swiftly and easily as possible. When you do that, your dog’s leash will become stronger, not weaker.
In some ways, leash retractions are similar to what we do as trainers in human-dog relationships in which we first correct the dog, teach him to use the leash properly, show him it’s a good idea to use the leash properly, and finally, repeat the process of teaching him proper safety measures when the leash is in fact gone. When this is used as a means to teach safety, it will also be used by humans with dogs, and it will be far better for both people and dogs.
In some cases, a dog with a misplaced leash will pull in a direction and keep going. This is called a “sticking” or “holding up” situation.
Another way a dog can find a lost leash is when a dog has a strong impulse to chase the leash. He will run away, but if the dog sees a large enough object (or a well-placed stick) to keep him from running, he will find the leash and return it.
One of the important reasons a dog should not retrieve a lost leash may be what happened to the dog with the dangling leg. In that dog’s case, the handler and a veterinarian may have realized that the dog had never learned that throwing the leash down after pulling the leashed dog was a bad idea.
Dog retrieves a lost leash (above)
The dog may also learn that the dog must stop and hold the leash down when it is on the ground. This may help a dog to retrieve the leash properly.
Finally, this may also be a good reason to keep a loose leash close to a tree, or around a door or other structure.
Do your best to avoid using retractable leashes
To avoid a lost leash:
• Remove it as quickly and as easily as possible.
• Keep the leash inside your leash-carrying collar when not in use.
• If possible, tie a loop to the leash so it can be easily tied down.
• Always clip the leash on the end that
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