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You see, the dog has come from a place where he didn’t have much freedom, especially if he came from the shelter. You bring him home, and you obviously want him to have a great, stress-free life now. That’s a laudable goal, but it’s not only unrealistic, it’s impossible. Stress happens, and teaching dogs how to cope with it is better than trying to shield them from it.
Attach a leash to your dog’s regular collar to create a Drag Line. This gives you a way to catch your dog when he is running from you (usually with a contraband item), or running towards something he shouldn’t have (the kitchen trash, a dangerous item, the cat darting away, etc). You can use a leash, or make a drag line out of lightweight cord and a small clip. Make it 6-8 feet long, and tie some knots along the length. After you step on it and stop the dog, use it to guide him into a better behavior, and reward that. Remove it when he is not being supervised.
Tether your dog to a heavy fixed object for short sessions to help him stay out of your space while you cook, eat, or play with your kids. He will be close, but he cannot physically interact with you. Provide calm praise when he sits or lies down calmly. (Note: supervise your dog when he is tethered. Crate him if you cannot supervise.)
Leash up your dog when company is coming so that he cannot meet them at the door and jump all over them, or be worried they might touch him when they come in (if he is nervous about people). Keep the leash loose and as a means of control until he calms down, then let him drag it a bit, or remove it once he is calm.
It’s Not Suitable For Large Dogs That Pull Hard On A Leash!
One word of warning on when this method isn’t suitable.
If you have a large, strong dog that pulls hard on the leash, this method isn’t suitable. Some Labradors particularly grow up to become very hard and strong pullers.
A Labrador at just 4 or 5 months old can give a really strong tug and this isn’t nice if they’re attached to you all day. So you might have to spend time training your dog to be nice on a leash before this gets out of hand.
For young puppies and owners of small breeds, this isn’t a problem. But for Labrador owners it’s something to keep in mind.