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Recently a number of folks I know have gotten puppies. And they’ve all asked my advice about house training, and keeping their pup out of trouble and such. And for all of them, as I recommend to anyone who asks when they have a new dog be it puppy or adult, have the pup wear a leash inside. Times you are supervising, they drag it. Times you are only semi supervising, you attach it to you or hold on to it or step on it. Times they are crated, you take it off. They come out of the crate you put it back on.
None of them have done it. Well, one has as of yesterday when they realized it would make life a lot easier, but they resisted doing it for over a month.
Why? Why do people not do this?
It makes life so much easier. Seriously. Any dog coming into my home for the first time be it puppy, adult, my own or boarder wears a leash until I’m sure their understanding of where to toilet is solid, until I’m sure they have the social skills to not be an annoyance to the other dogs, until I’m sure they can be consistent with making good decisions in the house. Zora wore a leash in the house for well over the first 2 months we had her. All of my puppies have. Every single dog who boards with me, from the time of drop off until I’m sure of those 3 criteria, wears a leash in the house. Most of them by their second visit means less than 10min, a couple they don’t need one at all as they’ve proven their abilities to me countless times, some of them though, they wear leash for the first couple of days.
Leash already on means no fumbling to get it on as we quickly rush out to toilet. Leash already on means I can find the puppy who is hunting dust bunnies behind the couch. Leash already on means I can quickly interrupt the thought of jumping on the counter. Leash already on means someone at the front door, we are ready to train. Leash already on means we can practice leash walking in an instant, all I need to do is pick up the end as the dog is already walking beside me. Leash already on means I can quietly step on the end, preventing a chase me scenario, and we can work on the trade game or coming to me with the slipper my hubby forgot to put in the closet. Leash already on means I can easily help the “Tom is done with your shenanigans, time to walk away.” Leash already on means they learn super early to ignore the leash, it isn’t for chewing, or tugging, or anything to really care about.
I don’t know how people raise puppies without a dragging leash. How the heck can you keep tabs on them easily without one? When I think back to how small and fast Zora was at 5 months old, without her standard 6 foot extension I’d have had no chance in heck of knowing where she was!