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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My Dog Chews Her Tether

From the mailbag: When I take my dog on outings, and I tether her to something, she chews through her leash.

Sounds like you are a great parent - taking your dog with to you to places.  But you might want to consider whether or not she might be more comfortable at home. The outings might be too stressful for her. And even if the outing itself isn't stressful, being tethered while others are running around can be stressful.  Plus your dog is quite vulnerable (to loose dogs, to intrusive people) etc.. if she is tethered and not close to you.

Here are some options to consider

1. Consider not going out and instead stay home and watch movies with your pup or work on scent games or trick training.

2. If you choose to go out, consider some calm quiet places where there is not a lot happening. Nor a lot of people nor dogs nor wildlife.

3.. Teach her how to relax at home then slowly add in distractions and slowly and incrementally work on different places. Starting with boring places and then more stimulating places:

4. Build mat value and crate value so you can use those as a place of respite when you are away from home. Reward your dog often for going to her crate or mat.

5. Teach in-sight confinement at home and slowly increase distance. Then take the training outside. For more information on this see Malena Demartini-Price's Treating Separation Anxiety in Dogs

6. If you take her places, tether her to you and keep her close.

Caution: the above video demonstrates tethering to a belt loop. Belt loops can easily break if a dog pulls.

7. If you can't tether her to you, consider that a crate might be safer than a tether.  But you should still keep an eye on the dog to make sure she doesn't escape her crate and make sure no people nor animals approach the crate. There are collapsible wire crates that are quiet sturdy (but not completely inescapable). There are also light weight pop up crates that would be more convenient but easier to escape from. Here is a video review of the Umbrapet:

This is the DogBag:

8. Be aware if temperature extremes. Make sure it's not too hot or too cold when you are out and about.

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