Me: Eve, what did you think when I first put a leash on you?
Eve: Hmmm, I have to remember. That was a long time ago. I was just a baby.
Me: You are still a baby, my baby! Were y6u afraid?
Eve: Not really. It seemed like we were going to kind of play a game. I knew you wouldn’t do anything to hurt me Mama but I hear my friends say other stuff.
Me: Like what?
Eve: They are afraid of collars and leashes. They think people are going to hurt them. I try to explain but they are so afraid they won’t listen to me. You always tell me my collar is a pretty necklace but they try to tell me it’s so you can catch me better. I tell them my mama doesn’t have to catch me. I go to her on my own. The leash is really scary because you could hang them with it.
Me: You know I could not do that right?
Eve: Yes, mama, but they don’t know you. You could be an awful mean person. They don’t know you.
Me: So what’s your advice on leash training Eve?
Eve: Make it not be so scary. Show them the leash. Put it on and then take it off a bunch of time until they aren’t scared anymore when you do that. Then let them walk around with it on but you not touching it.
Me: You think that would help.
Eve: Yep because they would see it doesn’t hurt them. And people can’t get mad when the dog doesn’t like it. They are just afraid. Have you ever been afraid mama? What if someone put a collar and leash on you?
Me: I’d really be scared but I’m not a dog.
Eve: Mama, we don’t think like that. We don’t think we are dogs. We just are.
Me: And what’s next?
Eve: Then let the dog lead you around. Let them have fun with it. Don’t be so serious Mama. Laugh and you have fun too. Then when the dog feels safe you can gently start trying to get it going in your directions. Treats help too!
Me: What made it so easy for you to learn to walk on a leash?
Eve: I wanted to be where you were Mama so I just followed along. When I see the leash now, I know that you and I are going somewhere so it makes me happy and excited!
Me: So there we have “Leash Training” straight from the dog’s mouth!