Leash training

Off-leash training – Part 3

Making a correction while using the “A” line

The only difference between the “A” line and the “B” line is the thickness and weight of each. Shifting the “B” line gave the dog a feeling of freedom as compared to the weight and thickness of the six-foot training leash. The “A” line will give your dog even more of a feeling of freedom as compared to either the leash or the “B” line.

The technique is applied the same way, with one slight modification. Because the “A” line is so light, using it to make a correction would be meaningless. It would snap like a twig. Therefore, a way must be devised to give you the opportunity to correct your dog in the event he accepts this new freedom as a challenge. You can make the correction using a tab attached to the dog’s collar.

A tab is simply a six-inch length of clothespin rope attached to the pull ring of the training collar. It’s like a handle, ready to be grabbed should your dog needs to be corrected. While working your dog on the “A” line, always keep in mind that correction is not possible unless you physically reach for the tab on the collar. Do not try to make a correction with the “A” line; it will break and your dog will be heading at the opposite direction from the other side of the house.

The “A” line is strong enough to hold your dog and to prevent him from bolting, provided that the line isn’t jerked up short. The tab is for correction. Two weeks working on the “A” line and your dog will be ready to work for you without any leash or line at all. But the tab must stay on!

During your work on both the “A” and “B” lines, continue to practice your work on the hand signal for the drop on recall, drop to the down position from a sitting position, and the drop from the standing position. By using the “A” and “B” lines, you can do this at a distance of eleven to twelve feet from your dog rather than a mere six feet.

You will be increasing the distance gradually as you progress through training, but do not try to get ahead. At no time should you signal your dog to drop to the down position if you are more than twelve feet away from him, until instructed otherwise.