The Puppy Training Podcast

Episode #77 Tethering

September 15, 2021 Baxter & Bella Puppy Training Season 4 Episode 77
The Puppy Training Podcast
Episode #77 Tethering
Show Notes Transcript

Something we get asked a lot about with new puppy clients is how do I get this dog to stop biting? Bailey, a trainer here at Baxter & Bella joins Amy on the show today to explain what tethering is as well as how and when to use one. 


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Amy:

This is the puppy training podcast episode number 77 tethering. This podcast is designed to help you on your journey of becoming best friends through love and learning as you train your own dog from home, and I'm here to help you every step of the way. This is the puppy training podcast, and I'm your host, Amy Jensen. glad you're here today. We've had a good week here and today we are excited to talk about tethering tethering is a topic we get asked about pretty frequently at Baxter & Bella, and I wanted to at the same time introduce you to one of my amazing trainers. So Bailey is here with us today. And she talks a lot about tethering. So I thought why not have Bailey on the show to just talk about what it is, and how we use it and all of those good things. So first, let's go ahead and meet Bailey. So Bailey, welcome. We're glad that you could be here today.

Bailey:

Hi, yeah, thank you for having me. It's super awesome to be part of this. And I've been working or being part of the Baxter & Bella team since last August. It is something I think that tethering is brought up quite often. I've seen it definitely very consistently throughout my time working here. So I think it's definitely a great thing to cover today.

Amy:

Cool. Well, if you could tell us a little bit about yourself and why dogs? How did you get into it.

Bailey:

So I have always been around dogs, my parents raised labs, for as long as I can remember, they were just always very passionate about that. And I think that kind of transferred over to me, they got me my own dog who became very much my best friend when I was six years old, and just kind of threw everything from me. So when I grew up and decided to go to college, I didn't know what options there were for dog training or anything in dog world besides just being a vet, which is awesome. But it just wasn't something I was super into. And so I ended up going to school for elementary education. So I started doing that. And I was like, I really like teaching but I don't really know if I want it to be with kids at this point. So I started really doing some research and I got to talking to a neighbor who had a service dog and I started inquiring about Hey, where'd you get your service dog. So after some research, I actually ended up going to Bergen University of canine studies in California. And we got taught how to train service dogs there and so ever since then, I kind of had some stepping stones along the way and and me back here at Baxter & Bella, I also train service dogs now for the organization called Good dog service canine so a lot of my life definitely revolves around my dogs, whether it be training other people's dogs, the service dogs I'm working with, or one of my two own personal dogs, Colombian Paxton.

Amy:

That's so fun. I'm curious, what's something that you love to go do with your dogs? Like if you were to go live life with your dogs? What's your go to?

Bailey:

Yeah, definitely hiking. That is my number one hobby. And when I can bring my dogs with me, that's just a amazing experience. So I tried to do a lot of that with my two personal dogs make a lot of things fun, we go swimming together and a lot of that type of stuff. And then with my service dogs in training, I tried to really just keep things kind of like real life, I'll bring them out to dinner with me, I'll bring them to the movies. I've gone to like pool halls with them. It's all great socialization, so I try to incorporate them as best I can into my normal everyday life.

Amy:

Nice. So you have a new puppy right now. Right?

Bailey:

I do have an eight week old black lab puppy named Magothy.

Amy:

Alright, so as we get into tethering, can you explain maybe first what it is? And then why you use it? And how?

Bailey:

Yeah, of course. So when puppies come to us at the beginning, they are blank slates, they don't understand what is right, what is wrong. And so sometimes having a tether which basically you can use, I like to use anywhere between a three foot leash and a six foot leash, and I can use it to tie my puppies to a sturdy object. That way, when I'm in a room with them, they don't have as much as much space to go chew up plants or to go behind the sofa and pee, they're kind of still in my sight. They're slowly getting desensitized to that room. And a really important part of that with biting that is really helpful is when the biting starts, I have an easy way to remove myself from that situation.

Amy:

Now we do talk a lot about you know, taking our attention away, like if the puppies no biting and mouthing and their motivation is to be with us walking away can be quite effective. What are your thoughts on that?

Bailey:

Right and I think to an extent walking away can help I think any type of redirection can be very beneficial beneficial, whether we try walking away whether we try bringing in a toy, but a lot of times what I noticed was we almost try that too late. We try that after the biting or any type of unwanted behavior like jumping starts. And so a lot of times at that point the puppy is already very overstimulated. So walking away can help but if you're not if they're not on a leash, then they can easily come and follow us. I see this a lot with kids and particularly because When a puppy bites us, it hurts. And so I don't blame kids for running around and jumping on furniture to try and get away from this puppy. But the dog sees that as a very rewarding experience, kind of like chasing a cat. And so now if the puppy is tied to an object, like a table, or a dumbbell, or sometimes I'll even shut the leash in a doorway. That way, the child can very confidently now just step away from that situation and not have to deal with that whole. Oh, my goodness, I don't know what to do now. Because this dog is biting and latched on to me Yes, this can be very, very beneficial tool to use with kids, or really anybody learning how to approach your dog. Like I mentioned earlier, where I train service dogs, I train service dogs for children a lot of the times and I don't have kids at this point. So as a lot of times, what I will do is I will tie my dog to a sturdy object. And I'll practice this those greetings as if I was a kid. So I will sometimes get on my hands and knees and I'll pretend to be excited. And now the dog is not able to reach us not able to make that contact. So sometimes I think the contact is what really rewards the dogs, I think we accidentally reward the dogs by giving them those options to have that contact with us. So now when we are just out of reach from that dog, we can be excited we can train the dog how to react in this situation before we're actually put into that situation.

Amy:

Such good advice. So any tips on how to start a puppy on a tether? Do we need to do anything to get this puppy ready for a tether? What do you advise there?

Bailey:

Yeah, that's a great question. I definitely think we should do some puppy prep work before they immediately go on to the tether. Just getting them used to that leash. At first, a leash can be a very fun looking thing to try and chew on. And some dogs even get scared of the leash shot first, any new training tool really should be taken very slowly at first, for socializing wise, a lot of times what I'll do just to get them used to that leash is I will just as I coming in, I'm going to let them have a toy or let them have a high value treat as I just click that leash on and I'm just going to unclip it and the food goes away. So I'm teaching them from the beginning that this leash this tether equals something really amazing. And so you're basically teaching them teaching them something else to do before they have a chance to really display that unwanted behavior. I think a lot of times we first use leashes when we are outside, like trying to bring the dog for a walk. And it is so stimulating for them so far inside, just like how we teach, sit down and stay inside. I think it's really awesome to teach any type of leash work tether work inside as well.

Amy:

Good advice, good advice. So any things to watch out for or avoid when tethering your dog any pitfalls somebody might run into?

Bailey:

Yeah, that's a great question. I think a lot of the times what I see is, when we are then going back to the dog, when we say the dog did a bad behavior or an unwanted behavior, the dog is jumping on us biting us, we step away, which is exactly what we want to do. But I think sometimes we then just ignore the dog and we don't really teach them what they should be doing. Instead, it is so much easier to notice when a dog is jumping on us or when they're biting or when they're parking, then it's than it is to notice when they're sitting laying down and just being good. And so a lot of times what happens that will be jumps where they bite and we walk away, and we leave them for 1520 minutes just to do their own thing. And a lot of times, somewhere along the line, the dog is going to sit or the dog is going to lay down and we're missing that opportunity. So I think a big thing with tethering and really any dog training in general is we want to make sure that we are rewarding that good behavior. For me, that timeout is what I like to call it when I just step away from that together. They're short, they're usually between 30 and 60 seconds, I'm not expecting the dog to take a nap in that time. But anytime that they just de escalate in any way, shape or form, I'm just going to slowly start getting closer to them. Now something else I want to mention about that is how I said slowly. I think that sometimes when we are in this moment, we can be tense. And we can be very animated, and we can be excited and hurry back to them. But that's going to help the energy level rise again, we want to try and keep the energy level as low as possible during this to help it radiate to the dog as well. So take it slow, and we're stepping back to them and really try to keep track of those good behaviors not just focused on the unwanted behaviors.

Amy:

Yeah, I love that you brought that up because it is hard as handlers to keep ourselves calm. And you know, that translates right down to the dog and they feel our energy. And so it's a good point you make to make sure that we are in the right headspace and that we're thinking calm thoughts and we're presenting ourselves to the dog in a calm way so that they again are set up for success that they can also calm themselves down. So thank you for those tips. As we leave today, just any favorite go to puppy tips that you want to leave with our listeners before we go.

Bailey:

Yeah, um, one thing that I really talk about and emphasize a lot is just teaching your dog contentment. This is all has to do with being on that leash and on that tether. Your dog isn't going to know what to do at first we have to teach them that just being Calm is what gets good attention. teach your dog that they don't always need to be playing. They don't always need to be interacting with us, it's okay for them to be beside us. And we can be rewarding them for those good behaviors. When we are playing with our dogs Make sure to fluctuate that energy level, we don't need to play with a dog till they get to that point of biting, we can play for a little bit and then we can massage their ears, we can play for a few seconds, and then we can ask for a couple of commands. Try to have that fluctuation in that energy level, reward the dog for those good behaviors and plan that escape route which is that tether. And then, of course, have fun with me having this eight week old puppy right now. There's a lot of stress. There's a lot of nervousness. I'm right there with you. But there's also a lot of excitement. These puppy days are going to fly by like crazy. I have a 13 month old puppy right now. And it's crazy how fast that time has gone. So however stressful this can be. No, that is all part of that process and have the best time with it.

Amy:

Bailey, thank you so much for being here with us today. So if you guys want to find Bailey, you can schedule a one on one appointments with her you can send emails to our inbox through our program and she will reply. So she is amazing. She's such a great help here at Baxter & Bella and I really appreciate you coming on today and talking to our listeners about tethering. I'm excited for you all to go try this technique with your new puppies and love the advice to go have fun with your puppies because they do go grow quickly. You might have heard Baxter in the background today. He's here as a six month old dog. So I'm right there with all of you who have adolescent dogs going through the same process. And it's just been a joy to run a company where we can be right there with you training our dogs alongside you. So thanks for listening today. Thanks Bailey for being here. And I hope you guys have a wonderful week. If you have a question about anything you heard on this podcast or any other puppy training question, visit my site Baxter & bella.com to contact me.