Tethered for Success: The Do’s and Don’ts of Dog Tethers

I’ve lengthy been a proponent of the suitable, even handed use of tethers for canine coaching and administration. This doesn’t imply tying up your canine within the yard all day whilst you’re at work, or for hours whilst you’re grocery purchasing; it means short-term restraint beneath the direct supervision of a accountable human. Proper use of tethers generally is a lifesaver in your canine’s coaching and administration program.

You can buy ready-made tethers (my favorites are from pettethers.com)  or make them your self out of sturdy, good-quality supplies. While some folks simply tether with their canine’s leash, I don’t suggest this (aside from short-term emergency tethering), as your canine can chew by a leash. A nylon-coated cable tether with sturdy clips on each ends may be connected to an eye-bolt screwed right into a strong wall beam. 

We suggest tethering solely with a plastic-coated cable, which resists tangling and may’t be chewed.

 Alternatively, for those who clip the tether to an eye-bolt screwed right into a block of wooden, you’ll be able to then slide the tether beneath a door and shut it; the door will maintain the tether in place (as seen within the photographs to the left and under left). 

You also can use the Pet n’ Place anchoring system to arrange a conveyable tether outside and/or if you find yourself touring (see tinyurl.com/WDJ-anchor). This product is recommended for canine who’re lower than 60 kilos; in case your canine weighs extra, use two! 


There are a mess of how a tether can improve your life together with your canine, together with:

* Housetraining. Reduce your not-yet-housetrained canine’s crate confinement by tethering as an alternative of crating. It’s simple preserve him with you as you progress round the home, and he’ll nonetheless be inhibited from soiling his fast tether area.

* Chewing. Rather than crating to oversee his pet/adolescent predilection to chew every little thing he can get his enamel on, tether in chew-proofed places so he can nonetheless accompany you round the home.

* Polite greeting. Tether your canine whilst you repeatedly strategy to show him to take a seat politely to greet folks. You also can tether him whilst you greet guests to your own home, after which instruct your company on the best way to greet him with the intention to reinforce well mannered greetings. For instance, “When all 4 of the canine’s  toes are on the ground, you’ll be able to pet him. But if he jumps up, simply step again out of vary.”

* Present but managed. Your canine could also be social – maybe too social. If he’s inclined to take a seat in everybody’s lap and never all of your company respect shut encounters of the canine type, you’ll be able to tether him, reasonably than shut him away in a again room. He nonetheless will get to benefit from the firm however can’t pester folks. Again, coach your guests that in the event that they wish to strategy him, he wants to supply a well mannered sit with the intention to be greeted.

* Counter-surfing. In the kitchen, it is a must-do whilst you work to switch his counter-surfing conduct! (See “Useful Matters,” WDJ January 2020 and “Counter Productive,” July 2020.) 

*Training. Use a tether if you want your canine to remain in a single place throughout a coaching or conduct modification session, however his keep just isn’t but strong, for instance, whereas taking part in “Nose Games,” and so on. (see “Everyone Nose That,” September 2019). 

* Other animal companions. If your canine is an consideration hog, and each time your different canine comes up for some petting, he pushes her away and calls for that you just pet him as an alternative, use his tether to make sure that she will get equal petting time. If your canine chases the cat out of the lounge each time she tries to come back in for a lap-visit, tether him and do counter-conditioning for the presence of the cat whereas additionally giving your feline member of the family some protected lounge time.

* Restricted exercise. If your canine is on the dreaded “restricted activity,” and if he’ll keep calm on a tether, tethering may be a substitute for crating.

* Feeding. Perhaps certainly one of your canine tends to gobble his meals so he can go scavenge your different canine’ bowls earlier than they’re finished. You can tether your gobbler at his feeding station so that you don’t must consistently play visitors cop.

* Human mealtime. If your canine has discovered the nice artwork of begging on the desk, you’ll be able to improve your personal eating expertise by tethering him close by, far sufficient away to stop him from bugging you. He will get to be a part of the household at mealtime however learns to thoughts his manners. 

The tether generally is a useful gizmo when used correctly and may be instrumental in serving to your canine keep in your lifelong loving residence reasonably than be rehomed, and even euthanized. Value it, and use it with care. 

Tether Do’s & Don’ts

The tether isn’t for each canine, nor each restraint scenario. Here are some issues to remember for those who use a tether together with your canine:

Do this stuff when tethering:

✓ Take the time to introduce your canine to his tether step by step, with treats, so he has a constructive affiliation with it. This is particularly vital if he’s sound-sensitive, because the tether clips could make a clanking noise, or if he has prior adverse experiences with being chained or tethered.

✓ If your canine has any tendency to drag laborious/yank on his tether, connect the tether to the again clip of a harness to keep away from potential harm to his neck.

✓ Instruct your company on the best way to greet your canine correctly when he’s tethered, and supply them with treats to allow them to reinforce him correctly when he sits.

✓ Provide fixed supervision in your tethered canine so he can’t turn into tangled and injure himself.

✓ Provide your canine with a food-stuffed toy or different chewie when applicable (i.e., if you’re tethering throughout your meals) to assist him settle and chill out on his tether. (You can tether a stuffed Kong to his tether attachment so it doesn’t roll out of his attain.) 

Don’t do this stuff when tethering:

✓ Don’t use a tether in case your canine is even mildly frightened or cautious of it, except you do ample conditioning first to persuade him that it’s fantastic.

✓ Don’t use the tether as punishment. It’s okay to make use of it as a relaxing time-out, however it shouldn’t be related to any reprimands or coercive dealing with.

✓ Don’t depart your canine tethered and unattended. He can turn into tangled and injure himself.

✓ Don’t tether your canine the place he may be harassed by different canine or people.

✓ Don’t tether your canine with a flat collar if he tends to drag laborious on his tether, and by no means tether your canine on a choke chain or different collar that tightens. (They are referred to as “choke chains” for a purpose!)

✓ Don’t tether your timid canine the place unfamiliar people can strategy him. If he should be tethered when people are current, tether him at a distance the place he can really feel safer and you may nonetheless control him, and encompass him with train pens so nobody can strategy previous his threshold distance. If he’s considerably fearful, don’t tether him, ever, the place unfamiliar people may strategy. Instead, put him in a protected room away from the motion, inaccessible to guests.

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