I like to share a little story with you:
“Last week I had the pleasure of meeting an 8-year-old dog. She lived the first 7 years of her life in conditions that were absolutely unworthy of life. She had no idea about anything! She has now adapted wonderfully to her new family and has learned a lot. I was told that she is afraid of wearing a harness, doesn’t like walking on a leash, only goes out with her owner and never goes into the water but always stays a long distance from the water.
As you know, I am a person who values safety very highly for us, so there was no question in my mind that I took her to the beach with me in a harness and a leash after two days. Without paying any further attention, I walked very close to the edge of the water, I then looked at the second dog I had with me (also on a leash) and stopped. When I turned around, she was up to her elbows and knees in a rock pool and looked at me. I praised her and we moved on.
What happened?
I think that because I kept her on a leash and gave me and her security, she was able to try something new. When free running there was no reason for her to venture into the water.
We can equate occupying the leash positively with taking someone by the hand and giving him/her strength, courage and security.”

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