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Walking My Dog on a Long Line – Building Trust and Freedom

Walking a dog on a long line has become a great experience for both of me and Bear. But let me share with you why I choose to use a long leash, even on sidewalks.

Firstly, we just came from an open area where Bear ran free, loosened up his body, and had a lot of fun with me. He loved it, and I didn’t feel the need to switch to a shorter leash afterwards.

There are two other main reasons why I use a long line. The first is trust. For an adolescent, Bear is excellent at checking in with me and re-engaging if needed. I don’t have to constantly command him; he engages naturally, which is rewarding for both of us. I trust him to make good choices, and we aren’t in a particularly challenging environment.

The second reason is freedom. I want Bear to have a bit more freedom because I trust him. I use a longer leash to allow this. If we need to cross the street, I’ll shorten it for safety, but it’s not because I don’t trust him. It’s just to keep things safe.

After our run in the open space, I trust Bear enough not to need a short leash or quick reaction time. He’s doing amazingly well in this setting, so I feel I can reward him with trust and a bit of leash space. As you can see, he engages well with me.

If you have a dog you trust and communicate well with, don’t hesitate to use a longer leash. Keep an eye on the environment and your dog's behaviour, and adjust accordingly. A longer leash can indicate trust and good communication, resulting in more freedom and less tension, making the walk enjoyable for both of you.


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