The Back Tie: Safety and Control in less than ideal situations!
When dogs return home after training, one of the things we always chat about in the Go Home Sessions is how to use a back tie for the first few weeks while the dog is on Place. When dogs return home to their families and their houses, they are often very tempted to push the new boundaries and go back to their old rambunctious ways because familiar people and places trigger the behaviours and over excited mindsets that the dog used to practice in those environments (just like a familiar smell or sight triggers old memories and desires). So to help owners transition though this boundary pushing phase, I recommend that they back tie the dog to a secure and solid anchor like a door knob or a heavy piece of furniture so that if the dog chooses to break place, he can’t score a ‘win’ by making it all the way to what he desires (barking at the door, rushing guests, harassing other pets or kids) before owners have a chance to correct their dogs and then return them to place. It is far far easier to correct a dog and restore his calm mindset when he’s only a foot away from the place bed than after he’s made it all the way to his trigger (door, people, other pets, food, etc.) and is basking in the glory and over excitement of his naughty choices.
I also recommend using strong ties like a leash or a long line and a sturdy slip proof collar like a martingale or slip lead so that the dog can’t back out of his collar and only back tie when you can supervise the dog. If your attention is needed elsewhere and you can’t keep eyeballs on the dog, then just pop him back in the crate until you’re free again.
When it comes to dogs with serious issues like resource guarding or fighting with other dogs or human/dog aggression or harassing other pets like cats, the back tie is an absolute necessity because if something happens then the back tie gives you that added security of knowing that the dog can’t engage with his trigger or do harm. Safety is always our number one priority for people, dogs and other pets so when in doubt use your back tie, it never hurts to add a few extra safety measures.