In punishment-based dog training, the leash is used not just as a restraint, but as a way to inflict pain or startle, and many lessons about dog training include how to handle the leash to get the most force in a precise way. With the rise of positive reinforcement training, the leash was no longer needed to ‘teach’ the dog and lessons on leash handling fell by the wayside. And yet dogs were still walked on leash. Not having guidance on leash handling opened up positive reinforcement trainers to a wide range of unfortunate mistakes, including unintentional pressure, restricted freedom, safety hazards like rope burns and loose dogs, or regressing to leash pops in frustration.
Michael Shikashio and Grisha Stewart separately noticed that important skill gap in modern dog training and have been developing and teaching their own leash handling skills for aggression for over a decade and a half. While each of us uses more skills beyond the ones we developed ourselves, Mike is known for his defensive handling techniques and Grisha is known for her BAT leash skills - how to use a long line to create a sense of freedom while still maintaining safety and control. We thought it would be helpful to join up to share our tools in the same webinar, so you can learn when to use which, and why.
We are both continually learning, so we also thought it would be a fabulous opportunity to teach each other how we work. Both of us will give an overview of the leash handling skills we teach, and also guide the other through a practical skill. Grisha will be teaching Michael her new “leash belay” technique and Michael walk Grisha through “leash quick control. Follow along as you add new skills to your leash handling toolbox!