Using the Short Line for Dogs: Why This Tool Can Radically Change Your Training

The reason for using a short line for dogs boils down to this: control.

It sounds extreme, but in dog psychology, the one in control is the one in charge.

And when your dog runs under tables and around the garden uncontrollably, and you're having a hard time catching them, you're not in control!

The short line for dogs helps you regain control without raising your voice, resorting to harsh strategies, and losing your composure (news flash: in your dog's eyes, a rattled dog owner is NOT a worthy pack leader).

Let's talk more about why you should ABSOLUTELY include the short line in your arsenal of helpful dog training tools.

Key Takeaways

  • The short line helps establish control, signaling to the dog that the owner is in charge and can guide behavior effectively.
  • The short line makes training sessions cooperative, reducing power struggles and distractions. It facilitates quicker learning without resorting to harsh measures.
  • Acting as a physical boundary, the short line helps the dog understand limits, enabling quick corrections and reinforcing the owner's authority.


Table of Contents

  1. Using the Short Line for Dogs: What Is It?
  2. 5 Reasons Why Using the Short Line for Dogs Can Change Your Dog
  3. Guide to Using the Short Line for Dogs
  4. Using The Short Line + The Dog Calming Code Can Transform Your Dogs

Using The Short Line for Dogs: What Is It?

The short line is a fairly simple tool: a basic lead attached to a dog's harness. This lead's length ranges between 1-2 meters. No fancy instructions are involved; all you need to do is to attach it to your dog's harness safely.

As simple as it is, the short line can transform training.

Dogs are brilliant, and they understand the concept of control.

Do you notice how they run away whenever you chase them? The reason is this: dogs know that as long as you miss them, they win. They're in charge. You have lost control and, therefore, also lose your authority.

When the dogs perceive that they can do whatever they want without you being able to correct it, they assume leadership. They see themselves as the pack leader.

And the pack leader is firm in their ways. When dogs think they're the leader, they are much harder to train.

This is the reason why I love the short line.

When you use a short line, you tell your dog, "No, you're not in charge. I am. I can control you when I need to."

Slowly, as your dog sees that you can simply use the line to catch them, they will realize that they are not the leader.

It's like playing a game of tag!

When it's apparent that someone can't catch us no matter what they do, we feel like we rule the game.

It's a different story when the opponent is capable in every way! We become more aware that we're not the top players, and we have to be mindful of what other people will do.


5 Reasons Why Using the Short Line for Dogs Can Change Your Dog

There's so much that goes into training a dog THE RIGHT WAY. Using a tool like the short line can improve training and address issues such as:

  • protectiveness
  • fear-based aggression
  • resource guarding
  • lack of boundaries
  • non-stop barking
  • recall problems
  • dog anxiety

One single short line = tons of perks.

Here are three reasons why using the short line can change your dog… and your overall training experience!

Reason #1: It Makes Training Easier

It's hard to train a dog that is always running away from you.

With the short line, training sessions become less of a power struggle and more of a cooperative effort between you and your dog.

Using a short leash helps you handle your dog better in different situations without needing to shout. It creates a peaceful atmosphere for both you and your dog.

When you use the short line properly, you are not leading with aggression but guiding with gentle firmness.

When your dog knows you have the end of the short line, they pay closer attention, learning commands more quickly. In their eyes, you have taken the leadership from them.

The short line reduces distractions for your dog, making it easier for them to focus on your instructions and smooths out the training process for both of you.


Reason #2: You Regain Control

Using a short line pulls the reins of control back into your hands—quite literally.

In the wild dance of chasing your dog around the yard, the short line is your dance partner that never steps on your toes.

It's a clear and gentle reminder to your dog that while freedom is good, it comes with limits.

With a short line, you can quickly and efficiently correct behaviors without breaking stride, ensuring that your dog understands who is leading the training.

Reason #3: You Establish Boundaries

Boundaries are essential in any relationship, and it's no different with your dog.

A short line is a physical representation of these limits.

It helps your dog learn where their space ends and where yours begins.

When they are like a running fireball around the house, correcting them won't come with a chase and a shout anymore. You can simply pick up the short line and put them to timeout.

Dogs are fast learners! They WILL GET why you guided them into timeout.

Reason #4: You Show You're a Confident and Capable Leader

Dogs are pack animals and naturally look for a leader—someone who is confident and capable.

By effectively using a short line, you are demonstrating these qualities. Your calm assertiveness tells your dog that you are in charge, not out of intimidation but out of competence.

This approach builds trust and respect, the cornerstones of any strong pack leader that dogs FIERCELY trust.

Reason #5: You Teach Your Dogs What Is and What Is Not Expected of Them

One of the fundamental aspects of training with a short line is setting clear expectations.

When your dog understands what behaviors are rewarded and which are corrected, they make better choices.

The short line is a constant, gentle guide that helps communicate these lessons.

It's not just about preventing unwanted behaviors; it's about encouraging your dog to make the right decisions on their own, promoting a sense of achievement and confidence in their daily life.

Reason #6: The Short Line for Dogs Makes Catching Your Dog So Much Easier!

The short line not only saves you from the stress and exhaustion of running after your dogs all the time; it also prevents you from catching the dog via the collar (which is a feat on its own!).

With the short line, you can just grab the leash OR stand on the end of the leash as soon as you sense your dog gearing to bolt out.


Guide to Using the Short Line for Dogs

#1: Choose a Lead That's 1-2 Meters Long

Look for a leash that's between 1 and 2 meters long, ensuring it's tough enough to withstand your dog's movements and strength.

#2: Attach the Lead to the Harness

Securely connect the lead to your dog's harness, ensuring it's properly fastened to prevent any unexpected escapes.

#3: Let the Dog Roam Around With the Short Line Trailing Behind

Give your dog some freedom to wander while the short line follows along, allowing them to explore without feeling too restricted.

#4: Always Keep an Eye On Your Dog If a Short Line is Attached to Them. Safety First!

Make sure to stay vigilant and keep a close watch on your dog, especially when they're connected to the short line, ensuring they stay out of harm's way.


#5: You Don't Use the Short Line Forever. Put it On For Several Minutes Until Your Dog Behaves Better.

Use the short line for short intervals, giving your dog a chance to learn proper behavior. Gradually increase the time as they begin to exhibit improved conduct.


Using The Short Line + The Dog Calming Code Can Transform Your Dogs

The short line is effective. It has worked for tens of thousands of dogs.

But the short line is just a tool. You have to get the strategies that will make dogs know that short line = your control, first and foremost. Or else… the short line will be less effective, especially if your dog struggles to see you as the leader.

Don’t worry, I have the solution for that!

My online dog training program, The Dog Calming Code™️, helps dog owners like you learn how to be the calm, confident AND capable leader that dogs listen to!

So when you do have to use the short line, your dog already knows YOU MEAN BUSINESS and you want them to listen.

You can click this link here to learn more about the Dog Calming Code.

~ Doggy Dan 😄

Get the first dibs on updates on all things dog related—subscribe to our newsletter here:

Doggy Dan

Doggy Dan is the founder of The Online Dog Trainer, a wildly successful online training program for dog owners. His goal is to continue to share his unique approach to dog training with like-minded people who wish to make a difference in the world of dogs. His training methods focus on creating and building the connection between dogs and dog owners, and are shared and used around the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


How to Solve Dog Reactivity WITHOUT Food Bribes, Tricks, or Force

Limited spaces!

FREE webinar:

How to Solve Dog Reactivity WITHOUT Food Bribes, Tricks, or Force

Limited Spaces!

Recent Posts

FREE webinar:

How to Solve Dog Reactivity WITHOUT Food Bribes, Tricks, or Force

Limited Spaces!

DCC Quiz

Your result is in and we have determined


Based on everything you've told me I've put together a FREE TRAINING VIDEO and a CHEAT SHEET for your dog's unique aggression issue.

Discover the #1 thing You Need To Do Next to solve this problem:

By providing your email address and sending it to us by clicking the button above, you are agreeing to our Terms Of Service, Privacy Policy and agreeing that we may send you emails about dog training, our dog training products and other dog or puppy related communications.