The house training line by The Company of Animals is a lightweight lead with a clip to attach it to your puppy's collar on one end and a flat end with no handle at the other. It comes in 3 different colours, pink, blue and black.
The line has a variety of uses for training your new puppy such as - a line attached to the new puppy's collar gets them used to having a regular lead taken on and off, walking on a lead in the garden when you can't take them outside the house yet due to innoculations, or restraining them when you don't want to be grabbing their collar (such as when they're mouthing at your hands). In addition the line can also be used to implement consequences such as time outs for undesirable behaviour, or getting the puppy off furniture, leading them away from things they shouldn't be eating (like cat food!), and can also have things such as toys attached to the end for when the puppy no longer needs the line or you want to play a game- puppies love to chase things and getting them to relax and exercise some self control is a good thing for them to learn early on, you start and finish the game. Of course the line can also be used for toilet training - tethering the puppy to your waistband with a house line is a very interesting and effective way of toilet training.
Because the line is nice and lightweight it won't cause discomfort to your puppy if they wear it around the house like a regular lead would do. The product is of a good quality and is inexpensive.
We are in the middle of training our puppy Eddie and at the moment he is a bit jumpy. We are trying to stop this as best we can but it's hard when you have a baby in a highchair who keeps on offering her food to him! That said I do not want to encourage jumping and telling him no was not working so on recommendation from a friend we purchased a puppy house training line.
I purchased one of this in Pets at Home for £2.99. It comes in a variety of colours but unfortunately for Eddie (who is a boy dog) they only had a pink one at the time so pink it is! Basically a house training line is a bit like a dog lead but much longer and lighter and intended for training use and in the house use. It is very light and made of nylon and as it is attached to Eddies collar most of the day it is not heavy or annoying to him in anyway. I cannot speak highly enough of this product and am so glad it was recommended to us as it really seems to be working for us and Eddie and is very easy to use.
There is literature that comes with this puppy line and it firstly tells you why you should be using a house line. It says, "Most puppies crave our attention and easily learn behaviours that make us focus upon them. These behaviours may be desirable such as sitting or giving a paw. however, they may just as easily be unwanted behaviours like jumping up, chewing, stealing or climbing on furniture. If we 'reward' these behaviours with our attention we reinforce them, teaching our puppy that jumping up, chewing, stealing and climbing on our furniture are all good ways to be noticed. Your puppy is not being naughty or bad, he is just being a puppy! Even if we get cross with him and scold him, it may still constitute a reward: being told off can be better than being ignored."
The line then is a way in which you can stop your puppy jumping by gently tugging at it to gently ease him away from whatever he is jumping at without him seeing you and thus reinforcing the rules whilst not paying attention to the puppy and making him think that he was done something good because he got intention. The lead attaches to your puppys collar and is left to train behind him. That way, when he does jump or bite you can easily grab the end of the line as it is very long even if he is quite a long way away from you and gently pull it to stop his behaviour. I find it quite easy to grab the lead when Eddie is jumping but when he does nip the back of my legs I find it a bit harder to get the line as it is under his feet and is hard to pick up when he is near me but apart from that I think this is a great training tool.
The literature goes on to say that the house line can be adapted to virtually any situation where you need to interrupt unwanted behaviour. This non-confrontational technique allows you to teach your puppy appropriate behaviours in a positive fashion, without losing your temper or spoiling relationships with your best friend.
For more information you can go to www.companyofanimals.co.uk
What is it?
It is a 2.5m indoor training lead made by the Company of Animals. It is a nylon flat lead with a clip at one end to attach it to your dogs collar. It is designed for use indoors to interrupt a dogs unwanted behaviour, such as jumping, chewing or stealing. The house line comes with a training guide with practical advice on how to use the line to improve your dogs behaviour.
Why would you need a house line?
The house line allows you to tackle unwanted behaviour without giving your dog direct interaction and attention. Dogs crave human attention, whether that be good praise for doing something right or being told off for chewing. To them any attention is good and therefore dogs can continue to perform bad behaviours e.g. stealing socks because rather than enjoying the actual behaviour they like the fact it gets your attention and makes you run round the room after them.
Cant I just use an ordinary lead or a piece of rope?
Well you could but the houseline is better for the following reasons. Firstly it is longer than the average dog lead meaning that you can grab hold of the houseline easier without your dog trying to bite you or run off. Secondly there is no large handle at the end as there is with a standard dog lead so the dog is less likely to trip itself up. Thirdly the houseline is quite a flat lead so doesnt get stuck under doors as a rope would.
How to use the house line.
You should have the house line attached to your dogs collar at all times while you are at home. The house line should only be left on whilst you are there to ensure your dog does not come to any harm. The house line should only be attached to a standard collar and not to any kind of choke chain or slip collars as there is a risk the dog could tangle itself and choke himself.
It should be remembered that the house lines purpose is to interrupt the dogs unwanted behaviour and not to deliver punishment.
The training guide which comes with the house line offers practical applications of the lead.
Chewing - If your dog starts chewing something it shouldnt then pick up the end of the line and calmly guide the dog away then release. If the dog returns to the item then repeat as many times as required. Provide your dog with suitable items to chew e.g. toys such as kongs.
Stealing - If your dog steals an item, pick up the end of the line to stop him from running away and turning it into a game. Use the command Leave and remove the item, do not pull it as this will then turn into a tug-of-war game which will give the dog reinforcement to steal again as it results in a fun game.
Jumping - If a dog jumps up on you and you shout no or push it away it is getting attention and making it likely to repeat this action. Ignore your dog when it jumps, turn your back on him or walk away. You can use the house line to lead your dog away from the person he is jumping on (assuming its not you!). Teach the dog to sit before people greet him.
General Training - You can also use the house line to help teach recall by guiding the dog towards you if he doesnt come when called. You can also use it to teach him to wait at doors and not to run out.
We have an 10 month old Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy. We have been going to puppy training classes for about 6 months now and we have seen a big improvement in him. However when he was younger we still had times when his behaviour was quite challenging - he would try to chew our table, jump onto our cream sofa (yes not terribly practical with a dog!), jump up at people when they came into our house and then when we tried to stop him doing any of this he would try and bite us and generally run round the house. All normal behaviour for a pup trying to exert his dominance in the pack but all made the more difficult by the fact he is a big puppy, larger than most grown up dogs. Anyway we decided to have a one-to-one session with our dog trainer and she started us on a behaviour modification programme - modifying our behaviour as well as the dogs!
The basic idea was to put us back at the top of the pack and for our dog to realise he wasnt the boss. A lot of the behaviour he was showing was not aggressive but simply attention seeking. What we needed to do was to show him the correct behaviour but to do so without rewarding him with attention for the bad behaviours. Now there were lots of things to do but one of these things was to get a training line to use in the house to interrupt him when he started to chew things or jump on the sofa.
After a few weeks we saw a huge improvement in his behaviour. We now no longer use the houseline as we no longer need it but it made a huge difference, now Im not saying hes an angel (far from it) but there are definite improvements. Using the house line has meant we could interrupt him from chewing etc quickly and without the usual chase games as he runs away from us. He did sit and chew the house line itself but I would rather he chewed the lead than chewed my furniture.
The only downside I have found with the lead is it is quite thin and there is no handle at the end so if you are trying to use it to remove your dog from the room and he decides he doesnt want to go its quite painful on your hands as the lead cuts in. This probably wouldnt be such a problem with small puppies but my dog was about 40kg at the time so its quite a weight when he decides he is on strike! A small handle would be helpful but then I guess it would go back to the problem of it potentially tripping the dog up or getting stuck under the doors.
I have found the house training line to be of real benefit in improving my dogs behaviour. I wish we had started using it before then we might not have had some of the problems we do. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!
Cost and Availability
We bought our House Training Line online at PetPlanet and it cost only £1.99 but you can buy them at pet shops such as Pets at Home as well. Well worth the money.
Lightweight leash used indoors to train dogs.