Q: Is it necessary to tether my dog as part of the training process?
A: Tethers can be used as management tools to help teach your dog what you want him or her to do, rather than having to use corrections. However, a dog should never be left on a tether unsupervised and, for safety reasons, the tether should always lay flat on the floor.
Tethers keep your dog from stealing things, chewing things and jumping on people. More importantly, they create a situation where your dog can be successful and learn appropriate behaviors such as chewing on appropriate toys or lying down and relaxing instead of jumping. After a few months, a tether is not necessary as your dog will have figured out what behaviors draw the most rewards and positive reinforcement.
The average length of tether is four to six feet depending on the size of the space you want to limit the dog to. However, if your dog is under 50 pounds, a four or five foot tether would be fine. Good times to practice tethering are while you are eating, watching television and/or while you’re on the computer. Also, tethering your dog before guests arrive is a good idea. Remember to reinforce the tether as a positive experience by giving your dog a favorite chewie while she is tethered, such as a bully stick, a treat-filled Kong or a Greenie.