Jonah quickly developed a specific spot on the couch where he wants to sit. Essentially, it is his safe space (it even supersedes the kennel as the #1 spot he wants to be in the world). On the one hand, this is good, because he feels safe enough to pass out on the couch even if we are in the room. On the other hand, he goes immediately to that spot and has not chance to learn that the other areas are safe, too. How do we fix this? Tie-downs!
A tie down can be anything that tethers a dog to a specific area. In our house (up until now) it has been a leash looped around a heavy table leg or chair. With Jonah, who is strong and scrambles with all of his might when he is scared, those heavy objects are not enough.
We got sturdy, thick metal loops and installed them into 3 different (out-of-the-way, lower traffic) locations. We got the power drill out and put them at a little lower than doggy-neck-level on the studs in our walls. Then I made three separate tethers that cannot be chewed through. I purchased lengths of metal cord covered in clear plastic in lengths of 3, 4, and 5 feet, attached a heavy dog leash clip to each end, and voilà! Tie downs!
We have been bringing a soft bed to the areas and clipping Jonah in them. He has done well with this and the end result is more places in the house that he feels comfortable in.
The OTHER reason installed tie-downs are awesome is that it gives one person the ability to manage multiple dogs. Because Jonah isn’t showing his whole personality yet, we aren’t letting him come into close contact with Frankie yet. We used to only really be able to have them out at the same time when two people were home (one to hold each dog’s leash). Now, because we have sturdy collars and an installed tie down, one person can clip a dog into a bed in the corner and have the other dog with them on a leash, following them around the house (obviously, Jonah is not up to following anyone around the house yet).
My partner didn’t want to install tie downs for the longest time (I’ve been working on getting her to say yes to them for 3 years, because she didn’t want to put holes in the wall) but now that we have them, she LOVES THEM. They’ve helped Jonah AND Frankie feel more comfortable.
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