Our awesome Ambassador in Australia Natalie Rogers with K9 Concepts Training is here to help all of us with some tips on how to hold a leash but at the same time be able to clearly communicate with your deaf dog using sign cues. Thanks Natalie so much for taking the time to make this video and share your wisdom and insights to improve our communications with our deaf dogs when we are out on a walk. Also for check out Natalie’s On Line Courses “A Fresh Approach To Dog Training – Teach your dog essential live skills with fun 3-minute videos here. Thanks again Natalie, you totally ROCK! ~ Christina Lee – Deaf Dogs Rock

How to Hold A Leash And Still Be Able To Communicate With Your Deaf Dog

By Natalie Rogers with K9 Concepts 

Us deaf dog handlers can sometimes feel a bit like an octopus when it comes to walking, holding our leash and also trying to sign to our deaf dogs all at the same time!
Trying to hold the leash handle, shorten the leash to the right length, pull treats out of the training treat bag and use our hands to communicate with our dogs can be tricky to coordinate! It’s easy to get tangled, drop our treats (or the leash handle!) or mess up the timing of our hand signals.
And if we’re handling a strong dog who is still learning to walk politely on leash, then we may be at risk of suddenly having the leash pulled out of our hands or even being pulled over and falling.
In this video I demonstrate a leash handling technique known as a “finger lock.” I use this when handling deaf dogs so my thumb is free to give a thumbs up marker. To learn more about clicker aka marker training, please click here.

If the dog has a different marker, like a 3- or 5-finger flash, then this technique also allows you to securely hold the leash in one hand – your other hand is completely free to sign and treat.
I also demonstrate a “thumb lock”. I use this a lot with hearing dogs or if my thumb does not need to be free.
These “locks” are a simple, secure way to hold your leash so it is safe and free of tangles.
Be sure to check out more training tips on Natalie’s awesome K9 Concepts website here.