Hey Mighty Paw fam, Barbara here to share our top 10 tips of how to get the most out of our Mighty Paw Check Cord!
If you're not yet familiar with the concept of a check cord, let me explain what it is.
A check cord is a long rope that's mainly used for training purposes.
However, it also comes in handy when you want to give your pup some off leash feeling with total control in areas with leash laws, for example around water, at the beach, a field, etc.
You clip the check cord to your dog's collar or harness and then let him drag it behind him. The idea is that you can easily reinforce a training command you give your pup because you're able to reel him in on the check cord or guide him where he needs to go.
Tip: It's important not to give a (training) command unless you can reinforce it - I personally learned that lesson in a basic obedience class I took.
For example, if you're sitting on your couch and you want to keep your pup from barking out the window, be prepared to get up and follow through. If you're not willing to do that, don't give the command because it teaches your pup that listening to you is optional.
Likewise, don't call your dog if you're not prepared to follow through on the command and go get him if he doesn't listen right away.
Get the most out of our Mighty Paw Check Cord with these 10 tips
Are you ready for a few check cord hacks? Here they come!
Tip #1: Use the Mighty Paw Check Cord to teach your puppy's name and get him used to wearing a leash
Puppyhood is the perfect time to start your pup's training journey because puppies are extremely impressionable at that stage and curious as well as willing to learn.
With a very young puppy of 8 weeks of age, you'll want to start with the very basics such as getting him used to wearing a collar, leash and a harness. Your puppy will need to get used to all of these supplies because wearing them is a completely new sensation.
The check cord is actually a great tool to get a puppy used to a leash because it's so lightweight!
For starters, simply clip it to your puppy's collar (or harness) and let him drag it around. Reward his acceptance of the check cord, this "long thing", with a tasty training treat and some TLC.
Moving on, you can use the check cord to teach your puppy that he has a name! To do this, call his name in an upbeat, happy voice and use the check cord to steer him in your direction if he's not entirely sure yet what you expect of him.
Once he comes trotting your way, reward with verbal praise and/or a tasty training treat. Good boy!
One thing to keep in mind is that puppies have very short attention spans, so you'll want to keep your training sessions short and sweet. 5 minutes is literally all it takes at first!
Do this a few times throughout the day and your puppy will be off to a great training start!
Tip #2: Use the Mighty Paw Check Cord to practice the recall with adult dogs
The recall is considered a basic obedience skill in dog training, but it definitely requires lots of practicing.
To train it with our check cord, the approach is similar to what you'll do when you're teaching your puppy his name. Clip it to your pup's collar and let him drag it behind him.
Next, say his name in combination with "come" or "here" in an upbeat, happy voice. Use the check cord to gently guide him your way in order for him to understand that you expect him to go where you are when you say "Fido, come".
Praise warmly and/or hand out a tasty training treat when he's next to you, regardless of whether you had to use the check cord or not. You'll want to convey the message that good things happen when he comes to you when called.
Tip #3: Use the Mighty Paw Check Cord for training sessions inside
It's sort of obvious that leashes are used outside, because that's where you take your dogs for a walk, right?
Well, yes, that's certainly true, but did you know that it's a lot easier to train a specific behavior inside first?
That's because there are a lot less distractions inside than there are outside, which makes it easier for your pup to concentrate on what you want from him.
One command that's great to practice indoors is the recall, which I talked about in the previous tip.
If you practice the recall indoors, you're setting your pup up for success because there's no distracting squirrels, rabbits, or other dogs that pass you at the park or on the beach.
To do this, use the same technique I described in tip #2: Clip the check cord to your pup's collar or harness and let him drag it behind him.
Next, call him by his name in combination with "come" or "here", then guide him your way with the check cord if he's not coming your way on his own. Praise warmly and/or reward him with a tasty training treat once he's next to you.
The easiest place to practice the recall indoors is probably a long hallway, open dining or living room space, or an empty garage.
Our check cord also comes in handy when you're needing to reinforce other commands inside. Remember the scenario I mentioned earlier where you're sitting on your couch and you want to keep your pup from barking out the window?
This is a situation where you can easily use the check cord to your advantage. Simply attach it to your pup's collar and use it to redirect him when he's not listening to you right away. That'll make it a lot easier on you to follow through with commands and redirect your pup's attention back to you.
Don't forget to reward him when he's next to you!
Tip #4: Use the Mighty Paw Check Cord to control your dog in and around the water
Many dogs love to splash around on the beach, at the lake or in a river, but it's not always safe or even legal to do so off leash.
So when your pup is getting ready to have some water fun, clip our check cord to their collar or harness in order to give them controlled freedom and to be able to reel them back in if necessary.
You'll definitely appreciate our check cord's easy to see color: bright orange with reflective stitching, and of course it floats, too.
Tip #5: Step on the Mighty Paw Check Cord rather than reaching for it with your hands
Check cords don't have a handle so that they won't get caught on rocks or underbrush when your pup drags it behind them in the great outdoors.
That's why it's easiest to step onto the check cord rather than trying to pick it up with your hands.
Tip #6: Tie a knot or a handle into the end of the Mighty Paw Check Cord
However, sometimes it's convenient to have something to hold on to after all, so for those times you can simply go ahead and tie a knot or a handle into the end of our check cord.
Tip #7: Wear gloves if you want to reach for the Mighty Paw Check Cord
Generally speaking, it's safe to use check cords or any other rope leashes with your bare hands.
When you touch our check cord, or also our slip rope leash and rope leash, you'll notice that it's soft to the touch and comfortable to hold.
However, as is the case with any rope material regardless of how soft it is, when it quickly slides through your hands, there is the potential for rope burn.
That's why it's not a bad idea to wear gloves to protect your hands, especially when you're using the check cord outdoors and your pup is racing around with it.
Tip #8: Use the Mighty Paw Check Cord to teach your pup how to play fetch
Our check cord also comes in handy when you're teaching your pup how to play fetch, both on dry land and in water!
It helps if your pup already has a somewhat decent recall, but even if he doesn't, the check cord will be a good ally.
Clip it to your pup's collar or harness and throw a favorite ball or toy. Once your pup picks it up, ask him to come to you and then drop it. Repeat!
If your pup's not bringing the ball or toy back to you, simply grab the check cord and reel him back in.
If he's not familiar with the "leave it" command and not willing to let go of the ball or toy, try to exchange it for a tasty training treat. That usually helps! Once he opens his mouth to go for the treat, say "leave it" and let him have the treat.
Tip #9: Use the Mighty Paw Check Cord in combination with our dog treat pouch
That brings me to the next tip - use the check cord with our dog treat pouch.
You can wear the pouch around your waist which gives you super easy and quick access to the treats you carry in it.
Tip #10: Use the Mighty Paw Check Cord in combination with our hands-free belt
Last but not least, you can also attach the check cord to our hands-free belt that comes with our hands-free bungee leash, or you can use the belt that our treat pouch lives on!
You can also get JUST the belt here.
To do this, tie a knot into the check cord, then attach a carabiner clip to it and hook it to the belt. You can use any carabiner clip you already have as long as it's somewhat strong, or you can use the ones that come with our Mighty Paw collapsible travel dog bowl set.
This way you'll have a hands-free training experience without having to hold or pick up the check cord at all.
Bonus Tip: Use the Mighty Paw Check Cord on your skiing adventures with your pup!
Features & Benefits of the Mighty Paw Check Cord:
- Bright orange
- 30 ft L x 0.25 W
- Made with ¼” durable climber’s rope
- Floats in water
- Reflective stitching
- Light-weight & tangle-free
- Durable nickel-plated iron clip
- Perfect for off-leash training
- Floats when submerged for swimming & water play
- Control from a distance while training
- Safe, visible color and reflective stitching
Are you ready for our Mighty Paw Check Cord? Pick one up here!
Barbara Rivers writes regularly for Mighty Paw. She is a blogger, raw feeder, former dog walker and maintains the blog K9s Over Coffee.
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