It takes two to pull. When a dog leans into her leash and barrels ahead, the person on the other end will either run to catch up or pull back. The first encourages the pup to keep pulling on the leash, while the second results in a tug of war.

But there’s a better way.

Belaying, a rock-climbing technique that involves fixing a running line around a cleat or other object to secure it, can also be used to walk dogs. It’s gentle on the most excitable pups as well as on the hands that hold the leash. Trainer Grisha Stewart is pioneering ways to apply those benefits in her already well-known Behavior Adjustment Training (BAT) approach.

BAT relies on positive reinforcement and leash skills to help anxious dogs feel more confident as they explore triggers. Belaying can boost leash-handling skills with a few simple pieces of equipment and lots of indoor practice in shortening and letting…

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