Umbilical training is a dog training method based on the idea of attaching the leash to your waist by some means rather than holding it in your hand.
Once your dog has become accustomed to it its possible to completely forget you have a dog with you. This leaves you to think deep thoughts or carry on a conversation with a friend. If you just had a fight with your spouse, the time can be used profitably to figure out what you can do to get back in their good graces.
The advantages of having your hands free should be enough to get you to add this tool to your arsenal.
The greatest value to be gained from umbilical work, though, is in the area of training. There is simply no easier, more reliable method of gaining your dogs respect and attaining an alpha position than umbilical training.
Tying the dog to your waist is the simplest, gentlest ways of getting a puppy started on the leash. Simply hook him up and go. Don’t pay any attention to what he’s doing.
Just go about your normal activities with the puppy in tow. He’ll learn very quickly to move when you move and stop when you do. Start with half an hour at a time and work up until the pup is always there. The main thing is not to make any concessions to him or fuss over him.
The same process works very well with adult dogs and it can be used to break in a new dog or to regain the respect of one who is slipping in the respect department.
Why does umbilical training work so well? I can think of two main reasons:
- Dogs are used to giving way to the alpha dog under all circumstances. Umbilical training forces the dog to pay attention and accomodate to you. That makes him begin to see you as the alpha dog.
This one is a little bit esoteric. In a nut shell, the dog gets accustomed to being very close to you at all times and so he gets very uneasy when he gets separated. I don’t know if this is actually the case. The principle is used in horse training all the time. Monty Roberts even managed to catch a wild mustang this way.
He just kept riding after it, not trying to catch it, simply to be close. After several days of this he started to turn away and the mustang would follow.
Eventually the horse followed him all the way into the corral. The same thing even appliest to people. When we get used to working with someone, whether we like them or not it still makes us uneasy when they leave.
This is probably one reason why so many bad marriages drag on and on. Whatever the reason, its definitely something we can use to our advantage.
If this sounds like a bunch of voodoo to you I challenge you to try it for one week. Put your dog on umbilical in the evening while you go through your normal routine. By the time the seven days is up you’ll be a believer, I promise.