A Back tie is a very useful method of achieving a number of things;
- It allows the handler to move and give commands and encouragement from different positions relative to the dog, thereby creating independence in the dog as well as neutrality to the movement of the handler. If the handler is always behind the dog, the dog becomes dependent on this security. Also if the dog is used to the handler only being in one position around him, he may not react reliably when the handler is in his mind “out of position”.
- It allows the decoy to work without worrying about the quality of the handler. If the decoy wants the dog to experience a full grip he is in a better position to allow the dog the opportunity at a hard, full strike if he is back tied and knows exactly how far the dog can come out to the end of the line. Similarly if he is teaching the dog to adjust to a full grip, he can deliberately offer the dog a partial grip, followed by tension and quickly setting the dog down to allow him to adjust to a fuller grip.
- By replacing a nylon back tie with a bungee line, you can improve the speed of the dogs’ strike. If you provide progressive resistance the dog will adjust by coming in harder and faster as he gets close to the decoy. The dog over time becomes conditioned to do this and when you remove the resistance it results in a faster, harder and more powerful strike into the decoy. The bungee line also teaches the dog to bite and hold firmly, because if he doesn’t, he is pulled backwards off the sleeve.
- When training outs the back tie allows you complete control of the dog’s behavior during and after the out. Using the 2 line system you can keep the out clean and more easily prevent other unwanted behaviors. It allows you to instantly correct an out, maintain a clean out, keep the dog from dirty bites and enforce the guard position.
- Lastly it allows you to teach a reliable stay during a frisk or a handcuff, or stays in general and is very useful in developing distance on stays.
For the full article on Back Tie training for Patrol Dogs see