on a short leash

on a short leash

With strict, overbearing control that limit's one's independence or autonomy. George has been on a short leash with his husband ever since he gambled away their life savings at a poker match. The boss has had her assistant on a short leash ever since she hired her.
See also: leash, on, short

on a short leash

or

on a tight leash

If someone is on a short leash or on a tight leash, they are only allowed a small amount of freedom to do what they want. Note: A `leash' is a long thin piece of leather or chain, which you attach to a dog's collar so that you can keep the dog under control. Refusing to comment, the spokeswoman said: `I am on a very short leash on this subject.' The government kept its troops on a tight leash. Note: You can also just say that someone is on a leash with the same meaning. He has demonstrated time and time again that he needs to be kept on a leash. Note: You can say that someone is on a shorter leash or on a tighter leash if they are given less freedom. Everybody's treated a little different. Some guys are on a shorter leash than others. These scandals have prompted boards to put executives on a tighter leash.
See also: leash, on, short
References in periodicals archive ?
Start with the dog on a short leash, standing, walk to the end of the leash and command him to come.
We were on a short leash for a while, but now the girls are starting to realize we can do this.
The final segment explains why John Leo keeps Intel (INTC) on a short leash but gives Motorola (MOT) a wide swath.
Nearly every guide dog starts off being raised in the home of a volunteer who trains the animal in the basics, including eating at regularly scheduled times and walking on a short leash to prevent it from running ahead.
The attorney said King is on a short leash and has much to lose if he fails to stay clean and sober or if he breaks the law again.