Did you hear that Chance? She's going to try again. BOL
OK, give it up. What is your worst weakness with your dog? What do you struggle the most with when it comes to training your dog? My weakness is training a dog to walk on a leash. There I said it. My neighbors could get a couple good YouTube videos of my dogs pulling me down the road, jerking me this way and that. Watching me trying to hold these 80 pound beast while they pull with all their might to get closer to that important scent that they just have to check out. I have tried everything and still can't get it right. My husband laughed at me today when I told him I needed to hire a trainer so I can learn how to walk my dogs!! I didn't think it was very funny at the time.
Since the Back Dogs have been with me since they were puppies, we have found a kind of happy medium. Usually the first quarter mile is the worse, and then we seem to fall into a quick pace while we negotiate whose pulling who. But the Front Dogs....Lord have mercy!! After two years they still shoot out of the gate like a couple of thoroughbreds. Their previous owners never leashed trained, let both dogs run loose and with my training handicap we look like a couple of crazy cartoon characters flying down the road. It doesn't help that Blaze and Chance are my two main sled dogs and think every walk means pulling me down the road at top notch speed. They know no difference between the leash and the harness, all they see is glorious freedom and the room to run.
Honestly though it is extremely frustrating for me. Try as I might to change these habits, I fall into the same trap of giving in. I get tired of fighting with them and they know eventually I will cave. Every winter with the danger of snow and ice, I vow to teach them to walk properly. After a couple of months, I give up. By then it is close to spring and all my hard work is down the drain and we resume with push and pull walking.
My biggest problems are of course consistency, along with discipline and impatience. When I go for a walk, I just want to go for a walk. I don't want to train or correct, I just want to enjoy the walk. Which would be great if I was really enjoying being pulled on our walks and so I find myself at the crossroads again. I'm starting with Chance and Blaze, (yes, I am glutton for punishment) by walking them in the yard while trying to curb that jump start out of the gate. Today was a success. Both did very well. I left the gate open, while walking around the yard and slowly continued to inch out the gate, over and over. I only used treats at the end of each of our walks.
It is a start. Blaze will of course be my worse case. She has the drive and tunnel vision of a racer. She is also smart as whip, gets bored easy, and is already figuring out ways to outsmart me, in less than ten minutes. She knows what a pushover I am and how to push my buttons. Well, the challenge is on. We'll just see how much we butt heads this time around. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.