What's Your Weakness you might remember that Chance likes to pull me on a walk as if I were a sled. When I open the gate out of the yard, it shoots out of it. I have been working with him every couple of days or so and we are making GREAT progress.
I started by walking him around the yard with his leash on, then I would unlatch the gate (without opening it) and click and treat if he stayed. Then we would lap the yard, this way and that, then come back to the gate, which the wind had opened, I would make him sit, wait until he looked me in the eyes then would tell him to "walk". We went a couple of feet out then turned around and came back to the front door. Click and treat for "end of walk". I continued to repeat this until we reached the end of the walkway in front of the house. End of the night.
The next couple of times I repeated the above, unlatch gate, click and reward, then when the wind opened gate, continued walking out to the end of the driveway.
The last few times I unlatched the gate and opened it. He sat there. HE SAT THERE AND WAITED FOR MY CUE TO WALK!!! I could have peed my pants I was so happy. Chance is like a runner on the starting blocks who takes off at the sound of the gun when the gate opens and here he was sitting there not making a move and waiting for my command. It was a fantastic feeling. So I practiced this over and over while I keep going further down the road. Always turning around, back and forth. I noticed yesterday he was getting comfortable with walking by my side, going at my pace. He had relaxed into it. It helped that he was boosting my confidence and helping me to relax with him since we tend to feed off of each other.
Now instead of letting him pull at all, I'm stopping at the slightest twinge, which is HUGE for me. I used to just let him do it then try to stop him when it became too much. Yea, I know, makes a lot of sense. I have always walked my dogs with tension on the line, and never corrected them. Now I'm not tolerating any. What a difference. Not just for me but for Chance and understanding that, because he is responding well to it. I'm seeing him make sure he stays at my pace, not getting too far ahead. I'm using a heel position, but he has some play, he can still reach his head to the ground.
I am so impressed with myself for something I never thought I could ever do. I have decided to just work with Chance at this time. I would like to work with Blaze also, but she comes with a completely different set of rules that I don't feel as confident about yet. I think just sticking to one dog at a time and building my confidence and skills is the best way to start. What a wonderful feeling doing something I never thought I could ever do. I love watching Chances reactions. They are calmer and quieter, like he's able to gain control over himself. What a beautiful feeling of watching two minds work together for a greater purpose.
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Current blog look inspired by and dedicated to Chance, Blaze, Fiona and Zappa who all kicked ass against cancer and liver disease.