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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Freedom of a Walk

I've been working on and off with Chance and his leash training since he came to live with us two and half years ago.  I was one who always got frustrated with myself, gave up and went back to our old way of walking, which was him pulling me anywhere he wanted.  Not only is he a strong dog physically but mentally as well.  Out of all my dogs he is my worker dog and when he sets his mind to something he goes after it.  Now this is great if he's being given some direction, but without a solid command he figures he runs the show and I was letting him. 

When I finally got serious about not having my arm come out of my socket, I knew I had my work cut out for me.  I started in December 2010 with my first post of my decision and our first practice.  Pain has a way of being a great motivator and was the only thing that kept me from not going back to the old ways.  While I used the same basic techniques I'd used in the past, this time no matter what I was as consistent as possible.  My biggest falter besides my habit of giving up and thinking I couldn't do it.  Sometimes the walks were disasters, some were great successes, but the one thing they had was consistency and determination.  It is the longest time I ever put in for leash training my dogs and Chance made it seem like piece of cake. 

I never realized all the blessings that would come out of training Chance to walk on a leash.  Leash walking has always been a huge weakness for me and I have always struggled to overcome that weakness.  Our communication and connection was strong before we started, but what I didn't expect was the understanding of our communication and what it would mean on our walks.  I have always been so impatient trying to get from point A to B, that I could never considered stopping for five minutes while I waited for him to calm down or turning around and back for his attention, but now they are part of our walks. Mostly, I never considered the freedom that we would share on our walks and the joy of working as a team.  That was proven most to me with our walk at the park.  Now there was an ultimate respect that runs through the leash and a soaring in my heart because I am having the time of my life walking my boy, Chance.

Chance and I would also like to send out a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has encouraged us and stuck by our story along the way.  Your support has meant a great deal to us and we couldn't have done it without you.

Thank you!!
  Thank you for helping my Mommy!
Cause there was no way she'd make it this far on her own!!  


♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

You have done an awesome job with Chance. We love our walks so we are sure that Chance is enjoying his new and fun walks.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Amber said...

What a beautiful dog! Leash training is also one of my greatest weaknesses. My Dalmatian was a tough one to train, but once we worked together properly and he realized that he wouldn't walk at all if he did not let me control the lead, then things went a lot more smoothly and my daily walks to the beach are absolutely amazing. I have to thank the head collar for a lot of the training, although he hated it and it broke my heart to have him wear it, it did wonders for him.

Yas said...

Keep up the good job!!


Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

Kudos to you for persisting with Chance and his training. I am guilty of giving in/up with Frankie. But I still hope that one day (maybe when he's about 14, only 11 years to go!) we can walk nicely around the streets with him on a loose leash. All my fault, I know. I find it very difficult to be more attractive than 'peemail' though:)

TimberLove said...

What a heartwarming post! So much admiration & respect you what you do!

RA & Isis

Pamela said...

I have so loved reading your posts about leash walks. It is so hard and so frustrating to have a dog (much less 6) who pulls. But the rewards are so great for all the effort.