Pfffff...What do you mean no walk, just pictures??
So you may remember that I've been using the no-pull EZ Walk Harness from Gentle Leader and raving about the results. My biggest conquest is walking Brut on it because we have always had tension on the leash on purpose, like a direct wire between the two of us and I am finding it a bit of challenge to walk without that direct current passing connecting us. It comes so natural and it is like my life line to Brut that it is a tough habit to break, but little by little we are doing it.
The last few times we were out together, I fumbled around trying to be conscious of when the leash became taunt and then I would turn him in a different direction. Now you might not believe but my big bad boy any patience when it comes to a walking but he was quite calm. I think he was enjoying me groping around with this new idea, making many mistakes and feeling a bit lost. Somewhere near the end of our walk, it occurs to me that I have to teach Brut where the new line is being drawn, so I began clicking and rewarding before the leash tightened and it worked! After trying to find the best way to work with Brut and this amazing harness a light bulb was flashing off in my head, I'd made some progress. I don't know who I was more proud and excited for, him or me.
So today we fumbled around again a bit with that same idea, teaching ourselves where that mark was. It helped that I had cheese this time for his reward, so I really had his attention. I think he realized we were in this learning experience together. The cheese was just a bonus that he knows I only bring out on special occasions. Brut was on his best behavior from the start. Using the same method of click and reward before he started to pull, we walked back and forth many times, turning around when he did pull and starting over.
Then the magic started to happen.
Brut would get to the mark and turn his head for a treat. Over and over, not crossing the line that pulled on the leash! I was in awe! We were almost at our goal of the end of the road, which was the furthest we've gotten since trying out this new harness. Brut was catching himself before he pulled. I couldn't believe it! It was so AWESOME!!
I contemplated whether to keep going forward or turn for home. I had him where I wanted him and I didn't want to lose that, but I didn't want to overdue it either and ruin what we had just accomplished. So I opted for the latter and treated him to a run half way down the road. In which both of us totally forgot what we were doing we went back to our walk!! He's pulling me in the woods and I'm trying to figure what the heck just happened. BOL!! Talk about short term memory loss!! But we pulled it back together for the rest of the walk home and I made a mental note about to next time celebrate at the end...not in the middle of the exercise. :)
So this has been pretty cool, we are still staying connected just a different way and we are quickly falling in tune with each other with this harness. Brut is so much calmer with this harness, the back/chest strap wraps around him like a big bear hug and I think he likes that. The strap on the front chest plate is a martingale loop with a "D" loop for the leash. This loop pulls to the left and right while hugging the dogs shoulders to turn them when they pull. One of these days I'll get some video for it. It is just so AWESOME!!
It's really more like a mommy hug!
Our trainer always tells us to stop when the dog is happy/excited so that it continues to be fun. It sounds like you are making great progress!
That's the fun thing about training. It's a learning session for both human and dog. Sounds like you both had fun, learned a little more, and Brut got cheese to boot. BOL
Lol, so funny having a early celebration:) That's the sort of thing I would do. I hope there are many more for you and Brut.
You both are making such great progress...and building a new, better lifeline connection; this one more sensitive and focused on the subtle movements and interactions. Bravo!
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