Loose Leash Walking Update

Pulling on the leash

Loose leash walking is a bit of a challenge for every dog. After all, what dog can resist the smells and sights of the world without the proper motivation?! I was having a bit of an issue because at points in the walk Loker would ignore the clicker and ignore anything I said. It was what most people call “blowing me off” (I don’t believe any dog does this on purpose so I needed to figure out what was happening).  This was odd for me because he was doing great during other parts of the walk. So I spoke and conversed with some fellow trainers and after some video, we all came to the conclusion that Loker was getting too stressed during those parts of the walk and could not pay attention. I failed to pay attention to his stress signals and adjust how I was working with him in order to help him succeed.

In fact, after watching the video of him ignoring me, I was able to see his signals and identify them on our last walk and adjusted my behavior accordingly. When I saw those signals I turned around and went back to our usual walking area and pet and encouraged him which seemed to do the trick! I need to be a little more engaging verbally to keep his attention and to help him relax as much as possible.

I must admit that I am still transitioning. Habits that I’ve had over the last few years are hard to get rid of. I no longer do corrections, but I still have the impulses. I also need to learn how to RELAX! I get too focused on what I need to do that I become strict on myself and what I expect from Loker. I forget how to have fun in the process! On our most recent walk, I kept myself relaxed, let him have more potty/sniffing opportunities, and pet and talked to him. It made a world of a difference. He gave me more eye contact and it felt like we were more connected through out the whole walk. So that is something I need to keep in mind for future walks and training sessions!

Never stop learning! :)