• Judy B.

    May 6, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    Hello again. I had a chance to read back a bit about your heel/pulling issues on walks. You always want to set the dog up for success. If you feel he doesn’t fully understand a heel since you are just starting to teach it I wouldn’t expect him to heel out and about with you with distractions. If you get a chance to check out the leash manner video this is something that I think is very important to teach. What it even means to be on the leash first. Leash manners is not a formal command. It just means when on the leash he has to respect how much you give him and not go any further. We like to start off with a short but loose leash. This means the dog can’t really take more than one step away from you without hitting the end of the leash but if the dog is near you the leash is still the same length but it is loose. The buckle will be relaxed. When firts teaching leash manners you just stay put and hang out with your dog. You don’t even need to move. The dog is on a short but loose leash, no formal commands are given. When the dog takes a step out and creates tension on the leash you simply are going to just be annoying with perpetual leash pumps until the dog takes just a step back. Then lots of praise!! Don’t pull the dog back, keep gentle tension on the leash and pump until the dog figures out that he can make this annoying thing go away by just stepping back. It can take a few seconds it can take 5 min. You just be patient and teach. Make it a big deal when he does the right thing. Then when you thing he is figuring it out, you can start to take maybe 1 side step. It the dog comes with you great…praise the dog. If not you just leash pump. Remember as soon as the dog moves to relieve the tension the pump stops and you praise. Then you can start walking with the dog and do the same thing. When you feel comfortable with this you can also do this on the side you are heeling on but without formal heel or commands. This can get the dog used to it as well. It is easier for the dog to learn if he can only take one step away at first rather than 5 steps before he gets a pump. Later on you can choose to give the dog as little or as much leash as you want….he just has to respect it and will learn once he starts putting tension on you will be annoying until he makes it go away. I think while teaching the heel it will be easier for you and him to go on walks using leash manners rather than formal heel. Just until you get heel down in a less stimulating teaching environemnt first. Keep practicing the heel but always set the dog up for success at the stage. Hope that helps a little as well!

    Keep us posted!