• Michael D'Abruzzo

    February 6, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Hi Gail,

    I wouldnt stress about leash manners at this early stage in training out the gate. “Leash manners/attention” exercise purpose in this style is mainly used for two reasons:

    1. So that you can get the dog’s attention during training exercises

    2. If you are standing still at anytime the dog will learn to not pull you back into a moving state.

    A dog on a walk is naturally going to want to put their head to the ground and sniff, so dont worry about that. What we want to work on is practicing a “heel” in a controlled setting, then we will incorporate the “heel” on the walks during the times when you are moving and do not want the dog sniffing and peeing etc in the neighbors yards. It is a controlled walk. When you find the areas you would like the dog to have more freedom…Then you will “free” him and let him sniff and do whatever – even follow him for a while if you like.

    Some tricks that I use in early training so as not to get frustrated with a bad puller is to:

    1. Use a no-pull harness such as you can get from premier pet products.

    2. walk on a flexi leash if you are in a safe enough area where the dog wont get hit by a car pr switch to a flexi when you walk to a safe area.

    Either way still choose the general direction of the walk and if you do want to practice early leash manners on the walk – do it by standing still and remaining patient until the dog realizing you are going nowhere until he settles and gives you a little attention.

    I am working on redoing some of the leash manner stuff – not huge changes, but mainly doing away with the dropped leash part, because it can potentially be too much for some dogs and i dont want anyone to accidently drop a loop on a dog that is wearing a halti-type collar which can potentially be very bad for the neck.

    I will post when I have it up. Adding all the time. been in the literature section mostly lately.