Finn doesn't fetch sticks, she chews them. Oh Finn.
Well, you may have noticed that I have reverted back to using this leash, which has a nice hand grip close to the clasp. About a month ago, I realized that Finn had no idea of what the heel command meant. I realized this when she dragged me about twenty feet to attempt to jump on a disabled child getting onto a bus. There is no excuse for that type of behavior.
I promised myself and Finn that we would become more controlled during our walks. And I promised myself I would blog a post about it too, because you have to take the bad with the good, right? So, for the past month, we have been working on being a better walker on the leash. I made certain of five simple rules, which I wrote down so that I could remember them every time we walk:
1. I will leave and come into the the house first, she will follow me.
2. I will call her to come to me when I put the leash on.
3. We will use our key phrase, "Do you want to go for a walkie?", to signal it's time to head out.
4. If I feel her pulling me, I will stop walking and command she stays and sits while I am stopped.
5. She will not walk ahead of me. I will reward her when she walks to my side.
I have to say, this past month has been an eye opener. It took about two weeks to get the command "heel" to work with any sort of regularity, and the only time she really pulls me now is when she sees another dog being walked or when she sniffs out a pile of poopsies left behind by another dog. Both behaviors I can completely understand, but I am working on getting those to stop too. We are at a point now where we can walk past people without any pulling, and in general, she isn't walking in front of me anymore. I feel so relieved and I am so glad we are at this point! It's taken us a while, but we needed to get there.