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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Loose Leash Walking. Part 8. What if a Loose Leash Were the Human's Responsibility

What if it were up to us to maintain a loose leash instead of the dog? What if we strived to use the leash as a backup/safety device instead of a steering wheel.  What if loose leash walking were all about what the dog wanted and not what we wanted? What would it look like?

If we live with several dogs, we might walk them separately. That way, dogs with different abilities could walk at at a pace that was comfortable for them. We might walk briskly with our two year old then slowly with our 14 year old.

We might pick quiet times to go for walks. Like cool drizzly days or early mornings.

We would have to be vigilant.

We'd watch the leash to make sure we maintain a "J" shape.
We'd reward check ins
We would let the dog stop and look at things - as long as he stayed calm.
Our dogs would wear comfortable equipment. Like an H style harness
We'd reward the dog often when he/she chose to walk by our side
We'd watch the dog's head to see if she is about to change direction
We would not drag our dogs away from interesting things
We'd scan the area to watch for triggers that might distract or upset our dogs.

To the best of our abilities, we'd try to maintain a speed that is easiest for our dogs. We'd walk briskly if our dogs walked briskly. We'd walk slowly if that is what our dogs preferred. We'd stop when our dog stopped.

We'd stand there and let them sniff a blade of grass for 3 minutes if that is what they would choose to do.  We'd let them urinate every two feet if it made them happy (as long as it's not in people's yards)

We wouldn't drag them past interesting things, nor make them walk closely past humans and dogs. We would ask them to move over and wait. Then give them a treat for being patient as other walkers passed by.

See video below

What are some other ways that folks are making walks all about the dogs?
Tells us about it in the comments section below.
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