Another dog training week has come and gone, but this time the weather was actually pleasant! After an orientation with snow flurries, a week of rain and mud, and a thunderstorm which canceled a class, I was loosing hope in actually having a nice night to train the pup. After a ridiculously hot April day reaching 91 degrees, temperatures dropped towards the evening and made for a nice night.
Week three of training started off like any other week, I arrived early with Syrus and we took a walk to allow him to take in all of the smells in the grass. As time passed, more dogs arrived and Syrus was hardly vocal at all and seemed to be getting used to being around other dogs.
We worked on longer heeling patterns as well as Sit, Down, and Stay. Syrus did very well with everything except heeling while walking. I am struggling with getting him to pay attention to me and not sniffing the grass as we walk along. This makes it extremely difficult to change direction as we walk without him hitting the end of the leash and being forced to move back into the heel position.
Week 3 class in the books
Do you have any advice for teaching
your dog to pay attention to me while walking?
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2 thoughts on “Shooting The Breeze: Dog Training Week 3”
Now I do not have a dog, just a cat, so take this as you will….
Why not take the dog to the neighbors and introduce them? Maybe every time he barks at them, walk him over to say hello. Of course your neighbors would have to agree to this 😉
My owner (my cat) lets me go and talk to the neighbors sometimes so I dont yell at them, so maybe it will work for you too 🙂
First things first, on things like sit, stay, etc focus on one thing at a time so the dog doesn’t get confused or overwhelmed. Once they have one trick down then move on to another. Also, from what I’ve read you got your dog from an animal shelter just over a month ago. It will take at least that much time for him to REALLY get to know you and longer for him to REALLY trust you. It’s still a new home and new family for him.
Teaching a dog to heel is probably the hardest thing to teach them so naturally it will take the longest for them to master. At least it was for my dog. The easiest way to train them in my experience is to use a gentle leader (available at most pet stores) and to do the training in a place where there are little or no distractions. Someplace they are used to and where they have already sniffed and urinated on everything. Your backyard is a great place for this if that is where he usually does his business.
The gentle leader is helpful because it enables you to easily control the dog without hurting them like chokers and pinch collars can. It also keeps the dog from pulling. Instead of going on a walk in the neighborhood do it in your backyard. Take short walks back and forth along the exact same path using the leash and the gentle leader to keep his head up instead of down toward the grass. Don’t keep tension on the leash or pull on it unless necessary. Keep the leash short and do remember that it will be the dogs tendency to resist your corrections, try to remove the gentle leader, etc so have patience. Once the dog can walk with you in your yard and not get distracted then try it while walking through your neighborhood. Once he masters that then you can move into more and more busy places.
But do keep in mind that heeling takes a lot of concentration for your dog so don’t expect them to do it ALL the time on every walk. I’d suggest only using it in crowded places, along busy roads, around kids and stuff like that. As long as the dog doesn’t pull and the leash is loose when on a leisurely walk you are fine. Let them sniff, look around, pee on stuff, etc. Dogs need the stimulation and its their instinct to explore and sniff new things. Sorry its so long and I hope this helps.
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