The Dog Blog: Old School Does the Trick
Am I really posting a tacky picture of my dog in her little grad cap from puppy school? You betcha!
Last Wednesday, Google graduated from intermediate puppy class where we learned how to properly walk her. It’s been our biggest struggle since we got her so far; she spent most of her first month with us dragging half-way across the road, which only worsened from there as she grew.
Not to mention her fond habit of chasing leaves while walking, chewing her leash while en route, hopping on her two back feet to try and play with other dogs like a bunny (cute, actually, but so wrong) and leaping at pedestrians walking by. Late fall, she was trying to chew my raincoat belt so roughly on a late night walk, I had to tie her to a tree and call my husband to pick us up.
So this is actually her second stint at pup school; we did a puppy socialization class at a big name store that was fun for her and us to learn potty training tricks, but as she grew more stubborn we realized we needed a stricter training class specifically for walking.
The local Toronto place we went to is run by an avid, lifelong dog lover and for the most part, was actually a little bit boring. It was a lot of listening, very repetitive motions to learn heel, down, and not to jump and the expectation was you would train as often as possible between classes. We also learned this loud noise you can make to communicate when the pooches are making unwelcomed gestured called, “Ah ah.” You look pretty ridiculous walking around the neighbourhood barking at your dog but for Google, she understood she shouldn’t jump at the senior citizen, I pop her back into sync and we continue our walk.
The only advice I can offer is consistency. The technique we learned keeps her on a short leash and the second I give her an inch she literally takes the entire road. I can’t allow even one exception to her jumping or lunging and have to stop the walk until she settles down, no matter how much of a rush I’m in or how cold it is outside.
Got any other dog-walking tips or advice to share?
Next week: As winter tracks along, I rate some dog coat and boot accessories for dogs.
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