Leash Walking2 minute read
Oh boy. Leash walking is hard. We just have to say that up front so you know that you're not alone.
Some dogs are naturals. They're rare, but they exist, and their sole purpose in life seems to be to make the rest of us look bad. They don't even need the leash. They prefer to stay right at their owner's side. They're not interested in sniffing things on the ground or what that dog is doing across the street. They don't like to walk too fast or too slow. They're just perfectly happy to be outside.
Other dogs—most dogs—struggle. Being outside is like being at a carnival for a dog. There are distractions everywhere. On top of that, dogs walk faster than us.
Have you ever walked with someone who was really slow and they ask you to slow down, so you do, but somehow you're still going too fast, so you slow down some more until you feel like you're practically walking backwards? Well that's how your dog feels walking with you.
Good loose-leash walking is really about four things:
- Attention - Getting your pup's attention and keeping it even when there are distractions
- Position - Teaching your pup not only where to be but getting her to love being there
- Moving - Learning to move together and developing tools to help you stay in sync
- Distractions - Once you have the basics down, the hard part becomes ignoring all the distractions a walk throws at you
We know, we know, it's easier said than done, but it can be done, and it will be done, by you and your pup with practice.
Flying Start shows you an element of the "Moving" skill but if you're interested in the whole picture be sure to check out the "Walk Like a Champ" course.