Savvy is a very cute poodle puppy in Fairfax, VA. This photo was taken after our second lesson. Previously her owners called me for dog training and we worked on Savvy respecting the front door, meaning that just because the door was open doesn’t mean she’s allowed to go through it (or run outside) and to be calm and give space to those entering the house. This is one of the most important things I teach. The front door is very dangerous. No one wants their pet running out the front door because that’s dangerous for the dog. They also don’t want to have to worry about tripping over their dog while their hands are full with groceries, because that’s dangerous for us and the dog.
Her owners were eager to work on loose leash walking because they live in a community in Fairfax and Savvy was starting to act up. She was pulling on the leash so hard that she was walking on her back legs, as well as, barking at people and chasing any animals she saw.
First, I showed her owners how to properly exit the home with her, keeping her excitement levels under control and moving at their pace, not hers. Then we did two simple exercises to establish leadership over her outside on the walk without using any pain (shock or prong collars) or treats.
In less than 20 minutes she was walking behind her owner and even ignored an outside cat and didn’t bark at any of the children or neighbors walking past us.
After learning to walk on a loose leash Savvy was exhausted – not because of the walk, but because she had to learn to THINK and hold herself back from running ahead and look to her owner for guidance. Forcing your dog to think, instead of just react, will wear them out much faster than physical exercise. Using exercise as a way to control your dog’s bad habits will only backfire.
She and her owners did AMAZING and now enjoy calm walks together. Dogs that walk nicely on leash get more walks!