Direction changes

I wanted to discuss the direction change. Anyone who has previously trained with me knows about it. Lastnight we were out on a walk with all of our dogs. Because there were four of us we switched out dogs a couple of times. Several situations arose that required me to use the "this way" and "this side" cue. These are some of the best and most useful things I've taught my dogs.

Dogs are typically distracted when on a walk; unless you are doing heeling they are in sniff mode. I hate to see people jogging with their dog when they just about yank their dogs head off as they change directions. Or the dogs leash gets stuck around a tree because neither dog nor person were paying enough attention.

When I approach a tree I give my dogs a heads up "this side" and they go around my side of the tree; no need to get hung up. If I want to change directions I let them know that too. Why just yank on your dog? It's pretty rude and thoughtless just to yank on them when you want them to follow you.

I have many, many verbal cues I use for my dogs; some I don't even realize that I use. But the most common ones used on a walk are "turn, this way and this side". Turn is for when they are close to me and if I turn, I will walk directly into them. This gives them a heads up to move back out of the way and they do.

The "this way" is used most for direction changes when they are out ahead, behind or out of direct hit range. I use it all the time when they are off leash and on leash; I love it. It is used as an attention cue and as a heads up, hey; I'm going somewhere else cue. The dogs know this cue and watch me immediately when they hear it. Afterall no one wants to be left behind.

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