Watch it bud

Wondering why her dog will not heel properly we head out to the cul de sac to check it out. A beautiful yellow labrador Daisy (name change) had picked up heeling amazingly and was one of those dogs who was stuck to your side as she pranced along giving constant eye contact. This is a trainers dream. But; on this session I had been told that she is pulling away while heeling, what's up? I ask Daisy's guardian to heel in a big circle as I watch; within a second I can see it. Daisy is being hit in the face by her new leash clasp. The leash is heavy and with every step it sways back and forth smacking her square in the jaw; problem solved.

Getting in her calastetics for the day; I watch as a woman rounds the park at full speed. Her dog; a beautiful large mixed breed is trying to keep up but with every step he is on the receiving end of her power strides. With each step her arms are thrown back and forth hitting the dog square in the face. "Does she not feel this?" He remains enthusiastic but with each whap he seems to deflate. As we pass for the second time I shake my head in amazement; how hard could it be to stop walking like this?

This is a fairly common scenario; "I'm walking and the dog better just keep up" mentality. Having started training at a very young age I've been watching canine reactions to behavior modifications for a longtime. And if you watch very closely you can see exactly what is going on. Now these two tales above were so obvious a 5 year old could have solved them but often it is something so tiny you need a professional. Sitting back and analyzing situations like this is what I do so when I see it out in the general public I find it hard not to say something.

Just yesterday I saw a lady with a very young boxer walking down the street. She too was swinging her arms and pacing out with purpose. The young boxer was ducking every swing of her arm. Not only did she have a way too huge martingale collar on the dog that was hitting him in the face but to top that off she had poop bags tied to the leash at the same place. So he was receiving a clasp and poop bag whap with every step. The guardian was going; she was not waiting around for any young'n nor was she watching how he was doing.

There are a lot of things to watch as you interact with your dog. The more intune you are with your dog the easier it will be to see the tiny behaviors that make a difference. Watch it.

leash clasp, poop bag carrier hitting your dog in the face.

1 comment:

  1. SO, like this post! When I discuss with my dog obed students on the 'tools' we can use with our dogs, I cover leashes, and just that, the size of the clasp relevant to the dog. How many people use the lead they had for their last dog? say a lab, but their new dog is smaller. Same goes for the collar ... oh, they will grow into it, they say! I reply, so you buy shoes for your kids 2 sizes bigger, 'cause they will grow into them? I think not! Just because the pet stores have all these pretty coordinated sets, doesn't mean it's right for your dog.


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