Teddy is a dream dog in many ways. He's smart, affectionate, does what is asked of him and is well bonded with his humans. His Achilles heel is...heeling (pun intended)! On walks, he prefers to bound ahead of everyone. He's a born tour guide if you ask me. He knows what the command 'heel' means, but he only holds a heel for a second and he's ready to blaze the trail once more! This is a problem when on-leash, as it means he is always pulling! It's gotten to the point where walking him is not fun.
Well folks, the clock has struck twelve and I can no longer ignore the pumpkin in the room! So, for the last week, I have been working with Teddy to heel for the entire walk using the clicker and treats....lots of treats. He may need to join Jenny Craig after this! I'm seeing improvement already! We have a ways to go before he walks nicely without reminders, but I know this is just down to me being consistent with him. Consistency is the key. He can learn things quickly, but the moment I let something slide is the moment I tell him not to take me seriously.
This week, we are also going to start practicing how to see other dogs on leash without having to bark and run towards them. The plan is to go somewhere where can be around other dogs from a distance (a large park for instance). Teddy is rewarded for seeing the other dogs without getting 'excited brain'. When he graduates from distance viewing, we'll allow ourselves to get a little closer, but I don't expect that to happen right away. These things take time.
|A recent walk near the river on a beautiful day.|
Earlier this week a loose dog ran up behind us on the road, taking us completely unawares. Thankfully, that dog wasn't aggressive either and Teddy and the visitor sniffed each other and then Teddy wanted to play with him. He's just on the lookout for new friends, but he needs to learn how to be quiet and calm when meeting new friends!