I've had Ruger for 4 weeks and have been working on having Ruger walk off-leash (I drop the leash and let it drag behind him). We can pretty much do our walks like this. Throughout the walk I'll zig-zag across the path, start-stop abruptly, just to make sure he's paying attention to me.
Ruger walking off-leash - YouTube
I'm a first-time dog owner. So I'm not sure if I'm being too strict, too easy, or what. I just figured that if I get him behaving well (he's 2 years 3 months) now, I will really appreciate it later.
One trainer told me to stop it! Stop with the "foos! (heel)" and "sitz! (sit)" stuff and just let him roam and do what he wants and let him have fun.
Not sure what's right, but I like that he sticks by me and is well-behaved.
I've had to exert my dominance on him a couple of times to accomplish this when he's challenged me for pack-leader status (pawing me, jumping up) and this always results in me forcefully tackling Ruger with a full-body tackle, pinning him down under me, and snarling in his ear. I figure if that's what dogs do to be pack leader, then I should do the same! I'm not a controlling or alpha type at all but one of us better take control! What I get from this is a submissive, well-behaved, obedient, and happy dog.
He still wants to eat my cat, though.