Help on Walking
I have started obedience class with my 4 month old. I don't have high expectations when it comes to training right now because of his age. However, I was curious about hearing how people solved their walking problems. When I take Hugo on walks, I do the usual stop if he pulls wait until he comes back, treat, then walk. He's getting better, but still is bad, especially when leaves are blowing by. Which brings me to my next problem. He chases everything. Do any of you have advice to help me have Hugo focus on me during walks or to comfortably walk by my side without chasing leaves or other things? Also, he tries to eat everything on the ground like wood chips, sticks, garbage, and rocks. Any theories for that? Thanks.
LOL sounds like Otto when he was a pup. Zig zagging helps - don't walk in a straight line and cross the street often. When he pulls you (forging), turn around and walk in the other direction. You might have to do this many times.
The one thing that was key to getting Otto to walk nicely (other than my female biting him in the face for trying to walk in front of her ladyship) was music. Just on my phone, not with earbuds, not blasting, just loud enough you can hear it. Reminded Otto that he wasn't out there walking his own thing, I was behind him. Dog knows he barely felt the leash straining.
Leash walking just takes time and consistency. At 4 months old, I wouldn't expect him to resist leaves and stuff. Those are very interesting to puppies. As he gets older, those things will become less interesting. But you can take this as an opportunity for some training.
Use the leaves as a reward for focusing on you. A leaf blows by, say his name or a "watch" cue or even just "pup-pup-pup!" in a happy voice, and when he looks at you allow him to chase the leaf (I use a verbal cue "get it"). You will need to work on a "watch" cue in non-distracting environments first. Eventually you can make the game random and sometimes allow him to chase the leaves, and sometimes not. It seems silly, but by allowing him to chase the items on cue, you become part of the game and he will become used to looking at you for permission when he wants something.
Also work on "leave it". Again, start in a non-distracting environment first and gradually work up to distractions.
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