Leash walking/pulling with distractions
My 7 month old, Natty does really well with loose leash walking most of the time. I use a method which employs, "Cooperative Check-in" which requires him to look at me periodically when we are walking. He gets a treat when this occurs. If he doesn't check in, I say, "watch" and he'll look at me and get rewarded. This prevents him from getting ahead and pulling and keeps him by my side. We've been doing this for a several months and it works quite well. But it doesn't work when he wants to get somewhere really badly... e.g. when he wants water or to get to the play area, to get to the car for a ride, etc. Then he is totally focused on getting to the other location and ignoring me. In these situations, if he pulls, I can stop moving forward, turn 180 degrees and he walks beautifully by my side going the other direction. As soon as I turn around, I might go one stop before he lunges forward and starts pulling again. I've tried making him sit, but again, as soon as I take one step the pulling starts again. I end up getting very frustrated and it takes us forever to finally reach our destination because I'm continually turning and stopping. He just doesn't get it that if he stops pulling, we can go straight to where he wants to go. All the while, I'm rewarding him with a treat if he even takes one step in the correct manner. All of my German Shepherds have had issues with this. I have resorted to using head halters in the past, but Natty hates the halter and it really doesn't teach them to not pull, though it can be a deterrent. I currently use a Martingale collar with him. I'm open to suggestions and strategies that would help with this.