I let mine walk in front as long at they aren't dragging me down the street. I insist that they walk by my leg as we cross the street but other than that they have the freedom of the length of their leash (6 or 15 feet). No making messes on lawns or darting into streets and I'll even let them stop and sniff for 5 seconds at a time. I look at walking ahead during a walk the same as getting on furniture. If they climb up on the couch but get down when told, they are allowed. When they earn the right to walk ahead and still have good manners, they are allowed. If I require a heel, they have to come to my side. There have been times when my boy got a bit pig headed and I shortened the leash to 6 inches (dang foxes in heat leave interesting smells...just further than the leash comfortably reaches) and he walks by my leg without complaint. Once we get out of the problem area I give him more autonomy.
I look at it like this: if you were walking with a friend but HAD to walk lined up to the side, how long could you keep it up and still enjoy the walk? And if it were a focused heel, looking at your friend's face instead of the street, could you make it more than a block?
Patton CGC BH
Chief fetch fanatic
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.