Join Date: May 2013
Location: Great White North
Do you remember how long it took for you to achieve all this? We achieved this over a span of time, probably close to a few months because it all started with a forging dog that was dog reactive besides wanting to follow her nose.
Did you do long walks? LOL, if my memory serves, some of our "walks" barely made it to the end of the street I live on in the beginning because of my ineptness coupled with the distractions of life outside the house/backyard. Those "walks" lasted an eternity it seemed like because it tested my patience but I was determined to not cave in and just accept an unruly dog while on a walk. I'm pretty sure some of my neighbors thought I was the neighborhood drunk as I rarely walked a straight course during this period as I was constantly changing direction, starting and stopping, left leg step- aways and right leg step-aways and doing many an about face when she hinted she was about to follow her nose. Our "walks" during that phase were entirely an exercise in obedience and patience but most always culminated with that nose session/play at the field or park.
And did you use the same command as in competition heeling obedience (dont know if your are competing but..)? Not a competitor but as I have said in here before...I have a backyard competition dog and mimicked some of the disciplines involved in IPO amongst other competitive events ....we have pursued this for numerous reasons as the time spent training together has wonderful benefits for both the dog and me.
I started with a simple "heel" command but as time went by, I became more particular of her performance in our "backyard IPO" disciplines, I did incorporate an additional command to the heel skill set and that was " tight" which required my dog to be in a very particular spot coupled with that almost prancing gait unlike a normal walk through the neighborhood. I reserve the "tight" command for our off leash pseudo IPO/obedience sessions. As long as my dog is in a basic heel position with a loose leash on our walks, I am satisfied because what started off as an obedience skill has become a simple relaxed walk...the two of us just out and about..nothing more.
One other thought, once her desire to follow her nose all the time was tempered, I started using a long line and used your "let's go" and some directing leash pressure to keep her traveling with me on our treks. I didn't care if she was in a heel position but simply that she kept the long line loose and kept the proper pace but most importantly that I dictate the stopping and starting.
I currently have the best trained and performing companion dog I have ever had ( thanks to some members in this forum)....so, my advice is based solely on exactly that...she is not a competition dog therefore the people in her that have competition dogs, certainly can offer better advice in regards to your pursuits than I am able to offer. Hopefully, some of these skilled handlers will give you some solid advice to further your dog's performance for the goals desired.
Last edited by SuperG; 03-03-2016 at 09:28 AM.