Deviated from Positive Training & Feeling Guilty...
So our rescue dog (shepherd mix) is such a GOOD dog. A slightly stern "eh eh eh" will correct anything he's thinking about doing, but I haven't had to say "eh eh eh" since the first month. (For example, he taught himself to down-stay before I serve his food, because he noticed that made me happy. )
When I first started walking him, it seemed like he had rarely been walked. He would pull like crazy towards bushes, smells, deer, whatever, and zigzag all over the sidewalk and road. We started obedience class and I learned to give him praise & a treat for looking at me and walking beside me. And, when he pulled hard, I would "make like a tree." This quickly fixed the hard, rude pulling.
However, our walks are now like this:
He walks ahead at the very end of his leash, the leash is straight between us, and it's just enough where I feel a bit of tension but it's not really a pull. Every once in a while, whenever he feels like it, he will come back and walk beside me for a few steps, to get his praise/treat fix. Then a few more steps, and he'll go back to walking at the very front of the leash again. Did I mention he is smart... he figured out exactly the threshold that is just below a Pull!
Today after 20 minutes of this, I got annoyed. We reached a wider section of the trail and when he was at the very end of the leash, I gave him a pop on the collar and turned and walked the other way. He was confused at first, but after 5 or 6 repetitions, he stopped forging ahead. For the rest of our walk, he was watching me out of the corner of his eye and he kept the leash hanging in a curve. (Did I mention he is smart...)
However I am pretty sure our obedience teacher (positive) would not approve of leash corrections!
Her approach is to train loose leash walking with treats, but the problem is, he doesn't care enough about food to keep close to you...he will bother with food ONLY if it's a boring part of the walk?
But, I am feeling guilty ...
He wasn't his usual perky self after the corrections - his ears were down a bit, and his head too.
Usually he is walking with head up and ears pricked, he looks like a happy confident dog.
I wonder if there's some way to fix his "very end of the leash" walking habit without using "correction"...
But I also realized that the "correction" way seemed a lot more quick and effective than these weeks of endless tidbits of chicken...
So, feeling guilty and not sure if I should keep using the leash correction way?