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Originally Posted By: LUV_GSDs If the dogs are obedient and will heel when commanded there shouldn't be any issue with them up front
I thought is bore repeating.

It bothers me when people say you 'can't' do this or that with your dog.

Can't be allowed on the furniture
Can't sleep in bed with you
Can't walk ahead of you
Can't go out the door first
Can't play tug (and more importantly, can't win)

Blah blah blah

All of those CAN'T need to be changed to SHOULDN'Ts with an IF at the end ...

Shouldn't be allowed on the furniture IF they won't get off when told
Shouldn't play tug if they won't release on command
 

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It varies. Right out the door Sheba is in front of me, chomping at the bit to see what new smells there are. She has to sniff and mark at everything, so for awhile she is generally behind me. Once we start the exercise part of the walk, she walks next to me.

I never walk her offleash.
 

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Gunnar, my 6 month old GSD walks to my left side slightly in front. He has been trained that way. He matches my pace nearly all the time. I have found that a Prong Collar has helped a great deal with where he walks in relation to me.
 

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Atka seems to stick to me like glue... zig zag, or circle around me. Sometimes he walks so close, he nearly trips me! He knows when I stop walking, he sits. I've also used the prong on his training and I found it very useful. And as for offleash in public, never... I want him to trust me and feel safe with me at all times...
 

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When Gunnar is off leash with no distactions he will walk closley to my left side. Sit, Heel, the whole nine yards. I never take him off leash in public. He does well though around strangers and other dogs. Its just not worth the allowing the temptation to get into trouble.
 

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Jolene ...a sable GSD / Sheltie mix does all 3. A good bit of the time she walks in front to the left of me. That's what I prefer. If she walks to the right, I tell her "HAW" and she goes to the left. Sometimes she'll walk behind me.


Powell
 

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Grimm gallumps like a Paleolithic baby wooly rhino on caffeine when free, thundering goofily here and there. On the line, he used to jerk and pull horribly, or surge ahead-- but after about a 2 week course of tethering him to me in the house (when i got a drink, he came too.. went to the bathroom, he came too.. etc-- every time i moved, he moved too, to get the idea we were a team) he heeled softly by my side, like magic. His normal big-puppy, youthful, needing-more-excersise teenager inclination is always however to surge ahead.
 

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It depends.....

When I start a walk I want good control and I want the dogs to understand that it is our walk and we can all enjoy it. So we spend the first ten minutes at a calm walk by my side. I admit, Havoc is not the best at this yet. Then I release them to sniff and do thier own thing. Then we go back to a clam ealk for awhile and then they get to sniff some more.

Off lead they get to run ahead but I have pretty well taught them to check in often and run back to me for a treat. And since they are off lead and I have told them it is okay they are still under the leader's (mine) authority.

My theory on the walk to me is "he who is out in front is in control". I don't want my dogs in control and they should not be put in that position. Walking in front and sniffing is fine as long as it is clear that you have approved it and can get them back in position next to you at command and quickly.

As an example - I can walk down the street and pass the house with the lab that really barks like a nut case at the fence. If my dogs are ranging out in front they will bark back and attempt to go to the fence, even if I tell them no. If they are at my side when we pass by they rarely even look. In the out front case they are in charge and I have to work to take it back. In the by my side case they have recognized that I am in charge and they do not have permission to bark or go toward the fence.

I like most of Cesar Milan says in this. He talks of dominance in his second book more. He is not into forcing dominance on the animal but what he does is use his quiet and calm authority to earn that status. I also think we sometimes see dominance as a bad word and equate it somehow with force or punishment. It is merely a word that says someone has to be in control.
 

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Depends. If I'm not paying attention and let Mack do whatever, he'll bolt forward and pull me right off my feet. This only happens if I'm being stupid(i.e. in the middle of the night and I'm still asleep) and don't remind him his manners. Except for that, Mack is beside me. Off-leash he usually runs in front and keeps an eye on me. I don't think he's ever walked behind me unless something just awesome cropped up like deer,horse,cat,possum,fox, whatever poop.

It'd drive me nuts to have him behind me and wonder what he's doing all the time.
 
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