I love to walk with Jasper, and I was curious as to how you walk with your GSD, or other dogs.
First off, I practice NILF, and I am fair, but firm, and I love Jasper to death (he is basically my son
and raise and teach him like I would a child (guidance, and try not to lead him to failure)-then again, I am always learning daily, both about training, and each other.
Anyways, we have a routine for everything, like I believe dogs should have. Since I am home 24/7, I can usually make my routine happen.
I will get right to the walks. When I go to the park, I sometimes use a prong, sometimes use my thick leather collar (don't know why I use a prong, maybe I have a lack of confidence in my training, and not Jasper)?
I will say I need to work on focus harder, I mentioned this last year, but still he is good with my commands (so basically if he is eyeing something up, I use "leave it"), again, need to learn focus (but I don't have to ever overuse "leave it" on most anything, he knows.
Jasper will lock up on something (like another dog, get into a zone, or stalking walk, and get better as we get closer, loosen up. I am never tense, LOL, I never feel out of control.
(Last week a jogger passed, she turned, and looked scared. She comes to me and says "there are some snakes on the path
I told her I would move them for her. So I have Jasper on a police lead, and he is next to me, like always. The police lead is about 6 ft, and I also have another lead attatched. I put him in a sit/stay and get a big stick.
I notice that both snakes are copperheads
So I am able to grab one of them, not too difficult, tossed him into the woods with stick. Second one wants to test my will (LOL, he will lose, because if push comes to shove, I will win). He postures (understandable), so I get him on stick, put him in woods, attempts to get out, and again, I have to move him back in. He gets out again, real nasty and pissed off now (him, and I am not really in the mood to deal with a nasty copperhead), finally I am able to get a good grasp of him with snake, and gently
toss him into the woods. The girl was thankful, and I was happy.
So back to walking. There is only one pack of dogs that get under my skin, and that is a pack of those giant poodles. The owner thinks he is Cesar Milan (he jogs with them)makes the noise Cesar makes, etc, then they go after us, I curve, Jasper does great (for some reason Jasper and myself have the appearance of being a steak dinner for them), LOL, maybe they need to ask the last Rottweiler who attempted to go after Jasper
about the outcome
I feel sorry for these dogs, these owners set up their dogs for failure, especially the scoobie snack size ones.
When I walk Jasper in the neighborhood, all the kids come running to him (I always tell them to approach Jasper in a calm matter, and let him smell them first). Jasper is going to be 3 this week, and he is still like a puppy.
I walk Jasper the same way I do in the neighborhood as I do at the park, right next to me (no probs).
If Jasper and I are on paths (dirt paths) in woods, I give him lead so he can be a dog, and enjoy the scents.
I believe by astablishing alpha, walks next to each other, NILF, routine, calmess (I never scream, well maybe yell to get his attention if he is going at the neighbors PITA cat, fair, but firm, love and affection, etc, you can raise a great dog.
Jasper seems to thrive on routine, and the bond on the walk, and a gentle touch.
But I truly think when a dog is walked, it should be next to you (in the places of public is basically what I am saying), both for safety, and for owner to make decisions, choices as to what can be smelled, greated, etc
I can also say that every dog is different, and can thrive just as good with some diff training, but for my dog, this is what works.
I also don't leave dogs unattended in yard, both safety issues (if they ever got tangled within each other, fight, jump fence, snakes, etc). I also don't like unnessessary barking.
So I am interested as to what works for your dog.
Authors, trainers I have used for MY training are from Ian Dunbar, Jan Fennel, Cesar Milan and just some from the Monks of new skeet (first book I read), but just a little.
Never have, and never will alpha role Jasper (only if someone's life was in jeopardy).
I also hand fed Jasper from day 1 to first few months, I have a strong bond, gained respect, and keep on him always (I always want to maintain alpha, but with him having his fun as well.
Now that swimming season is here, thats were the fun will happen, with my leg in a shoulder cast and all