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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lately I've been reading about a walk being "the dog's time", and that they shouldn't have to walk in the heel position. When I walk Harley, I don't allow her in front of me, and keep her on a pretty short lead. I bought her a prong about a month ago, and we use it for walks. I use the method of a quick collar correction when she's off track.She's learning well, and sticks close w/out pulling. I read about it being "her time" and thought I'd cut her some slack. I held only the end of her 6 foot leash, and lo and behold, in about 10 seconds I had my 65lb. Bully pulling me down the street. Does training have to be "complete" before they can be "on their own time"? (And is a dog's training ever complete?) Is there a "correct" way to walk the dog? Thanks.
 

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Gee I don't know about that I do know I keep mine close by my side on walks and they do well if I hold the end of a 6 foot leash and let them in front I'd be done I'd have 180 lbs pulling me down the street. I think its best to keep them by your sode or in back while walking. Its like giving them the lead and control when you let themout in front.
 

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It depends. Once my dogs are properly trained how to walk properly on a leash, there are days where we will lollygag around the block giving them time to stop & sniff the flowers (literally). But we always start & end our walk with the proper techniques.
 

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kogeki said:
My dog can explore and smell all she wants but when I say "let's go" its time to walk with me again.
That's pretty much how we do it. Like Miakoda, I start with Chyna and Ozy walking nicely (one on either side - I don't insist on official "heel" position, but you get the picture) and end that way, and if we're on a longish walk I may throw some "heel" segments in the middle somewhere. Otherwise, they can step off the sidewalk to smell/pee/poop and there's a meadow we generally wander through at "sniffing speed." They're even allowed to walk in front of me (*gasp*). But they both know that pulling is a guaranteed ticket back to heel position! Also, they've learned "right," "left" and "wait" so even if they're in front I'm still steering!

To answer the OP's question, yes, it's a lot easier if you train your dog to walk nicely (whether that means a "real heel" or an approximation) before giving her opportunities to do her own thing. Then, as you give her freedom to explore a bit, you'll be teaching her that pulling ends that freedom.
 

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My dogs have a command when they are allowed to break heel and go off and explore on their own. Until that command is given, they are at a heel. After I recall them, they are at a heel. But as soon as they get the command to take the lead, they can go ahead and explore and sniff.

Personally I think its easier for your dog to be at a heel until it's properly trained to listen. From there you can add different things in for the dog. You need a foundation to build on before you can get to a level where you can trust the dog to go do its thing and to reliably return to your side when you tell it to.


Whatever you choose to do its up to you. As long as you are comfortable with the situation and neither you or the dog jeopardizes anyone else its cool.
 

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I agree with the short-leash (i.e. choked up on leash) and dog walking by left side (not in front). Walks, especially with working breeds, are to help burn off energy, so that it is not directed toward distructive behavior. As long as that is followed most of the time, you can let them "explore" a little too.

Nobody wants a 50-100+ dog pulling them all over. Also, people passing want to see that you have control over your dog. Sadly, people can be ignorant, and don't hold the affection that we all have for a special breed. A relaxed dog, walking controlled, creates a positive image for these dogs to help off-set the negative media. But, that is another thread, no?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I agree with that, although I still use a prong to help train Harley to walk nicely. When people area approaching, her inclination is to meet them, which acauses her to pull, which tightenes the collar, and her ears go back. She may not look "nice", but is obviously under my control. I wish I had a better idea as to how to make her see me as the "pack leader", and therefor stay behind me. She sees me as her leader in other areas, so why not on her walks?
 

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kogeki said:
My dog can explore and smell all she wants but when I say "let's go" its time to walk with me again.
Exactly. It's 50/50 with my dogs. I walk them in the heel position (Yote at least, Tala is still learning), and then I stop and tell him "roam" and he gets to sniff around and do whatever. Then when it's time to move on, I tell him "heel" and we go on to another spot. This way I can ensure he's only exploring safe areas, and he's not a wild maniac on the leash.
 

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halo said:
Hey did anyone notice the new banner name change Yote instead of Odie?
Yeah, there was a thread letting us know they were changing Odies name to Yote in light of his new found ancestry....but I still can't get used to it! LOL
 

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Ya i keep mine on heel mode most of the walk and dont give her slack on walks becuase she seems to like it fine i concider her time being in the backyard playing with me and going to parks, to me thats our time together and her treat for being so well behaved!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, we're finally getting better at this. She's learned enough for me to trust her on on loose leash at some parts of the walk. Other times, I keep her in close by me. I won't go so far as to say it's a "heel', but she stays close and doesn't tug. The actual "heel"command has been harder for me to teach. I wish I had done basics at least once so I had a better idea how to teach this one.
 
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