Did you ever see the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?
If you grew up in the 80’s, it was required viewing. It’s a great movie about kids skipping school and making a complete fool out of the principal. At one point the principal is talking to Ferris Bueller’s mother and states: “That's probably because he wasn't sick. He was skipping school. Wake up and smell the coffee, Mrs. Bueller. It's a fool's paradise. He is just leading you down the primrose path.”
Did you ever wonder what a primrose path was? I did and here is what trusty old Wikipedia has to say: A course of action that seems easy and appropriate but can actually end in calamity.
Reminds me of leash walking.
Last night I was teaching a Canine Good Citizen class at the local shelter.
In class we had some big dogs including a Great Dane and big Goldendoodle.
One behavior your dog needs to do well to pass the Canine Good Citizen is walk on leash.
No choke, prong or e collars are allowed during the Good Citizen test, which is fine with me because I train most dogs without them.
Treats are also not allowed which is also no problem because I only use treats for a short time when teaching a dog to walk on leash.
The big problem with using treats to train this command are:
ONE: Who wants to walk around with hot dogs in their pockets every time they walk their dog?
TWO: Most dogs will lose focus on the treat when they see a squirrel, cat, another dog, a leaf blowing by etc.
So the trick is to change directions when your dog becomes distracted BUT….
…..there is one small, minor detail that you have to follow to a tee if you want this to work. You see, when you change directions you let the leash out and go the other way but our goal here is NOT to keep giving the dog leash corrections.
Our goal is for our dogs to respond to our VERBAL commands so we don’t have to apply corrections.
So the trick is that as soon as you change directions, you give your dog a quick, short verbal correction BEFORE they get the leash correction.
Done correctly a few times, pulling will become a thing of the past for you and your pal. I put a video on my Facebook page from last night’s class showing the dogs walking on flat collars and no treats.
And guess what?
Your dog can do the same thing. You can teach your dog to walk on leash without choke or prong collars and without having to walk around with treats forever.
Here’s where to go NEXT: