Thursday, 8 March 2012

Spring Walking

So with what seems to be the arrival of spring today and my arm starting to feel better I decided to try going for a longer walk with Kobi and work on his leash pulling. My new method for walking since breaking my collar bone has been to use the leash coupler that I used to use for Scout and my mom's dog as a leash.

  I find using a regular 6 foot leash and looping it around my waist makes it very short so Kobi can't sniff and smell. The coupler on the other hand can be adjusted to be longer or shorter and can either be clipped directly to a belt loop or can be strung through multiple loops for stronger pullers.

 The advantage that I've found of walking like this is that I can free up my left hand to treat him or grab the leash if need be. When Kobi walks loosely beside me I either click if I brought the clicker or say "good" and try to give him a treat, sometimes he's so focused on walking that he doesn't notice that I have food.

 We worked on building his attention on me during his walk, have started to work on the "Look at that" game from Control Unleashed and just walking politely. There were several times we had to stop for several minutes to get him settled back down and walking politely again. I always find it funny when he starts whining when I stop him from pulling, I can tell he's trying hard to figure out how to keep walking but just sometimes isn't understanding that pulling means we don't go forward. Every now and then when moments like this happened I needed to remind myself to give him a break, let him sniff and move at his own pace to reset and keep going.

Kobi now sits immediately when we come to a road. From the first day we brought him home this is something we worked on. My hope is one day if he's able to walk off leash I won't have to worry about him darting into the road because he knows to sit the second he comes to one.

There is a trail in the West End of Halifax that I love walking along, very nice and quiet and gets away from the cars and streets. The trail runs between backyards of two streets but runs from Westmount School all the way to the park on Chebucto. It's a beautiful little neighborhood to walk in. I always find it amazing the great neighborhoods and areas you find when walking with your dog.

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