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View Poll Results: Where does your stay when you walk them?
Beside you, loose leash. 17 26.98%
Beside you, tight leash. 2 3.17%
In front of you, loose leash. 29 46.03%
In front of you, tight leash. 9 14.29%
Behind you. 0 0%
Goes all over the place/very distracted. 6 9.52%
Voters: 63. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-03-2012, 12:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What position does your dog typically take while walking with you?

I know we have a lot of expert trainers on here with expert dogs who walk loose-leash besides their owners, but I also know people who allow their dog to walk slightly ahead of them, very much ahead of them, dogs who tend to lag behind, etc..

So, do you let your dog ahead of you? And if so, is it because they are not trained, or because you don't care/mind it?

Lets just say, for the sake of this question, you're walking in a non-populated area, like on a trail in a park or something. Where is your dog going to be?
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Elsie walks in front of me, but will stop and sniff so will lag behind too. She doesn't pull on the leash though... It will have tension when she is in front but she doesn't try pull me anywhere.

Reason being is that I don't particularly care where she is, as long as walking is a pleasurable experience for both of us. She is allowed to go and sniff stuff etc. because IMO a walk is for your dog's sake not for yours, and sniffing tires them out more. If we were walking in an unpopulated area, with no roads, heck even a populated area with no roads Elsie will walk off-lead. She has a very reliable recall so I like walking her off lead.

The giant schnauzer boys I walk go beside me and on a loose lead with a halti on, they are too big to be doing anything else... One weighs more than me so I couldn't physically control him if he decided he was running off somewhere. They are very well behaved on lead... I demand that of them because they are such massive dogs.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Mocha and Baby walk at heel nearly hugging my leg. Mocha tends to look up at me from time to time but she's not doing the "pretty heel". Titan's so used to me asking him to do the "pretty heel" that he falls into it automatically when walking though recently he's been walking crooked! Need to work on fixing that. When I release him he tends to just hug my leg.

Buster walks a little bit either in front of or behind me depending on how "scary" the environment is. Right now we're working on confidence more than good leash walking so I don't mind if he's not "perfect" so long as he's not cowering behind me at the end of his leash which is where we started. If he's a little overwhelmed he stays behind me and hugs my leg doing so. If he's mostly alright he's strutting in front of me, not pulling but not beside me either.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I allow him to be in front if he wants. It's his special time and as long as it's loose leash, I want him to enjoy it.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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95% of the time Dreizehn is in front of me on a relatively loose leash. Throughout our walks I'll ask him to heel next to me and work but, otherwise, walks are for fun and as long as he's not being rude he can do as he pleases.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm actually really glad to hear that so many people don't mind their dogs being ahead of them as long as they aren't pulling. I've heard a lot of stuff about dogs "turning alpha on your ass" if you let them lead, but it's pretty uncommon to see a dog around here being perfectly by one's side, so I wondered... none of them seemed like they were pulling or aggressive, either.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Since I have the two of them to walk on leash at once, Capri walks in front, Kip at my side. Partly because Kip has a better heel, but it seems that she does better leading and Kip is content to follow. If I switch them around, Kip lags and I trip over him, while Capri pushes forward impatiently unless told she must do otherwise.

Whenever it is appropriate, though, I like for them to be off leash, because then they can run with each other, and stop to sniff (or pee on) something appealing whenever they want, without me having to wait. We have an unfenced yard, so the more free exercise they can get hiking, etc, away from civilization the better.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Marshall is so bad on a leash right now. He pulls and goes all over the place
I think we need another visit to the trainer. I did get him a gentle leader and he is much better with that (as in no pulling), but he really doesn't like wearing it and I don't want him to have to wear it all the time.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Chanel tends to walk in front of me, mostly to the left but I was just thinking this week that I might have to make changes so your post is perfect timing.

It's been a bad week for her - not only have I hit her about 5 times with the chuck-it ball this week, but she's been walking in a weird place & I kicked her 3 times in the last 5 days.

I prefer her to walk loose leash to my left on the grass. I'm on the pavement, either sidewalk or road. Sometimes if she's moving quickly she'll wander out in front & as long as she keeps the leash at full length it works, but as soon as she pauses to sniff I'm on top of her.

I was thinking that I might get a shorter walking leash for that sort of thing. It's when I'm putting on some distance to stretch out her legs a little that it becomes a problem. (When we go to the park with the ball she's never dawdling, more often I have some pulling issues if she knows the chuckit is with us.)

At the farm or in fields she's off leash & usually ranges beside/ahead. She goes off trail & stops if she decides she's too far away & nothing is especially interesting.
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smudgeid View Post
It's been a bad week for her - not only have I hit her about 5 times with the chuck-it ball this week, but she's been walking in a weird place & I kicked her 3 times in the last 5 days.
Awww, I hate it when that happens. I always feel like an ass when I accidentally "get them".
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NINKOjIN View Post
I know we have a lot of expert trainers on here with expert dogs who walk loose-leash besides their owners............Lets just say, for the sake of this question, you're walking in a non-populated area, like on a trail in a park or something. Where is your dog going to be?
Sorry - I could not cast a vote....criteria not expanded enough...99% of our past walks, was off-leash.
- I also puppy train off-leash, before formal OB on-leash
- any on-leash was formal OB level training walks...so dober head right by my left knee, with dog eyes planted on me

My past Amy was trained totally off-leash, as a puppy from day1....starting as potty training, without using a leash.
- at 4.5 months young, I started training her daily with my "voice and body language" in the evening, on low traffic streets.
- all off-leash, and allowed her to run ahead of this Dad 50 feet, and Amy was trained to stop at the end of the sidewalk (automatically) and not touch a paved roadway ever, unless i gave her my hand signal & verbal direction to proceed & cross the roadway in safety
- we often visited a local park, with a small woodlot...she was allowed to get out of my sight frequently and then I happily reeled her in, with my voice, to regain visual contact...before she took off again, in the little forest to explore more...which I encouraged // becase I had real 100% recall

While a senior video, Amy did this off-leash street-walking stuff, as a 5-6 month old pup, with me:
Dobe Amy controlled off-leash, walking city streets..wmv - YouTube
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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We had just started to take a walk, on a sidewalk this morning, and I was wondering if it was right to force Baby Brownie to walk by my side when it was so clear that she was happier walking a bit to the front of me (without pulling on the leash).

I'd let her walk in the front but felt bad since I thought I was breaking the general rules of having the dog next or behind you on walks. I allowed it because I didn't got the feeling she was trying to be the leader of the pack. She did follow all my commands during the walk without disputing who was in charge or showing any disrespect toward me...

Wow, the result of this pull came right on time to give absolution to my guilty feeling.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I walk my dogs beside me with a loose leash. Not in heel position though. Just politely beside, relaxed. Sometimes they get a little further ahead than I like, but nothing that I can really complain about. They're not pulling. And if I'm walking in a park with narrow trails, I purposely tell them to go ahead as it's easier that way. Keira has an issue with that though and keeps returning to my side, haha. She doesn't get it. But basically, I don't really care whether they're a tiny bit ahead, beside, or behind me. I'm happy just as long as the leash is not tight and they're paying attention. :-)

When I'm walking all three at once, Ripley walks loosely on my left, Keira walks loosely on my right, and Dance walks loosely on my right as well but beside and generally a little bit behind Keira depending on the sidewalk or pathway width.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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On exploration/fun walks my dogs get to wander around me as they please. If they are taking too much advantage of their freedom then they get reeled in and will walk beside me to remind them who is in control.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I typically always let him walk ahead of me as long as he isn't pulling. As soon as he pulls he has to come walk at my heel and we do heel work until he remembers his manners.

The only time I really make him walk at my heel, other than when he is being a jerk, is in crowded areas or at stores and things of that nature
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:45 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Leo is pretty much loose leash at heel. Not cuz we require it, it's just where he walks.

Mac... Loose leash and all over the place. In front, trying to trip me, at heel, behind, where ever. If she's pulling or being a brat I make her heel, but she's good at knowing where the slack ends.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:45 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I would say all of the above goes for us. It just depends on the situation. If it is our daily walk around the neighborhood, Deacon walks loose, just a little ahead of me, but never pulls me or even tightens the leash. When we go to crowded places (the farmer's market, PetsMart, Yappy Hour), he is in a heel position. And if we are out in the middle of nowhere, I let him do what he wants because he is there to explore and have fun...but he usually still wants to be by my side! And somehow, the smart guy knows what's expected of him in each situation before I give him commands.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:39 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Usually at the beginning of the walk zac is in front of me but not pulling. When I ask him to come back he spins around and is by my side. On the way back from our walks he is usually by my side. Where I live now he has to walk on leash to an off leash area whereas back home he was off leash 95% of the time so I think that may have something to do with the initial excitement even if we do it daily.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:35 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BabyBrownie View Post
. . . I'd let her walk in the front but felt bad since I thought I was breaking the general rules of having the dog next or behind you on walks. I allowed it because I didn't got the feeling she was trying to be the leader of the pack. She did follow all my commands during the walk without disputing who was in charge or showing any disrespect toward me...
When walking informally on a loose leash, our Dobes have always walked ahead of us. We stopped worrying that we were doing the wrong thing when an experienced trainer told us that he likes to see a dog taking the lead because it shows confidence — and that's a good thing.

At the same time, we put a lot of time and effort (and patience!) into training Jack that zooming ahead and pulling is not acceptable. Though he rarely pulls strongly, he very cleverly figured out that he could get away with putting light pressure on the lead. Once we realized what was happening, we started working on training him to walk with absolutely no pressure on the lead, but this is still a work in progress and he still requires reminders.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:00 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I typically always let him walk ahead of me as long as he isn't pulling. As soon as he pulls he has to come walk at my heel and we do heel work until he remembers his manners.
This is what I do with Bronson. He walks ahead, and will slow down to sniff, but I do not stop for him unless he is doing his business. And if he starts pulling, I stop and we don't move until he comes back to me and sits. He is very good about if we stop he automatically sits, but if he's excited/pulling he needs reminders.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:05 AM   #21 (permalink)
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When we go for a walk, I keep Lily at my heal and almost slightly behind me. She knows to behave when I put her chain on, the leash is very loose but she stays velcroed to me.

On our runs however I let her be out in front of me a bit. I usually just wrap the leash around my waist so I can move my arms freely, and I don't mind a little pull here and there for motivation lol

When we jog the trails, she is off leash and keeps about a 10 foot radius around me. I never had to train it, she just likes to be close. If a squirell catches her eye she'll bolt after it for about 20 feet and then rush back once she realizes how far she got
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:33 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Wow, I guess I'm kinda mean to Ahren, he is always to be on my right side, shoulders directly even with my right leg. He has learned to do this on or off leash, even off leash if I stop suddenly he will back up to that position. But our walks are normally too or from the car, in public, visiting hospitals and such with his therapy work or going to the vet. He has free roam of 90 acres to explore, socialize and get his energy out.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:59 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I voted 'in front loose leash', his flank/bottom being against my leg.

If I command that he walk to heel he will and will stay there until I release him. But if we are just walking out and about, with no reason for him to be to heel then I allow him to walk slightly ahead.

Toby will walk to heel off leash if commanded. (I have to be sure no one is around for this to happen as by law I have to have him leashed and muzzled at all times)
He will also walk just in front of me if I command he do so, useful I have found if we are approaching a junction between 2 tracks which I can see are clear but which I do not want Toby to just dash across. (I think it important he learn to respect roads, even if they are mere donkey tracks most of the time)

I must stress I live in the middle of nowhere and rarely encounter anyone or anything which means walking to heel is not as important here as it is in town. Still I have trained all my dogs to do so, just for the rare occasions we do go into town, (to scare the locals, lol!)
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:04 AM   #24 (permalink)
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If it's a walk for enjoyment, I don't care WHERE the dog is. I care IF the dog pulls or not (meaning they should not )
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:02 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Beside me on a loose leash (heel position) when using a regular 6' lead. Ahead of me when on a flexi-lead. Heel is one of the first things my puppies learn. I never, ever allow them to pull.
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