Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
4,176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Normally when we walk, I keep Chi at a heel. I do this mainly to keep her close and her attention on me. But it does become tiresome, especially on days that the weather is nice and we want to cut up and run/jump around.
This morning was one of those mornings, she was happy and full of energy but I kept her right by my side pivoting if she got too far out front (if her shoulder is much past my knee I change direction). Trying to maintain that perfect heel is somewhat stressful on both of us.
This afternoon I changed tactics. I allowed her more freedom and only pivoted when the leash got tight, it actually became a game to some extent. Running was easier because I wasn't so concerned with keeping her "right there in that magic spot" - overall, the walk was much more enjoyable for both of us. I noticed that although she was infront of me, she frequently looked back to check on me and my position. Toward the end of our walk, I noticed a couple Japanese maintainance guys walking in and out of a house - I took it as a training opportunity to practice close down stays in that front yard. She did great but I think some of that has to do with the fact that 1. she was worn out from our walk and 2. our walk had been so fun and stress free.
In light of the fact that I'm working on her socialization and confidence, should I relax on the whole "heel" issue and give her more freedom and room for fun. We can still easily work on heel throughout our walks and during formal training sessions. Or should I stick to my guns and keep her heeling primarily all the time during walks? By not keeping her at a heel am I sending her the message that she is controlling and leading the walk? I could talk myself in circles on this one looking at both sides - so figured rather than dealing with that headache, I'd get y'all's opinions :)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
4,176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
We've had 3 nice relaxed walks now by incorporating "heel" with "let's go". We're heeling while crossing the street. It's just amazing how fast they catch on, isn't it? By the third or 4th street, she started slowing to wait for me and then would circle me to get in the heel position right before we got to the curb. When she starts to get a bit too nutty, I have her heel for a bit and then release her and allow her to walk loose lead. It is just so much easier this way and much, much, much more fun!
This morning Jordan had Petri (she's doing it with him too) and I had Chi. We would race from corner to corner. The Dobe won every time but there was a close call when Petri tried to pass and we ended up with tangled leashes LOL.

I think I've just decided that I will get further and have more fun if I say "good" more often than "bad". You know? Why tell her no, you can't do that - like walking with freedom - when I can praise her for handling her freedom well? Also, I'm finding (could be a fluke or wishful thinking though) that she is paying closer attention to me when I'm not constantly asking for it and forcing it upon her - AND she's not nearly as reactionary.
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top