Friday, January 13, 2012
dividing my walk with my dogs
I have 5 days a week a great training opportunity with my dogs as it is in my sons walking distance to get to his school. We bundle us and our dogs up and walk briskly to the school. This portion of the walk I walk away from things to smell and its about getting them a bit tired and in the right frame of mind. As we get close to the school there is a crossing guard. My son runs off to school and me and the dogs wait and watch him get to school grounds. The dogs have learned to sit while kids and parents pass, some interested in them and others not. This spot gave me a vantage point for controlling and training while offering socialization at the same time. Kids do not stop to ask to pet so my focus has to be on not having my dogs jump and learn to tolerate loads of sudden movements. Other dogs come by, some the owners stop to play and others no. Again a training opportunity whether or not they play its appropriate social manners. They get to learn to listen to me if I call there attention to me no matter what is going on. It for my dogs is the highlight of their day. On the way home, as a reward the first 2/3 of the walk is theirs to sniff and get their mental stimulation in as they were so good. The last part of the walk is focus on me time. I walk a bit, I stop abruptly, I walk I turn abruptly, I stop, I start...I use the "heel " cue, I start with my left foot, I drag my foot for a sound cue to warn a stop, when both dogs sit I say "good" the reward is walking again...We get home and they sit and wait for leashes and jackets off and they begin the quiet part of their day with exercise and training and I can attend to whatever I need to without them under feet.