Sunday, February 7, 2010

Walking The Dog

No, I'm not talking about the yo-yo trick. And more accurately for it's walking the dogs. All three of them, for as long and as often as possible. When Bear was a puppy: 
he was a monster to walk. He had a ton of energy and is very strong. He pulled the entire time and I could not walk him next to me. I bought a gentle leader and he walks beautifully with it on. He hates it, but he heels and walks beside or behind me. I started reading when I was bored at work and read "walking on a leash" many many times. That website also taught me how important it is to walk dogs every day. It doens't matter how big a house or yard you have, dogs instinctually need to walk. A backyard is really just like a huge kennel to them. They are migratory animals. I walk my dogs before they eat. Recently I decided to take Bear on a walk without his Gentle Leader. We jogged at first to wear him out a bit, then we settled into a more comfortable pace. It took a lot of corrections, but he seemed to understand that he was to walk next to me, not in front and he is not allowed to pull on the lead. He does ok passing by barking dogs and people at a distance. When we get closer to people or to another dog walking he wants to play with them and sniff them. I'm still working on ignoring distractions with him. I also bought him a backpack which he seems to enjoy. It gives him a job to do and it also gives him a better work out. I also like that it gives me a place to put things when I don't have pockets.

Buster is a puppy and has a lot of energy. He does ok with not pulling on the lead after we've walked a couple blocks. About a week ago I put Bear's backpack on him and I thought I was walking a different dog. He slowed down. He heeled. He was a pleasure to walk. I found a bigger "hydration backpack" at Tuesday Morning for Bear and a medium sized one for Gurdie. Today when I walked the dogs they all wore backpacks. They look kind of silly but it really does make a huge difference. Gurdie doesn't seem to mind. I didn't put anything in her backpack today just to get her used to something on her back. I'll have to get Ken to take a picture of me walking the dogs and the dogs with their backpacks.

I also realized today that I need to work on obeying my commands with distractions present. I'm going to start making them all sit right next to a yard with a barking dog. We pass by horses and Bear has stopped barking at them. The horses trot along the fence next to us when we're walking. It's kind of neat. Hopefully it won't be raining tomorrow when I walk the dogs. I don't like walking in the cold rain and neither do they.

No comments:

Post a Comment