My Life With Dogs #17

“Friends: I don’t know if you have been reading my blogs about My Life With Dogs…or if you might be “jumping in” with this being your first exposure. If so, WELCOME, you are hitting the right time as this is where I begin to talk about my training technique, known as The Famed Method of Dog Training.
As you read along you will quickly come to realize that I am of the old school in training dogs. Or maybe, if you have been to any training schools in the past five years, reading my method will be ‘new’ to you. I’ll talk about the differences later, but for now, again, welcome! If you have time, reading my former blogs will bring you up to date.
The basis of my training method falls into five categories, or lessons…you’re just one chapter away from the first. Thanks for reading.” John

Have you seen this picture? A person is walking their dog on the street. The dog is at the end of the lead lunging like a plow-horse tilling the south forty or a Husky mushing at the Iditarod. His breathing is raspy as the choker digs into his throat. The dog knows his master is back there somewhere because he can feel him restraining his freedom. It is the dog who decides where this “walk” is headed.

Meanwhile, the master, who planned taking a leisurely stroll in the park, is gasping for air, his arms are nothing but an extension of the leash, he is literally being dragged along, and if you dare get close enough, you can hear him desperately whispering, over and over, “whoa, boy, whoa, boy, whoa, boy!” It is not, I assure you, a moment of bonding between the two.
This scenario leads to the next training exercise: getting control and the attention of your dog.

By the way: Pulling or lunging on lead, and a dog’s insatiable desire to run away, is simply a response to his instinct for freedom. Most dogs have a natural impulse to flee any type of enclosure, whether it’s a fence, leash, or garage.

I can whistle pretty loud. Loud enough that even the dogs stop acting up…at least momentarily.
“When is obedience needed?’’ I query. There are no takers. Everyone sees Tagore sitting at my side, not the least interested in all the crazies surrounding him.

“During time of distraction.” I answer my own question. golden (2)

I give him a simple hand signal meaning that he should stay in place and I walk away from him. I walk directly towards the “hardened case” that will be my attention getter and ask the owner for permission to take the leash. I ask the dog’s name.
I move back toward the center of the yard, but not too close to Tagore.

Meanwhile, Dodger, a 75-pound male Rottweiler figures he’ll play havoc with me. He lunges, runs in circles, tries to wrap me in his leash, and barks incessantly.

“In order for me to teach you anything, I have to have your attention. Conversely, in order for you to teach your dog anything, you’ve got to have his.” I give that a second to sink in. “Obviously,” I say, “I’ve got your attention because you’re wondering what I’m going to do to get Dodger’s attention. Right?”

     Everyone nods.

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