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Look at meeee!

January 25, 2011

It’s not that I haven’t been training. It’s just that it’s been rather unsuccessful.

I figured that there is one thing Sigrid needs to learn before we move into the realm of useless party-tricks. That was to do one walk without pulling her lead. So I did that.

So, in my book it says that I should practice it off-lead first. I did. She would follow me around, walk nicely, and yet I still ended up with a soar shoulder and screaming “Look at meee, I’m back here you mutt!” everytime we went for a walk. Sigrid would much rather walk quickly to wherever adventure was to be found, such as the park or the beach.

"I wanna be out there, not back here on the lead!"

A recommended method is to stop everytime she pulls. I can tell that for Sigrid this was far from a success. Oh she stopped allright, but as soon as I started walking she was there in front again trying to make me move faster.

Another is to make her do a turn around me everytime she pulls. Well, we’d never get anywhere at that speed.

The last resort was twitching the lead yelling “noooo” everytime she pulled. Success? Not a chance.

Then last week I started looking at some videos from Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer. He was the first to provide some sort of breakthrough with Sigrid’s pulling. A little more than a breakthrough, at that. It was actual results!

With a little calmness and insistance that I walk first, because I am the leader, guess who followed? It was the first time I had a long and relaxing walk with Sigrid, and all because I managed to force myself to be calm.

Dogs always read your mind. They know when you’re sad, when you’re angry, when you’re stressed. Of course Sigrid sensed that I was stressed and just wanted to get the walk over with. She was actually trying to help! But, now, we can have our long relaxing walks as long as I stay relaxed. Sigrid stays by my side, my partner in hunting for adventures.

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