Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Is my dog walking me?

I know several of you out there are having this problem. You dog takes YOU for a walk. I tolerated it with Jade because let's face it, she made me walk faster. But with Kallie, it was too much. I was afraid to walk her with the stroller because she could take off at any moment. And she's strong!

I wasn't about to let this happen because I wanted to take the dogs on 2 daily walks. One with Autumn and one without. Jade, like I said, I tolerated. But if I wanted her to heel, she would. However, the idea of walking 2 dogs (one who pulled a little and one who I thought was trying to win a dog sled race) made me super uneasy. I ran across this webpage a few years ago when I was having problems walking our boxer. I just skimmed it over then and didn't do much about it. Not to mention that the dog pictured was wearing a choke collar and I refused to use one!

I read the webpage over again, very carefully and took it all in. I then decided to give it a try this morning with Autumn in her stroller (yes, I was nervous). I first had to establish dominance by walking out of the house first. It seemed silly to me, but I figured that the person who wrote this had to have some sort of clue what was going on. Kallie wants to, so badly, bolt out of the house. Jade will stay if I tell her to. So I was firm. Made Kallie sit, several times, and calm down before she was allowed out of the house. I even walked out of the door and stood there until she was calm. Then I attached her to the leash and let her out. Right now Kallie has a long leash (I'm heading over to Chow Hound after this to get her a shorter one) so I had to basically loop it through the stroller so that I didn't have a big bulky wad to hold onto. Now comes the walk....

Kallie is, of course, super excited! I don't blame her. I've been enjoying these walks very much myself. But I also read that an excited dog doesn't mean a happy dog. She needs to work off her energy, not create more. By allowing her to roam the street, sniff everything and check out the latest bird tree, she is making herself more excited and therefore, not burning her energy. And when she burns her energy, she will become a happy dog. We relate our dogs so much to humans that it's hard to understand this sometimes. But after what I saw today, it made much more sense to me.

Have you ever watched dog shows where they have the dog's collar super high up on their neck? First time I saw this I thought it was silly and also cruel. I thought they were choking the dog. Yes, it is the weakest point on their neck, however, it's amazing how they will not pull when the collar is positioned that way. It worked, almost INSTANTLY with Kallie. I slid her collar up and immediately watched her slow herself down. I did have to correct her a couple of times, but that was it!!! She stayed by me, RIGHT NEXT TO ME, almost the whole time. I am absolutely amazed. Stunned. I was the dominate one. She had to listen to me. She even watched me a couple of times while we were walking to see what I wanted her to do next. We didn't take the long walk this morning (Autumn was getting fussy). But she was not hyper, at all, when we got back to the house. I even let her off the leash, before we even hit the garage and she STAYED BY MY SIDE!!! Again, completely stunned (she's already taken off into the neighborhood before we put the gate up on our fence).

Even though I am not a fan of choke collars, I will be getting one. The dog's normal collars do slip down their neck when they're relaxed and I could see Kallie's urge to start pulling again. This will just help keep her collar close to her head so that she won't pull at all. Wow, again, I am super excited about this and honestly couldn't wait to share this with you. I just gave you guys a brief summary of what I did with Kallie today. But please, please take the time to read this webpage if you are having problems with your dog pulling during the walk. I am 100% positive that this will work for you fully within a week. I am still shocked that it worked immediately for me!

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