Is there a difference between training walks and walks for fun? How do you structure this?

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/puppy101/comments/fstsy2/is_there_a_difference_between_training_walks_and/

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I have a 16 week old labradoodle. He is my first dog and I am trying to train him to the best of my abilities.

Should all walks be walks where we practice going on the leash by my side? Or should there be fun walks too, where he gets to sniff around and doesn’t have to be by my side?

Until now, I have been taking him on a 20 minute walk twice a day. I have been working on pulling by stopping as soon as he pulls, then he comes to me by himself or I ask for him to look at me and he gets a reward. I let him sniff around and when he walks by my side I have been rewarding him and given him the command for that as he does it. I have not used a release command.

Should I maybe instead exercise him more with fetch in my backyard and also practice the leash walking there and be more specific/strict about it? And slowly increase walks in the neighborhood?

Is it possible to have both kinds of walks? Or should I incorporate a release command?

How do you do it? I have watched Zak George’s videos on leash walking but I don’t think he answered those questions (please correct me if I’m wrong).

Hope everyone is doing okay during isolation or however else this pandemic is affecting you!

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