Loose lead walking breakthrough!!! But how important is the elusive ‘check in’ on leashed walks?

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/puppy101/comments/hzxxb8/loose_lead_walking_breakthrough_but_how_important/

Here`s another great article:

My 10mo's walking has been much better recently, since I realised that her pulling on the leash is caused by a desire to sniff everything, rather than trying to get from A to B quickly or by her being insane.

She always ignored treats (yes, high value ones, even chicken, even hot dog, even cheese, even smelly smelly tripe) despite being food motivated and I finally realised it's because she is most "rewarded" in life by smelling everything. This is also why stopping and making her wait when she's pulling or turning in the other direction didn't help with loose lead walking. She doesn't care how quickly she gets somewhere, as long as she can sniff EVERYTHING.

So she had a strong 'leave it' inside our house and garden but I worked hard to teach her to understand 'leave it' on leashed walks and I also taught her 'come back', as in come back to my side by practicing walking on lead around my house.

Now she is walking really well with the assistance of these verbal cues; I'm so proud! If she pulls forwards too hard, I say 'ah, come back' and she does. She pulls towards a lamppost or tree to smell it, I say 'leave it' and she does. After about ten mins of walking and saying commands, she calms down (probably tired of following the commands) and walks very nicely beside me. I don't really need treats for loose lead walking anymore, but take them for if we see another dog (wanting to greet dogs is still a bit of an issue but we're getting there!)

She is still very much head down and sniffing the path as we walk. I don't mind as it isn't impairing our walk at all and she isn't lunging and yanking my arm off anymore.

But I've seen a lot of videos of dogs 'checking in'/looking up and checking with their owners every few steps. This doesn't really happen with us, as the smells on the walk are too interesting and she doesn't want to look up and check in on me, she wants to smell as she walks. So how important is that element?

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