Here`s another great article:
Our puppy has just hit six months and I feel like we're either failing at loose leash or our expectations are too high. I'm also struggling with loose leash Vs actual exercise requirements.
At the moment we're doing "heel" training in the house, the garden and I've just got an easy walk harness to help with walks outside of the garden. Outside the garden he'll also do it for short periods as long as there are treats. Outside of that and he wants to pull.
Firstly, training loose leash clearly doesn't meet a puppy's exercise requirements. How are you meant to deal with that? The silky leash and tree method where you don't move get our puppy really frustrated and after about twenty minutes he looses his mind. It also means that we've managed to walk about 20m. A 20m walk is clearly not going to exercise a six month old puppy.
At the weekend we like to take our pup to the countryside and walk a bit and practice recall off leash. As it's illegal not to restrain your dog in the car we have a harness that we use with a seatbelt plug in. As this isn't an easy walk harness, our puppy tends to pull when wearing it. What are you meant to do when you need to walk across a field of cows to get to another enclosed field to let him run around and practice recall? Clearly the tree method if he pulls means it'll take us hours to cross the field. Do we just try to discourage pulling if possible but just walk to our destination?
I've got Patricia McConnell's dog training book and she says after the six week training programme in her book your dog should be able to heel for about five minutes at a time and to use other methods (head leader or easy walk) to encourage your dog to walk nicely. She basically says it's a circus trick that you're asking your dog to do.
I'm just confused over how quickly our puppy is meant to get loose leash walking, what are realistic expectations and what you're meant to do when you want to exercise your dog and not take them on a training walk.
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