Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Leading gently

The vet-imposed rest period is over!

(Koda cheers)


It was nice. Chris and I took him on a walk to Buckingham Pond and it was lovely! Koda was very excited to get out of the house.

However, Koda is over 60 pounds now, 7 months old, and we have faltered in our training. Heeling is not going well. Obedience school starts this week, so that is tactic one for dealing with this issue. Tactic two is the Gentle Leader. I love this tool (and I am using it as a tool, not as a lifetime fix). Koda heeled the entire time on the walk with the Gentle Leader, got lots of praise and treats, and there was no tugging or fighting or distress on either of our parts.

It made for a very happy walk :D

I am in awe of this product. It is completely humane: it doesn't restrict their breathing, barking, or in any way prevent them from opening their mouths. And it had immediate results: he was unable to pull me forward, struggled for a bit, then relented to walking beside me, which gained him praise. He didn't choke again his collar from pulling, I didn't pull a bicep muscle from holding him!

So props to the Gentle Leader company. I wish I didn't have to use it, I wish training alone (my training and his!) was allowing us to have calm walks. But until that is a reality, I love having a safe and gentle alternative to walking my dog.

Four stars!

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