Updated: May 4
Hello friends, a few weeks ago I had a private 1-1 session with Carly Trimble from Reward Calm Dog Services located in Orange County, CA. Carly is a holistic dog trainer, with years of expertise under her belt!
When I came to Carly, I told her my biggest problem with Finn is that he doesn't seem to be focused on our walks. Finn is a rescue dog and when we walk he is constantly scanning the environment. Physically he is there, but mentally he is distracted.
Carly putting a slip lead on Finn, notice that she places it right below his ears.
Here are a few things I learned
1. I changed Finn's walking equipment from a harness to a slip lead. The slip lead gives me more control over him when I'm walking or training. Don't get me wrong, I still use the harness i.e., in the car to safely buckle him or on bike rides. For me, the slip lead is a tool to use to train him. I use it with minimal pressure as I do not want to hurt/damage his throat.
2. The best environment to train your dog is either with a professional trainer like Carly, or in a controlled environment. Too much external stimulus can induce anxiety or distract your pup. Imagine trying to learn without a teacher and that your classroom is directly in-front of a circus. It would be pretty hard to learn. Dog trainers are subject matter experts and can deliver results in minutes.
3. Walks should be structured like an ice cream sandwich! The first layer should be structured; the middle should be the rewarding part of the walk (allow for sniffing, exploring etc), but only if the dog has earned it. The last part of the walk should be structured.
With that being said, here is a short 2 minute clip of how we tackled structured walking.
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