I'm just going to start filling up this page with what works for me when teaching dogs to be mindful of me at the other end of the leash. Keegan my Aussie, I swore was shopping for a new owner the moment he hit adolescence. Walking was so frustrating. He went from a puppy who followed me to an adolescent punk...who was good at flipping me the paw and busting the opposite way. It was so embarrassing.
He was in bootcamp with me, the fun kind, after that. I needed to reverse some of his thinking.
Anyways, we went back to square one. Shadow handling (recent video) started it off, Susan Garrett's agility foundation workshop was very helpful. In agility your dog needs to follow your body, not much talking, it's the subtle cues we give them to identify where they need to be that count. Showing up on my walking side, stopping when I stopped and adding a default sit was the backbone of Keegan learning how to be intune with my body language. The default sit slowed him down and enabled him to take in LIFE at a slower pace. No nasty stuff, just simple following and reinforcing the sweet spot(beside me) is where good stuff happens all the time!
Putting a polite meet and greet into place comes next.
I practiced with family, friends, always always start off practice walking around on leash at home first...then front yard then on low distraction walks, the criteria ALWAYS remained the same. I wasn't thinking about where I needed to go, I was looking to ensure Keegan understood where he needed to be. I thought of my self as the energizer bunny...I didn't move unless Kee gave me eye contact and was velcro'd to my side, and sat and checked in with me to see what came next when I stopped. His rewards were letting the leash out to sniff, visiting, doing tricks, off leash time, playing ball, and treats of course.
Then we progress to a low traffic area, where the dog is on the boring side of the sidwalk;
After that, low traffic trails...where there's a slim chance of meeting other dogs so we can practice with nature as our distraction with short increments off leash (only after they've proven themselves reliable on a long line)
Happy ending to all the work we did progressing from no distractions to increasing distractions at a rate where Kee was ALWAYS successful AND my directions were clear so we could learn how to move our bodies together as if we were training for a potato sack race. Once I reinforced positions, it was then up to him to remember how to get me to move forward (hint...eye contact and hanging out by my side!) gave him access to some fun and tasty stuff!
We got our CGN title soon after this class. Canine Good Neighbor is a recognized title by the CKC.
Not bad for a free spirit Aussie!
Having Beagles, mine and fosters with nose to the ground along with impulse control issues and a crazy firecracker Aussie has its perks...I've loaded my training tickle trunk with a great selection of fun stuff that helps take the frustration out of walking with a loose leash and I"m happy to share my knowledge!