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Coasting : Issue 4 2009
Judy Turley is an experienced member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, and an accredited Canine Good Citizen instructor with Delta Australia. She hosts private puppy classes, as well as obedience and agility lessons. She uses positive training methods with all dogs. Phone 0438 842688. By DAVID STEWART Hangin' loose 17 PROFESSIONAL dog trainer Judy Turley knows the healthy benefits that walking with a dog can bring -- for those on both ends of the lead. "However, it can be a very unpleasant experience if the dog is in charge of the walk and the owner is pulled all the way," she said. The most important lesson for the owner to learn, and usually the hardest one for them to remember, is to stop walking forward when the lead is tight. If you walk forward when the lead is pulled tight, then the more the dog pulls the more it is having this pulling behaviour reinforced. "As you are walking, keep the hand holding the lead against your body," Judy said. "When the lead begins to tighten, pause and then slowly walk backwards, keeping your hand holding the lead against your body. Don't jerk the lead. Just keep slowly walking back. "When the dog turns towards you, stop for a second and then continue moving forward on your walk. If you wish, when your dog turns you can praise him or give him a small treat." Judy said this lesson should ideally be first taught at home. Once your dog starts to turn and give you attention when you move backwards, then trial this technique again by taking the dog out to a place away from the home where there are few distractions. It's no fun walking if your dog is running the show. When you go for a walk with your dog, is it sometimes difficult to tell whether you are taking them for a walk, or they are taking you? When your dog pulls at the lead, hold the lead against your body and slowly walk backwards until your dog turns to give you their attention. Then praise the dog. Soon you'll both realise just how relaxing and enjoyable walking together can be. Pictures by Aaron Brown.
Issue 3 2009
Issue 5 Nov 2009