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The break up the pack walk

My dogs are big, Duke is almost 50kgs, and Wilma and Molly are around 40kgs each which adds up to around 140kg all together- that’s almost double my weight. Knowing I needed to put some training into action with the new environment I decided it was necessary for me to walk and train the dogs individually.

The first few days of doing this wasn’t the most fun I have had. I had to wrangle one dog in the garage while tricking the other two to stay in the house. Lucky they are easily bribed with treats!

I made sure I was completely focused on the job at hand. No earphones, podcasts or music for me. I want to watch and communicate with my dogs. I wanted to concentrate on my lead control and watch what they were watching whilst also learning to look around corners or at least walk into the road (safely) to make sure I could see what was coming.

Every day has presented some wins and some challenges. Duke decided to lay down in the middle of the road on one walk because I wouldn’t let him go and meet a Dalmatian. I also found out that cats were very distracting to him – but that is another blog post all of its own!

Molly is super social, and I trust her social cues, but she is strong willed and likes to get as far as possible on her walks. She has selective hearing at times.

Wilma likes to engage with me and is very responsive to commands – she is also very treat driven and loves doing training on our walks. But she is defensive and doesn’t like people or dogs to close to her.

In a nutshell they are all different and I need to apply different training and skills to each of them. Duke doesn’t care less for treats on a walk and Molly will eat and walk.

For me, walking the dogs is not about ‘Heeling’ the entire way (Heeling means walking right next to you), for my walks I use training commands such as ‘Stop’, ‘Let’s go’ ‘NO’, ‘Yes’ ‘Leave it’, ‘okay’ and last but not least ‘Good job’. I also stop and let them sniff and wee. I have two leads on my dogs (will explain this in another post) so if I get to an open area, they can have some longer lead freedom.

What commands do you use on your walks? Do you know all of these or just some? Are there any commands you would like a video or explanation on?

Another positive note for these daily walks is I am walking 4kms before my day even begins!

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