A change is gonna come…

Besides school, coaching, and my shelter work, I have clients to care for in my dog training/cat sitting business. I’ve been taking care of Beckett since last summer, and it’s been fantastic to watch her grow up!

Beckett is a purebred Lagoto, which is sort of like an Italian (rather that Portuguese) water dog, and she is just a couple of months older than Faegan. She and Fae play really well together, and she has even come over for a long playdate.

Recently, I have been working on loose-leash walking with Faegan and with Beckett. I learned a new teaching technique at the shelter, and it has been working like magic! Before this, I had been doing a lot of the “tree” technique where you just stop when the dog pulls, and then keep walking or maybe click and treat or maybe treat when the dog is walking the right way. I am all for clicking and treating, but my issue with this method is that I was never entirely sure what I was clicking and treating FOR – what was the behavior I wanted? “Loose leash walking” is hard to measure and hard to define in an exact way. Anyway, new methods are going well, and here’s the video I made for Beckett’s moms! It has music but you can watch it on mute, too.

What are your magical training hurdles? Anything that it has taken you awhile to figure out, but then it clicked?


Filed under Menagerie

13 Responses to A change is gonna come…

  1. Lauren

    What is the technique? Would love to know! Thanks for sharing the video!
    ~”Some birds” wife ;)

  2. Meredith

    I’ve seen Beckett all over my facebook! such a small world…love Kerri!

  3. Magic! Great job – I’m impressed and jealous. :D

  4. that’s great. i want to teach my dogs to walk like this! and that miss beckett is C-U-T-E!!

  5. Trisha

    Can I ask, do you have a treat in your hand to encourage her to stay right there? I’ve been working on heeling with Rocco (Ownerman’s dog) when I walk him, & have found that a treat is the only way I know of to get him to stay where I want him.

    • I do have a treat, but it is not to encourage her. She gets a treat every 15 steps at this point (counting only my left foot, so I guess 30 steps total). The idea is to work up to a place where I can give her a treat every few minutes, and eventually never. So far, it’s going well!

  6. That’s awesome! It’s so hard to teach loose leash walking. You did a great job with him! Keep up the good work!

  7. WKS

    That’s amazing! Any chance you’re willing to share the method that worked for you? My dog also needs some serious leash training. Thanks!

    • The technique is called Circle Heeling. I’m sure you can find some info on it online, but I also do remote training sessions, so email me if you’re interested in that! thequeerbird at gmail.

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