Kathleen and Rick had difficulty walking Loki, their 5-month old Belgian Malinois/German Shepherd Mix, Lily, their 3-year old Scottish Terrier, and Ferghus, their 8-year old Scottish Terrier. The dogs pulled on-leash and didn’t understand heel position. More problematic, Loki barked uncontrollably when observing unfamiliar people and dogs and Lily and Ferghus barked and pulled whenever they saw a neighborhood dog. Walks were not much fun for Kathleen and Rick.
Therefore, they asked CPT for help. A CPT private lesson, in-home private lesson, or remote private lesson provides instruction and feedback. Moreover, with private instruction a CPT Trainer can prep the family dog, which expedites progress for the pet owner.
Step 1- Teaching the Mechanics and Prepping the Dog
In the following 2 videos, CPT Trainer Mark Spivak preps Loki. Loki needs to learn heel position, to walk on a loose leash, and that he will be fed if he remains in position and provides focused attention. We also wish to relax Loki so that he becomes less excited, anxious, and territorial when he sees unfamiliar people or dogs. Mark starts by walking Loki for short distances and then challenges him with a longer walk near some distractions.
Step 2- Having the Owner Walk the Dog
Once the dogs walk well for the CPT Trainer it is time to let the client take the helm. These videos show Kathleen walking Lily and Rick walking Loki. While the owners take hold of the leash Mark coaches them on proper vocal communication, reward timing, and leash walking mechanics. The barking on the first video is from Loki, who was not pleased at being temporarily left behind.
Step 3- Walking Multiple Dogs Simultaneously
Once each dog walks well individually we can begin combining dogs in tandem and then finally in a triad. The first video shows Kathleen walking Lily and Ferghus. The second video shows Kathleen walking the two Scotties while Tom walks adjacent with Loki.
Please note that when walking multiple family dogs, it is important to know which dog should receive the inside position. Similarly, when two persons walk the family dogs together it is important to know which dog should receive the lead position. In this case, the Scotties did best with Lily to the inside and the three dogs together did best when we provided Loki the lead position.
These videos were shot near the end of our second appointment. Considering that the dogs barked repeatedly and pulled constantly when we began our first lesson, we made significant progress in a very short period of time.