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LauraD
11th February 2007, 01:46 AM
Doesn't sound like much, but the for the VERY FIRST TIME I was able to walk Riley up and down a sidewalk in lovely downtown WITHOUT any tension on the leash!!! b*n*n*
"So what?", you may be thinking. Ahh, if only you knew that since he was 4 months old and able to walk outside on a leash he has NEVER walked with me without pulling. I have been to 4 different training classes and through 5 different trainers at this point, all without being able to actually walk my dog on a loose leash. For months our walks have not been any fun and have been very short and constantly peppered with stops and turns and so much more. So frustrating! :huh: Finally now at one year and 2 months old, we did it! With the help of a wonderful trainer who worked with me and Riley just today, in one session, we were able to do it downtown amisdt all the lovely shops, cafes, and people with kids and dogs.
I have always dreamed of this. I has only been a dream up until today. I had been "overtrained" myself and had "over-learned" all the things you are supposed to do when walking a dog. This trainer showed me how to relax and just walk. Sounds ridiculously easy, right? Well, no one ever showed me how to do that. And Riley just blossomed!! He was relaxed and happy and just absolutely lovely. I never really got to see just how beautiful and amazing he is. :lotsaluv: I could cry just thinking of how he looked, and how I felt walking him. I am absolutely thrilled!! :jmp:
She showed me how to walk my dog, and Riley showed me how brilliant he is and how much fun we can have. I feel so ashamed that this lovely little dog was not able to show me his potential all this time, because i didn't know how to let him. icon_blshing
In my zeal to be so "perfect", I forgot how to relax and have fun. Riley always knew how, I just needed to be reminded by the right person.
I just want to say that now I can really enjoy having my little Cavalier, who everyone could see is so lovely. Now I can finally see it too and I am so proud of him and so lucky.
Sorry I rambled, I was just bursting and I had to share. :dgwlk: :w**h**:

Cathy T
11th February 2007, 02:21 AM
Good for you Laura. I know this is an accomplishment. I have found that if I start out by going out the door first it helps set our pace. Also, relax...that's really a big key. Congrats....and many more happy relaxing enjoyable walks!

enchantingdragon
11th February 2007, 02:38 AM
YAY!!! Congrats to you and Riley!!!

Linda'nQuincy
12th February 2007, 06:26 AM
Can you share your new found secrets with us? Are you using an Easy Walk leash? You sound so proud!!!!!

LauraD
12th February 2007, 05:14 PM
Thank you everyone for sharing my happiness with me. :D

Linda'nQuincy - There really is no secret. It was just a matter of learning how to clearly give my dog signals about what i want him to do. Before this, I was using too many signals and ques and Riley probably had no idea what i really wanted him to do. Therefore, total disaster. :sl*p:
I actually have 4 different harnesses. In the past I had used the Easy Walk and Sensible harness (also a front-clip type harness) with only short lived success. In my case the harness alone was not the "cure all". During my training session this time we did use the Sensible harness, but the trainer made me hold the leash in a relaxed way and walk forward with a purposeful stride and attitude. Also, whenever Riley was not doing a loose leash stroll I needed to give him just one que (in our case, the sound "aah-aah") to let him know that behavior was not wanted.

It was no miracle experience, but it definitely worked for us! I would not say anything bad about any of the other classes or trainers I have used. It is however VERY important to find someone/something that works for you and your situation and dog. Everyone is different and every trainer is different, some things you may be taught may not work for you. Keep trying to find the right fit and your dog will blossom and you will feel much more in control. :flwr:

Kodee
14th February 2007, 06:15 PM
Oh I know what you mean, our lab was sort of similar. She learned not to pull and responded well to heel, but she has issues if she saw another dog, even a block away. She wasnt aggressive but a trainer did something they shouldnt have (long story) and it set up yrs of anxiety for her when she approached dogs - like falling to the ground rolling, spinning on leash walking backwards... i know what you mean about they day they just start walking and enjoying it as much as you do - it was a sweet moment for us too! Look out spring you will be having loads of fun

arasara
14th February 2007, 06:23 PM
Laura -

I am SO Excited that you're finally able to walk with Riley! :) Isnt it just an amazing feeling?! I am so glad you were finally able to find someone that could help you. It's so easy to get overwhelmed with people telling you all sorts of different things. I think you said something that all of us need to remember ~ just relax and go with the flow!


Congrats!! :flwr: