I am a dog lover. Okay, so maybe a little on the obsessive side. I am also a very busy woman. I wear many “hats” in the day: mom, friend, sister, dog trainer, house keeper, cousin, taxi, dog walker (for my own dogs), writer, cook, you name it.
In my free time you can find me outdoors usually with my two dogs and twin boys. We go on walks, strolls, and bike rides. One of my frustrations in doing this, is trying to manage all the activities with just two hands; walk the dogs, push the stroller, stay sane. I was really excited when I found out Squishy Face makes a dog walking belt and could not wait to try it! I fell in love with their other products and am even more impressed with the belt.
I am not sure a better design could happen with a leash walking belt. You simply clip the belt on the leash handle and then around your waist.
I was able to easily run with this, push the boys in the stroller, and go on a family walk.
Tip: If you are a runner, I strongly recommend leashing a harness on your dog rather than his collar to avoid your dog any neck injuries.
Want to try out our favorite leash walking belt? CLICK HERE
Of course, having a nice “polite leash walking” cue would be very handy with this tool, so here is one of my leash walking secrets from my book “Control On Leash.”
What you will need:
You will need treats, clicker*, leash, dog, and bait bag (treat tote).*Clicker is not required. Handler can use a verbal marker like the word “yes” instead.
For the first few times you work on this exercise, you will use your leash with the Squishy Face dog walking belt. Having the leash in this position (up against your core) will help you realize how much you are using your arms versus your body as a whole to get your dog into position.
How To Teach:
Step 1#: Start walking.
As you are moving forward, observe your dog. If you get one to two steps with your dog at your side, fantastic! Click (or say “yes!) and deliver treats, but make sure you keep walking. Please do not stop and ask for a sit as you deliver a treat, and then move on. It is completely fine to slow way down especially at first while you get the hang of it to deliver the treat, but please continue the movement.
Step 2#: (If dog goes out in front of you), stop and quickly begin to move backward.
Please note: After training hundreds of people I continually see pet owners stop, stand and wait for their dog to look at them. Please don’t! It’s crucial when you are going through this entire process that you go through the steps quickly. Don’t wait for him to look; simply start moving and he will look at you once the movement begins.
Step 3#: Continue backing up until your dog is behind you or at your side.
It is important to make sure that he is actually beside you or behind you. Many new handlers think that right in front of them is okay and reinforce this position. Right in front is not beside or behind.
Step 4#: When he’s behind or beside you, click (or verabl mark with “yes”) and quickly move forward again.
The reward in this situation is the movement forward, not a treat. If you treat after your dog moves out in front of you, your dog will more than likely learn the pattern of going out to the end of the leash and return for a tasty treat, and then repeat by going back out to the end of the leash.
Step 5#: During this entire process, any time your dog walks two or more steps alongside you, click (mark), and deliver a treat.
Again, do not stop walking when delivering the treat, and never cue a sit when you are working on leash walking! Expect that it will take some practice to learn how to keep moving while you hand the treat to your dog, but I know you can do it. Watch your dog for ANY eye contact toward you; then click and treat.
You will start the training process with the Squishy Face walking belt for polite leash walking. Once your dog is doing well you can begin using just your hands and only use the belt when you would like to keep your hands free.
BLOG WRITTEN BY MICHELLE HUNTTING
BUILDING THE BRIDGE OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN DOG AND PET GUARDIAN.™