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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was recently told there is no need to control the dog during the entire walk. It is even better for training if you allow your dog at the end of the leash.

If anybody would like to banter back and forth so I can understand how a dog would benifit from less control on the walk that would be awesome

Thanks

Me
 

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I guess one benefit would that the dog could sniff and look at things and all that vs going on a forced march :p. More exercise and mental stimulation.

Just my thoughts. But I hate a dog heeling anyway---I can't stand having anyone walk that close to me.
 

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I was recently told there is no need to control the dog during the entire walk. It is even better for training if you allow your dog at the end of the leash.

If anybody would like to banter back and forth so I can understand how a dog would benifit from less control on the walk that would be awesome

Thanks

Me
Well, it depends on why you're going for a walk. Personally we go for walks so that Snowball can experience the outdoors (we don't have a lawn or a yard). So on walks he gets to SNIFF!ALL!THINGS!, plus, just enjoy being out doors. Of course, I don't let him PULL, but I have no problem with him walking at the very end of his leash, and if I think he's starting to take liberties I just stop walking; if he's actually starting to pull, he gets a bit of a surprise, and if he's not, he stops and looks at me and waits to go again. There is nothing particularly wrong with having your dog at a well controlled heel for the entire duration of your walk... I just think it is boring, and Snowball and I don't go for walks to practice our military precision. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I guess one benefit would that the dog could sniff and look at things and all that vs going on a forced march :p. More exercise and mental stimulation.

Just my thoughts. But I hate a dog heeling anyway---I can't stand having anyone walk that close to me.
Do you think more mental stimulation and excersise comes from EOL or from "marching" I believe the dog would be more stimulated by sights and smells and ability to explore.

Why would people consider EOL dog trying to dominate you I don't understand that why 100 percent of control is considered submissive.
 

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More mental stimulation and exercise from being allowed the freedom to wander around within the leash's limits, not heeling strictly.

Why do people consider constant control to mean a dog is "submissive"? Because some people are small and like to feel in control all the time and want other beings to submit to them so they can feel bigger.
 

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My dog WILL walk along side me and straight ahead for short bursts if we need to pass another dog or something, but he's a wanderer. He likes to check things out, and sniff things, and mark things. That is what's interesting for him. I'm going on a walk for him. I enjoy the benefit of getting some exercise as well, but really it's for him. Why not let him do what he wants if he's happy and it isn't hurting anyone or anything?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
More mental stimulation and exercise from being allowed the freedom to wander around within the leash's limits, not heeling strictly.

Why do people consider constant control to mean a dog is "submissive"? Because some people are small and like to feel in control all the time and want other beings to submit to them so they can feel bigger.
What do you think a good compare and contrast argument would be for some of these simple minded moo-rons.

The saying "the pack leader" needs to be in front the, dog is controlling you if it is in front.

What kind of adverse effects do you think or have seen affect actual training of the constant "controlled" dog compared to the trained dog that is allowed to be a dog?

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Discussion Starter #8
My dog WILL walk along side me and straight ahead for short bursts if we need to pass another dog or something, but he's a wanderer. He likes to check things out, and sniff things, and mark things. That is what's interesting for him. I'm going on a walk for him. I enjoy the benefit of getting some exercise as well, but really it's for him. Why not let him do what he wants if he's happy and it isn't hurting anyone or anything?
I agree a walk is a walk, and a training session is a train which shouldn't last 30 minutes or more, so why shouldn't a dog be able to look around? Or smell, and why do people these days teach everything a dog does is strictly because it is dominant. My dogs do not go around living to dominate me. Some of the pups are adolescent and are pushing boundaries but hell that's what they do.

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I agree a walk is a walk, and a training session is a train which shouldn't last 30 minutes or more, so why shouldn't a dog be able to look around? Or smell, and why do people these days teach everything a dog does is strictly because it is dominant. My dogs do not go around living to dominate me. Some of the pups are adolescent and are pushing boundaries but hell that's what they do.

Me
Why do people think everything a dog does is related to dominance? Who knows? They watch too much tv? Don't understand learning theory? Don't know / won't believe anything else. Could be because they feel bigger when they can control someone else, like Willowy said. Unless someone is specifically asking for advice (or, I suppose - I've never had this happen - physically harming their dog), I generally ignore them.

I think dogs need be under control when they're out, but that doesn't mean walking behind me, marching methodically. It means that they're not pulling, jumping on strange people and dogs, or running into the street. Ideally, they wouldn't be pulling just to pull, trying to chase other animals, or lunging and barking at other dogs, but that takes time and practice. They should stop and stay when asked, generally follow along, but certainly they should have the opportunity to explore the environment.

I will say that I believe every interaction with my dog is a training opportunity. We walk, sometimes with Katie at a sloppy heel, sometimes she's in front, sometimes she's lagging behind. We change speed - hurry, hurry or ssssllllloooooowwwww. Our walks turn into training sessions, too. We're working on a more proper heel, walking past other dogs without acting like a maniac, sitting / downing / staying in different environments. Lately she's been getting a significant portion of her dinner through our "training" walks.
 

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I have let both my dogs walk at the end of the leash sniffing everything pretty much since I got them. I tried to teach them not to pull by turning around, but after a few months the walks were so unpleasant for everyone and it wasn't making any difference, so I gave up on it and just let them do what they want. They have been allowed to put tension on the leash, but they can't drag me down the road.

However, this has caused more and more annoyance, as they will just do whatever they want when they want. If it was just one dog, it wouldn't be so bad, but with two dogs going in opposite directions to stop and sniff something every 5 steps, it got too annoying. On our regular walks it's tolerable, because the dogs know where we're going and will usually lead the way in front. But as soon as we turn up a different street or go anywhere new, they are all over the place. So I have now decided to fix it.

They are both adults dogs with a strong obedience foundation, and we did our first leash walking session yesterday and it went awesome. They have to stay in a casual heel position by default, unless told they can do otherwise. And I release them to sniff at regular intervals. This way, the only way to hear "go sniff", is to walk nicely next to me, which is a great motivator for them. They also get rewarded with treats when they stay next to me, but I plan to mostly fade those out.

As soon as they get in front of the plane of my body, I stop. By the time they reach the end of the leash, I'm stationary, and they have to come back to my side before we start walking again. I don't pull them back or tell them to come back, I just stop and stand there and wait for them to do it on their own. That way I don't teach them that they can do whatever they want and I will nag them all the time - it's their responsibility to stay in the correct position and to come back when they make a mistake. And I walk pretty fast, so it's close to the speed they would walk naturally anyway.

When they understand this concept really well, I don't plan to keep them in a strict heel position and will probably allow them a bit more freedom.

Another good reason to teach this is for sports dogs. They need to know they can't just leave to go and sniff something in the middle of working, but if you work with me, you will get to go and sniff.
 

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A dog has to be under 'control' when outside, within some limits that you set. I've been walking Shep for more than 10 years. We walk in a 3 acre field, and I allow him to roam off-leash more than 100 feet away from me. When I walk him on a quiet street, he has to stay within 10 -20 feet of me.

When he was about 2 yo, he had to walk loosely on a 6 foot leash. That was a 'struggle.' Today, when I need him on a leash, I use a 2 foot stub, and he's relaxed & loose.

On the other hand, a precise heel is very tiring for a dog, and it's the opposite of what you want for a 'relaxing' everyday walk. You do want to train daily for a heel [if that's one of your goals], but I believe that your dog also needs some down time to smell the roses. :)
 

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What do you think a good compare and contrast argument would be for some of these simple minded moo-rons.

The saying "the pack leader" needs to be in front the, dog is controlling you if it is in front.

That a leader leads with stability (of mind, action, and emotion), and by proving that his/her actions have a meaning (and thus the dog has a reason to "seek your input"), and not on position during a walk.

If the situation arises, a leader can show leadership by giving instructions/taking actions that keep the dog safe. When that situation arises, the dog is likely to seek your guidance instead of just jumping to an action on his/her own.

I know that was big for Wally at least (he had a lot of fear issues). Nothing got him to "trust me" faster than when he was scared, I'd get him out of the situation. He naturally started to seek out what he needed to do (come sit next to me) and then we'd leave the situation.


As far as controlled walking - Wally and I are pretty free form most of the time, but I also taught him how to stay even with me (didn't know it was called heeling at the time) both on and off leash, and then I would let him go sniff and wander and pee-mail and all that along with some play, etc. Most of the time, we're walking like that. It's only when we're going from one place to another I have him near me (our "travel formation" I guess LOL) and then I let him explore, etc.

Now, even on those free-form exploring, the leash has to be loose, but if he hits the end, he'll stop and look at me (while pointed at the direction he wants to go) and then I can start going that way and then he can to, so he's not straining and risking damaging his neck and stuff as much as anything else.
 
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