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Question on loose leashe walking - How do I handle potty breaks? what exactly is the standard?

623 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  K9luv

Quick question for you all. I have a 5.5 month old malamute puppy. He will walk at heel when he's engaged with me. When he's distracted, he does his own thing and I have to hone him back in, lots of reeling him back in like a fish, playing the tree game. Normal puppy stuff so I hear, but he honestly is amazing at walking at heel when he's focused on me. I feel like a pez dispenser sometimes, but it is what it is.

Anyway, my question is about potty breaks. We will have a very large fenced area in October (it got delayed like 6 months due to materials), but for now it's what I've always done which is just bringing him out on the leashe. My question is just like, what should be my standard for when we go do potty breaks when it comes to leashe walking? My yard is very exciting, lots of wildlife running around, lots of smells, it's disney land to him. I have him heel at the door, he checks in before he runs out, and once he's out, he knows where to go to potty, but he wants to explore, do his own thing, etc.

He walks ahead of me, tries to dart sometimes, pulls on the leashe, ignores me to dig, smell, etc. I know this is all normal puppy behavior don't get me wrong. What I would like to know is, what standard should I hold these potty breaks to? Should I literally tree method every time we go out, not even budge to our potty spot until he walks there at heel? Do I give him slack because it's a potty break? I just feel really bad because I cannot give this dude like 4 hot dogs a day having him walk correctly out to the potty 5 times a day.

I just feel bad because some days he is just super distracted outside and I don't want to pull him around by leashe on the collar. Sometimes I wait until he comes to my side, and then I hold the leashe super short and start walking but he actively tries to walk away/pull away from heel and it feels like a battle and then he's frustrated, I'm frustrated, and I don't want that, poor dude is just trying to do his own thing.

Anyway, i'm just looking for advice on what my "Standard" should be for a potty break to hold him to, because I feel like if I let him just pull around on potty breaks, it will spill into leashe walking just degrading.

Also one other thing I have found with my puppy that is extremely weird to me. He goes on hikes with my wife and I a lot. We try to give him lots of exposure/enrichment so we take him everywhere. Any hike we go on, he is almost perfect walking with us to the top/peak/end of the trail. He doesn't walk at heel, but he doesn't pull or anything, just stays with us. When we get to the end of the trail, and turn around to go back, he BOOKS. he just will not stay with us, he wants to just dart to our return point. Is that normal? It's like clockwork, we turn around after whatever we're doing and he's going 1000 mph lol.

Any advice appreciated! Thank you!!
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Just a thought, but when my pup and I are walking on the street or anywhere there is/ might be traffic, he heals. When we get to a greenspace, I let him direct me. I give him the cue 'go sniff' when it's free reign (but on lead).

Maybe you could try training a 'go sniff' means he can poke around as he wants to (like in your yard). When you want him on a heal, get the pez dispenser back out and train the heal.

My backyard is fenced in, but in the front my pup is tied on. That way he can still move as he pleases, but he won't run off. I ALWAYS watch my pup when he's tied on, but maybe it could be easier and put a bit of distance between yourself and your pup to gain some independence. Only if he's ok with that.
My rule was always "don't pull me and you can do what you want". I did not enforce a heel on walks or quick potty breaks unless we were passing other pedestrians. I might occasionally do some heel work just for practice, too, but my dog never spent the entire walk in the heel position. Before we had a fence, I would take him out for a potty break on a long line so he was under control but could wander about to find his potty spot without me having to follow him. I basically stood in one spot and let him do what he wanted, only applying pressure if he was going to go over the property line.

But really, a moment of being able to pull on the way to the potty spot isn't going to completely undo all loose leash walking training. My dog pulls horribly when he REALLY has to poop, so sometimes he would suddenly pull hard off the sidewalk and jet to a patch of grass to complete his business. He still walks politely on leash the other 99% of the time. At this point, getting him outside and to the proper place to do his business is probably more important. After his potty business was taken care of, then I enforced the no pull rule.
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I'm so confused, are you loose leash walking now? I loose leash everywhere. I honestly don't care where the dogs pee. I'll stop and wait. When we get to a place where I want the poop, I give the command "take a 4 letter word for poop" then the dog does just that and we resume our loose leash walk. Although now I'm trying to change the command to "take a poop" because I have small kids and, that's kinda vulgar. I assume the same can be done for pee, I mean you can train them not to pee in the house.
I agree, just to correct my last post, we do more loose leash walking than heal. Only time he heals is passing other predestrians in a side walk or when we are in a tight traffic space like a parking lot. For the most part we keep in a forward motion, but I'll stop and let him sniff too, especially when it's hot and we take more breaks in the shade. I don't count distance, I count time and also I love to see different triggers to take a training opportunity.
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