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!!