42. Where Did My Leadership Go?

dog_pulling

Over the weeks I started to be more easy on sir Oliver and myself when it came to leadership. I had decided that it was okay when he walked a bit in front of me. Still thinking of sir Oliver as piteous for walking on a leash. Feeding my mind with, it is okay to give him a bit more space to explore.

It was of course obvious what the consequences were going to be, though the consequences didn’t come in right away. Sir Oliver took a while before pulling on the leash and being in a total leadership position on our walks.

I tried to get myself back into the role of leader and one day it would work and the other totally not. At the moment the only thing that was bothering me, was sir Oliver pulling on the leash.

Somehow I could not figure out or come up with a way or solution to stop the pulling. Pulling him back didn’t seem a solution to me, yelling at him or trying to use a word so he would not pull seemed not right, and are either the way to treat sir Oliver. In all those cases there would be no reward in it for sir Oliver and as I understood, a Beagle or for that matter a dog,  is not going to do anything unless there is a reward.

When thinking of treats, I saw myself already walking behind him, while sir Oliver would pull on the leash and me holding up dog treats. Nope, that would not work. I had no idea what to do, other than being calm and being clear where I wanted him to go. Shortening the leash for a few seconds, did however work, but didn’t seem something that would stick in sir Oliver’s brain and was not connected by him to the pulling on the leash.

Just before my daughter and I were about to walk with sir Oliver his evening round, I got an email. I have a subscription on a Beagle forum and the guy that set this up sends me every week 1 email with a golden tip.While making myself ready for the walk I read quickly what the title was. I read: “How to train your Beagle not to pull the leash”, wow that was exactly what I needed.

I read the golden tip and found out that whenever sir Oliver would pull the leash I had to stop, stare at the stars, and only continue walking when sir Oliver would stop pulling on the leash. What an awesome solution and how simply! So my daughter and I decided to start right away on our walk.

First of all sir Oliver was walking fairly good on this walk, but there were occasions where he did pull. So we stopped, stared at the stars and walked again when he stepped a bit aside and the leash would slack. I think we did it 4-5 times and sir Oliver was a bit startled and didn’t seem to know what to do, or what was expected of him. Then when we started walking again he would follow right away.

The guy of the golden tip didn’t say it would work right away. It simply needs time to correct things again. Although at first it seemed a bit silly to stop in the middle of the sidewalk and stare at the stars. That is if I really would care of what others possibly would think about me. In a way it felt quite natural this correction method and I can see that in time this will certainly assist and get the pulling on the leash out of the way.

This new method made me confident, and it was so simply, so it could be easily applied. The key is discipline and not slacking my leadership again. And having pity is not going to get me anywhere with sir Oliver, that is the first thing I must get rid off.

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2 thoughts on “42. Where Did My Leadership Go?

  1. Really cool post! Sometimes, I would start jogging and even running with the dog, so I would remain physically in front of him, but often this was still him setting/leading the pace. Other times, I would direct myself to start the walk with a run, where I set the pace, while also stopping for him if he wants to sniff a leaf or whatever. I’ve also used the short leash method, which definitely worked a little bit, but I totally like the complete stop and look at the sky method because it’s a nice and gentle reminder of who is directing the pace. Keep up the cool work with Sir Oliver!

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    • Thanks Dan for sharing your experience with your dog! And yes, this stop method is gentle and gives the dog an opportunity to pick his stance within the hierarchy, as dogs do. I found that understanding the dogs brain is almost as important as loving him for who he is within my life, in fact he is my life coach at the moment.

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