Walking on a leash

Posted by Retired66
Dec 27, 2008
I have read the part on walking on a leash, the Alfa dog, and other sections but I still can't find the answer to a specific question. “Is it ever OK to let your dog walk in front of you on a leash?" I let my dog roam on a leash when I release her from the heel command and she will come when I call her but I've been told you should never let her walk in front. Is this true?
Posted by bustercyrus09
Jan 11, 2009
I sure hope you get some replies because my dogs walk ahead of me also but they roam but I only let them go so far. They know to stay fairly close and come when called.
Posted by AWHITE0
May 6, 2009
I have the same problem, only worse. Sometimes she's right by my side, and sometimes ahead of me. Usually walks gently, and then once in a while she suddenly pulls if sees a bird or something she wants to get right to NOW. Once she saw a cat in our front yard and pulled me down the stairs and broke my wrist. This is a very unusual behavior for her. I wondered if it's because she is 13 and losing her eyesight and just sees something dart.
I'd appreciate any information anyone can share.
Posted by Annie
May 12, 2009
hi there all you lead walkers!
I think, and this is a personal comment, that if your dog knows how to Heel, and knows the command to come( I´m not talking 100%, I´m talking about you being satisfied) then it is perfectly OK for your dog to wander around. I think it`s important that when you leave the house, and return, she is in a heel, and when you meet people or other dogs she returns to a heel position, but there is definately time for a dog to roam a bit.
Try to imagine if you made your kids walk with you and hold your hand the entire time around the playground they´d get very frustrated....your dog also needs to ' read the doggy newspaper' !!! ( sniff around) and this absorbing of information can be as tiring as a good run, so don´t feel you have to drag her around to get all her exercise.....sniffing and searching is also tiring.

You need to be careful that you both don´t get lazy and that the dog doesn´t have full run from the moment you leave the house, and forgets how to Heel, and you can also try, with an extended line, doing the 'quick direction change' so that your dog is also always watching and listening to you....

I have just moved to a new area, and my dog is learning about the new neighbourhood. I walk her on a really long 'lunge line' ( thin long line, not too thin). From the house to the fields I have it in loops so she must heel, and then when I give the go command she may go off exploring...but only for 5 m or so. I´m trying to teach her our borders and also have full control over her in our new surroundings. I don´t like retractor lines as they have little control.

I also know that sometimes your dog will see a cat etc and chase after it. This is the ideal training position as she is on a line, and cannot go too far...however...the key sucess is that YOU see the cat FIRST!!!! not always possble but that´s the goal. I´ll see a 'cat' and I can either: call my dog, ask her to sit, show her the cat, and ask her to wait, and then continue my walk....OR, I can get physically ready, wait till she sees the cat, chases, I call the command 'OFF' ( you may have another word) and the line will stop her, I call her to me in a sweet voice ( dragging if needed) and as soon as she arrives by me I am full of compliments. ie. I have shown her exactly what I WANT her to do, and there is absolutely no punishment.

The risk with a longer line is that the dog has more power for pulling you off your feet, but you also need to be concentrating, and a dog can learn to be respectful on a longer line as well.

This all needs to be combined with respect and good behaviour around the house, and I personally see no problem with my friend sometimes walking behind, next to, in front of, or leaping and dancing around me as long as it´s when I say it´s OK...

hope something helps
Annie and Joey
Posted by AWHITE0
May 15, 2009
Thanks for the information. Have you ever dealt with an older dog that is losing eyesight? I was wondering if that can make a difference in a dog's behavior, especially on a walk.
Posted by Annie
May 19, 2009
Hi there,
Yes, I think it would definately make a difference.....how is his hearing? An older dog can be a bit like an old Grandpa ie. selective hearing and seeing. A dogs sense of where they are and what is happening may improve when they start to lose their sight etc, but keep in mind that an older dog won´t be as keen to be bossed around, trained,asked to perform etc etc and the technique ( same as for Gramps!) is to ignore and pretend to be deaf etc
As he loses his senses he will retreat into a nice soft world, where he doesn´t ask for much and is happy to just be out and about. What is he doing different on walks?
Give me some more information or problems you have and I´ll try to write more,