Sailor meets a Train
Morning Trip Report 10/2/2019 — 3y Sailor takes a hike.
We waved at neighbors. When the train cleared the siding, we scooted across the tracks and the RR crew in the waiting train waved at us. Sailor wasn’t real thrilled with the whole snorting-monster-rolly-thing, but like cousin Dresden, he sat on my foot to watch it. Then decided it wasn’t gonna eat him. After that, he ignored it. Which is what you’re supposed to do to snorting-monster-rolly-things.
This was Sailor’s first serious leash walking since he was a puppy. We do weightpull and off-leash obedience all the time. I turn them out of their kennels and we go from the house to the yards, from their crates in the basement back to their kennels. But just… walking… on a leash? That’s not something he has done a lot of. So this was new territory for him. He figured out pretty soon, that moving his feet was a good thing because I told him so. And of all the dogs I’ve taught to walk on a loose leash, he picked it up quicker than anyone. But I’m going to have to figure out how to train him to walk on a loose leash WITHOUT walking in big circles around me.
Even towards the end of our hour-long walk, he was walking close, and on a loose leash I had to gather up or trip on it, but still he was managing to make circles. My rule for loose-leash walking is, they can walk wherever they want, so long as they don’t impede my forward momentum. Don’t stop in front of me. Don’t sniff so long that the leash gets tight. It’s LOOSE-leash walking. I use a 10-foot horse line with a heavy-duty brass snap and a knot on the end. But loose-leash walking is not heeling or obedience walking. And it’s up to the dog to make decisions about what he wants to do. This creates a dog who is actively involved in the walk and not just plunging ahead or dragging me around mindlessly.
One of the reasons I love this dog so much is he reminds me of his great-great-great gramma Summer, the blocky muzzle and head, the softness in his eyes, the steady temperament and willingness to please.
But mostly I just love him for himself, the big goofball.