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Old August 8th, 2008, 09:50 PM
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SolaMio SolaMio is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dog-lovin' Cape Breton, NS
Posts: 271
I just wanted to give an update on Sola's 'heel' training (or at best, her walking without dislocating my shoulder or throwing me in a ditch training ).

I wrote my initial post waaaay back in December. I was at the end of my rope. Sola was extremely determined to pull, pull, pull her way through each and every walk. I then discovered the chest harness, after the martingale didn't appear to be working for me (I later learned three things about the martingale- I *think* I had purchased one size too large, Sola was too young, and I'm not convinced I was using it correctly at first).

The chest harness worked fairly well. Sola did stop pulling a LOT. However, it didn't provide the control I required to keep her from going towards people (playfully, not aggressively, but still not acceptable) when on walks. I still think the harness will still have its place for us- it can double as a seat belt, for example, and may be good for times when you don't NEED a ton of control.

So, I decided to whip out the martingale again, first we walked just up and down the driveway. It went much better than expected. Sola was able to heel properly- I was amazed...

Then today, I took Sola to the on-leash park. This is where I anticipated trouble. I was getting tired of having her either sit when people walked or jogged by to avoid her trying to go after anyone (the park is not a very busy one) or trying to distract her, etc. I figured there must be a better way. Well, today, I was truly AMAZED by Sola's progress. I don't want to get my hopes up too high, but she walked so well, right next to me, and didn't lunge at any joggers. I was even able to keep her under control when a squirrel appeared

At any rate, I can't express how excited I am that she is now able to walk nicely with me, it was a huge worry and I was very discouraged. It probably seems like a small feat to those whose doggies do this more easily, but I assure you this is groundbreaking for us. After all the work and frustration, Sola is finally a pleasure to walk. I am so proud of her.
J'embrasse mon chien sur la bouche!

"To err is human, to forgive, canine." -Unknown

Mom to:
Sola: 18 month old black lab/malamute
Luna: 2 year old Siberian Husky (rescue)
Millie: 2.5 year old tabby (rescue)
Layla: ?? year old calico (rescue)

Former mom to (RIP):
Nicole: Maine Coon cat 1985-1999
Poncho: Degu
Bibi: Degu
Josette: St. Bernard, childhood pet
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