Monday, January 10, 2011

When in Doubt...Take Treats!

{Snow Dog}
It's cold here. Really cold. Like 22 degrees cold. It's all I can do to put on 4 layers, boots, hat, scarf, gloves, cellphone, iPod, collar, leash, dog coat... it's a wonder Gilda gets a walk at all in this weather. We were out the door before I realized that I had no dog treats. I figured I'd never be able to find them with my gloved hands and all the other stuff crammed in my pockets.

I also figured that we would be working mainly on heeling and loose leash walking since Gilda's Pet Partners test is quickly approaching.

Right now walking with manners is hit or miss. Gilda can't walk two steps with a loose leash on the way to Agility class but does great the whole way to the car after Agility class! She does well on daily walks until another dog approaches or passes.

We've both been using a Jaeger-style leash for walking (yes, more leashes). Mike and I both prefer hands-free walking and (if Gilda participates) it's much easier on my neck and shoulders.

Today, we were about 30 minutes into our walk with what seemed like corrections (stopping dead in my tracks when the leash goes taut) every other second when all of a sudden, Gilda just busts into the perfect heeling groove! I got very happy and told her, "Yessssssssss" (no clicker either!) and she immediately looked to my hand for a treat!  She nudged my hand a few times keeping her perfect heeling going and then seemed to  decide, "No treats? Well then, how about we go right back to sporadic heeling!"

It was great while it lasted and it let me know that a) Gilda is very capable of heeling and b) Food treats are more valuable than verbal praise.  Lesson learned.

1 comment:

Catalina said...

Haha! Aren't they smart?!?