Monday, March 28, 2011

The Double-Trainer Conundrum

Yesterday was a beautiful blue-sky, sunny Sunday and we decided to walk Gilda together for the first time in months. Mike has done the lion's share of dog walking this winter which I justify by telling myself that, after all, he is training to walk another marathon...

It occurred to me that we are using 2 distinctly different styles of walking which is most likely the reason that our 'loose leash walking' is taking so long to solidify.

While we both use the over-the-shoulder style leash for walking, Mike wears his around his back which in effect shortens the leash to the point that there isn't any slack. I use a longer line and attempt to teach Gilda that a loose leash means forward motion while a tight leash means we stop all forward motion. The problem is that it's hard to teach her that a tight line is bad when she walks with one half the time...
{Mike's style}

{Not the best example of LLW}

I haven't seen much written about 2-owner training issues. I'm guessing that it will just take double the effort for Gilda to understand how she is to behave with each of us. Training for a marathon means that Mike can't use the 'stop when tight' philosophy or he'd get a heck of lot less training in. Training for Agility and Therapy Dog means that I need a dog who reliably walks with a loose leash in the Agility arena and through the hospital.

I'm pretty sure the best solution is to get a second dog...

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