Puppy walking

An adventure in looking after a puppy until it is old enough to be properly trained as a guide dog for the blind.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Okay, that was better! We went out for our LONG afternoon walk. This time, I brought treats in my pocket (just kibble), the temperature had doubled (from 7 to 14C, 44 to 57F) and the sun was out so I was in a better frame of mind at least. Rockwell might have still been a bit subdued from this morning's fiasco, I'm not sure. I was determined to keep his attention and did for most of the time. At one point, we were confronted by someone walking a Shitzu type puppy so I took Rockwell way off the path to one side and asked him to sit while they went by. He mostly sat but did lunge a bit. After they were gone, I lead him onto the path again and then asked him to sit and when he did, I gave him a single kibble.

Every now and then on the walk, I would stop (unexpectedly I hoped), ask him to sit and then give him a kibble when he did. Unfortunately (or maybe just coincidentally) near the end of the walk, I got a phone call and while I stood talking, he lay down - a good thing. However, when we went to get going again, he grabbed the leash in his mouth and did the tug-of-war thing that resulted this morning in the struggle. This time, I snapped the leash out of his mouth and right away said, "SIT!" and he did. Then I took a step away from him to the end of the leash and said, "come!" and he did. This seemed to distract him and we did this another three or four times, working our way down the sidewalk. Finally, I decided to try walking normally and we got within sight of the house before he lay down in the street and refused to move.

In our little subdivision, there are no sidewalks but there also isn't much traffic. When he plopped down on the pavement, I let him lie there for a moment and then went to the end of the leash, called "come!" and hauled him right onto his feet and kept on moving until I hit the front door. As you can tell, this afternoon's walk was not an unmitigated success but -- I've had worse.


At 7:20 a.m., May 24, 2006, Blogger Sandy said...

Yea! I'd call that walk a success. I was wondering if you used kibble or treats to help things along. It helps with Boogalu, but he is very food driven.

At 2:06 p.m., May 25, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

Sandy, I only brought the treats with me for the first time on this walk but I think I'll keep them around more in the future.


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