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    Nothing is more frustrating than going out for an evening walk with your dog only to come home angry, frustrated and too full of energy to sleep. Your dog comes home frustrated, confused and has another notch of fear and worry in their collar over your erratic behavior during the walk.

    If you could trust your dog, then the battle over not pulling on the leash and coming when called immediately would be over. Imagine a walk in the park or neighborhood, enjoying one another’s company and the walk itself. If you find yourself walking alone just to get some peace and quiet from your dog, this is the training guide for you.

    The safety recall is one of the most critical skills you can teach your dog. If your dog does not sit, stay or rollover, as long as he comes when called, you’ve done a great job!

    Loose leash walking and the safety recall will take discipline and persistence on your behalf, but the rewards of a few weeks of intense work (sometimes less) will affect the rest of your lifelong relationship with your dog.

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    Chapter 1- What Is Loose Leash Walking?

    Loose leash walking means walking your dog with a slack leash and no pulling on either part – yours or the dog’s. All dogs, when feeling a tug at their neck and throat, pull away. Dogs also pull on the leash because they are so excited about going for a walk and pulling on the leash gets them to their next destination. It’s not a natural sensation; you and your puppy worked hard to create this tension.

    Teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash stops him from pulling during walks. It is not a perfect "heel" which keeps your dog strictly by your side. It allows your dog room to sniff and explore the neighborhood, as long as he leaves some slack in his leash. In other words, your dog won't be pulling your arm out of its socket as he lunges forward to get to where he wants to go. Instead, he will have to follow your lead in order to be allowed the freedom to see the sights.

    The way I like to describe Loose Leash walking is as if you were taking an evening stroll with a friend, stopping to look at interesting things along the way, but both at the same comfortable pace. Loose leash walking means being in tune with your dog and as importantly, your dog is very aware of you.

    Heeling on a walk is very different than loose leash walking and I never teach it before the relaxed pace of loose leash is mastered. Having a dog heel with you means having the dog right alongside of you, almost touching and staying with your pace 100% of the time. The act of heeling is a great behavior for a dog to learn and the times I use it with my dogs is when we are in cities, crossing a road, or in a situation where staying close to me is required and safe. The only other time heeling is really a valuable tool is when you are showing your dog.

  • About the Author

    Miriam Hughes has been training dogs formally for the past ten years. She has run her own training service and has conducted dog training classes at large training facilities. She studied canine behavior through the Companion Animal Sciences Institute, and her training style is influenced by Ian Dunbar, Pat Miller and other forefathers and mothers of the positive reinforcement method of training.

    Her primary goal is to have everyone communicating with the dog and each other on the most common level possible, avoiding confusion, resentment and misplaced anger or acting out from any family member. A secondary goal is to educate and inform as many people as possible so that more dogs get to stay home with the family that first adopted them, be it a new puppy or older dog, and not end up in rescue centers.

    Miriam Hughes is the Owner of MissBehave Dog Training and the author of a continuing series of eBooks on dog training. She can be found on Facebook as MissBehave Dog Trainer and is available to answer questions about training, training theory and reactive behavior in dogs. You can also reach Ms. Hughes at martdog@miriamhughes.com

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MissBehave’s Guide To Bearable Behavior in Dogs: Loose Leash & Safety Recall

Imagine taking a walk on a nice summer evening with your dog where no one has yelled, tripped or ended the walk with frustration and anger. MissBehave’s Guide to Bearable Behavior in Dogs – Loose Leash Walking and Safety Recall will turn a chore into a wonderful outing with your favorite companion. This book guides you through the simple and repetitive steps you need to create the relaxed walking behavior you and your dog both deserve.

The Safety Recall section helps you help your dog to know when you mean business. Coming when called is always important, but there are times when your dog’s life and safety could be on the line. Having a fool proof recall with 100% expectations is the only way to have confidence your dog will respond immediately. Both these skills can be taught in a fun and effective manner, creating a better bond between you and your dog for a long, fun and safe life.

Now get out there and enjoy the walk!

“Miriam is an excellent dog trainer. Her eBooks are great — they are easy to read, understand and put into practice. Miriam’s loose leash & recall training tips really do work and her puppy training eBook is ideal for new owners. Highly recommended! We achieved our goals while working on-line with Miriam.”
– Kim Leighton
Durham, England

“Our neighbors were beginning to complain about our sweet dog Bandit and his new habit of constant barking. Working with Miriam previously, I contacted her and was able to get the guidance and tools I needed to diminish most of the barking from 700 miles away.”
– Jackie Jorgenson
Berwyn, PA

“Our dog was not comfortable with house guests’ dogs and it became a problem once our daughter started to come home for visits from graduate school with her new puppy. After an awful summer visit we contacted Miriam to get ready for Christmas so we did not have to watch for fights or keep the dogs apart from one another. After working with her, our dog was able to exist with our daughter’s dog in the same room. We still feed them in different rooms and no bones are ever around, but we are now able to look forward to visits again.”
– Alison Volk
Devon, PA

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