So, the first thing that Bo is in desperate need to work on is his excitement at the prospect of going for a walk. From the moment I come downstairs he seems to know what is about to happen!
We have a small hall and putting on shoes is a nightmare to do with a big German Shepherd clumsily bashing around. When I put my shoes on, even to go out with Bo, I have started to make him sit in the kitchen doorway. He is in sight, but out of the way.
The very first thing I do is to get him in position in the doorway and then I tell him to sit and stay. Bo knows both of these commands, however, he seems to have selective hearing when putting them in practice.
He wasn’t very good at staying to begin with, in fact, he moved immediately on the first go. So, I moved him using my body, blocking him so he had to go backwards. Then, I got him to sit again. It did mean that putting my shoes on took some time but, in the long run it will be easier…..I hope!
Next was to put his harness and lead on. I did exactly the same thing here a I did with the shoes. When he moved, I dropped the lead and put him back. He soon realised that he needed to stay, otherwise his walk would start later and later.We do eventually manage the lead, he can contain himself just about, but I need to be quick! And of course, I praise him when he does it, but not in a way that would excite him. A treat or a toy works well. His main praise however, is his nice long walk that he gets after being good to begin with.
He is slowly learning, although he still doesn’t get it right. I think it will take constant training, which is hard, especially when I’m in a rush. But, the hard work will pay off when he knows that he has to sit by himself while I get ready to go out.
For the next week we will be adding on this by trying to get Bo out of the front door without pulling me with him!