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  • Writer's picturecaissiecanineinstr

Caissie Canine Instruction: Loose Leash Walking Tips

We begin this week’s “RUFF TAILS” featuring a beautiful Great Pyrenees/Maremma named Hemi.


We had a Chow Chow “Kato” and were hoping to get a second one—"heir and a spare” so to speak. While we were looking, we happened to learn of a breeder (our neighbour’s daughter) who had a litter of Great Pyrenees/Maremma puppies available for adoption.


Since we prefer large dogs--the Chow is not a lightweight at 30kg.


We went to check out the puppies and came home with Hemi. (as in “Dodge RAM”), an irresistible little fur-ball.



Kato has been dubbed “the Chow who doesn’t know he’s a Chow” LOL. So, we weren’t worried that he would negatively react to Hemi, and they did bond very quickly.


That little fur-ball gained 9kg in one month and we quickly learned we had named him appropriately. Hemi is now 14 months old and weighs in at 57kg. His magnificent tail is 2ft long and a weapon when he wags it.


 As a “livestock guardian breed”, Hemi often tries to herd Kato and us. For all his size and strength, he’s really a lovable goof who thinks everyone is his best friend. He’s our gentle giant.


Welcome to Doggie Dialogue


When teaching your K9 loose leash walking we recommend using one of Paul’s custom fitted training collars.


If your K9 has great food motivation and when you are ready to begin to train and practice your loose leash walking, we recommend for you to bring a treat pouch with some high-value dog treats.


Secondly, decide which side of the body you would like to walk your K9. For example, if you would like to have your K9 walk on your left hand-side, then keep some dog treats in your left hand.


Next take a step forward, then stop. It’s O.K. if your K9 doesn’t stay in the “heel” position at first. Reward your K9 with some treats from your left-hand and have your K9 in line with the seam of your pants. This will help you position your dog. Then repeat. Take a step. Stop. Reward.

When your K9 begins to eagerly look up at you for more treats, take 2 steps before stopping and “feeding” your dog.


If your K9 pulls ahead, stop walking immediately. Call your dog back to you. You can use the treats in your hand to lure the dog back to your side. BUT do not “treat” him/her yet, take 2-3 steps forward before feeding.


You want to prevent teaching a sequence of “if I pull ahead, I come back, I eat.” You want your K9 to learn that walking alongside you on a loose leash makes “treats” happen.


Gradually take more steps between each treat. You can also talk to your K9 to keep his/her attention.


When your K9 walks well on a loose leash, give a name or command to this kind of walking, such as “heel”, “with me” or “let’s walk”.


When you are finished your walk, release your K9, and you can say “all done” or “O.K.” and they will understand they no longer need to walk in “heel” position.


Should you need any assistance with walking your K9 please feel free to reach out to Paul anytime.

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