Friday, June 3, 2011

Still Working on Loose Leash Walking...

Oscar is still not very good at loose leash walking. We've been using the EasyWalk harness for a while now, and it works pretty well, but he gnawed through it recently (typical - and yes, we did Bitter Yuck it) so we had to buy a new one. We were using a size small for him, but it seemed a little snug, so we tried to find a small/medium, since EasyWalk makes in-between sizes. PetSmart didn't have any of the in-between sizes, so we tried a medium, and it was way too big on him. We had to try! We haven't had a chance to try to exchange the harness yet, so lately, we've been using the simple leash and collar. I forgot how much Oscar pulls! He's only around 18 lbs, but he's strong! When we took Oscar for a walk this evening, I figured I'd test out a trick I read about ages ago but never tried - peanut butter on a wooden spoon to help keep Oscar next to us, rather than pulling ahead.

The secret weapon!

He seems interested...

...but only for a while.

It wasn't too long before he lost interest and
pulled ahead while I stumbled behind him,
waving the peanut butter-covered wooden spoon.

It did help him focus on Sit, which
was helpful when cars passed by.

There are apparently far more interesting
things than peanut butter.  Who knew?

While this experiment wasn't exactly a rousing success, it did help keep him close to us more often than normal. I just put peanut butter on the spoon right before our walk, so he licked it off pretty easily and soon lost interest - I figure maybe because he had so much peanut butter that he just didn't want any more. I'm going to try freezing the peanut butter on the spoon the next time. Not only will it last longer, but maybe if he can't lick so much off all at once, he won't lose interest as quickly.

I have to say, we must have looked pretty odd, walking around the neighbourhood waving a wooden spoon at our dog. Either that, or it probably looked like we were going to discipline him with it, but I hope not! We're hoping to get the EasyWalk exchanged soon, but I will probably keep up with this wooden spoon thing, just to teach him to stay near us when he walks. Normal treats - even good ones like liver - just don't do the trick. The spoon is convenient because if he loses interest, it's easier for me to wave the peanut butter spoon at his nose from further away, as opposed to trying to catch up to him to wave a treat under his nose to distract him from whatever it is he's fixated on. Hopefully if he gets used to walking near us, it will become habitual and it won't take as much effort to keep him close. I don't want him to be a good loose leash walker only when he's got the harness on, only to turn back into a little monster when he's got just the collar on. I hope PetSmart stocks the in-between sizes soon!


Santa, Minnie and Christmas said...

The peanut butter on a wooden spoon is a great idea though it does look odd walking a dog with a wooden spoon in hand...hehehe...

I'm lucky that the girls are fine walking on loose leash because they prefer to stay close to me. My problem is with their "sit". They just wouldn't sit next to me! This is what I have to work on for our first obedience class.

- The Human

Oskar said...

That sound like a great trick, we're going to try that one out!

Nubbin wiggles,

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...