Instructor: Heather Lawson
Are you tired of being dragged everywhere you go with your dog? Sore shoulders and back? Time to join Loose Leash Walkers Anonymous then and get started on a more pleasurable walking journey with your dog.
The class will cover:
- Basic Leash Skills
- Getting Outdoors
- Handling Distractions
- Management - Getting From A-Z
Let's give YOU the skills to teach your dog Loose Leash Walking Etiquette all through positive reinforcement and consistent clear criteria.
** This class does not address negative reactivity issues or prey distraction/chase issues. It also does not address working multiple dogs at a time.
There are no scheduled sessions for this class at this time. We update our schedule frequently, so please subscribe to our mailing list for notifications.
Registration will begin at 10:00 AM Pacific Time.
For answers to commonly asked questions see our FAQ page.
Enrollment limits: Gold: 12 students, Silver: 25 students, Bronze: unlimited.
If you are interested in a bronze level subscription, you can sign up at any time during the registration period.
The exact order is subject to change
- Criteria: Distance, Duration, Distractions & Paycheques
- LLW, Heeling & FreeWalks Definitions
- Standing Still - But This Is Supposed To Be LLW
- Leash As A Guide - Learning to Release Leash Pressure
- Who Me? Playing the Name Game
- The Magical Wand - The Mysteries of the Hand Target
- Home Grown Skills - Creating the RZone
- Turns & Twirls & Directional Dances
- Leave It, Drop It & Trade It - Dropping Disgusting Stuff
- Greetings Without Greetings
- Ready Set Re-Set: 3 Steps or More Reset Jig
- Connect the Dots: Reminding The Human To Pay Out
- Go Check It Out - Taking A Sniff Break - The Dog Not You!
- Inserting Distractions: Not Your Circus - Temptation Alley
- LLW Skills - Bit 'n Pieces Put Together
- Making Your LLW An Adventure - Ups/Downs - Adding Variety
- Managing A Polite Passing
No prerequisites required although a basic understanding of clicker training along with a basic hand target, sit and wait cue would serve you well.
- Treat pouch
- Flat buckle or Martingale collar or Front Attachment Harness (your choice)
- 6ft leash & 10+ ft. long line (for Free-Walks)
- Variety of tasty MEGA high-value treats (those $10,000 value ones your dog absolutely loves)
- 18+ cones or markers (if available to you)
Lectures 1.3 Loose Leash Walking Skills: The 3 Step Jig (Re-set skill)
We've already started some of the LLW foundation behaviours with the HAND TARGET (having our dogs follow our hand) and introduced the concept to our dogs that if they followed us and ended up in the reinforcement zone (at heel) they would get paid. Now we're going to take the HAND Target and use it as a calm non-jumping way to both help our dogs stay by our side and as a means to reset our dogs should they become too distracted and decide they're going to just charge ahead of us.
We going to first use our hand target to draw our dogs back towards us while taking 3 backward steps. Then have them turn and follow our hand as we move 3 steps forward. Moving backward gives our dogs a different picture than if we were to just turn around and start all over again. Backing up helps to re-orient and re-focus them to us and to re-direct to correct position without physical force. In this lesson, we won't be adding any real LLW forward movement. We need to develop your 3 step reset skills first before we add the difficulty of going full forward. Generally, a 3 step reset works well for most dogs however some dogs may initially need you to take more than 3 steps to reset. If this is the case with your dog, then, by all means, use more steps but then quickly get down to just 3 steps.
We will be adding the leash into the picture. For the purpose of this lesson, I will assume you are walking your dog on your left but by all means walk your dog on whichever side is comfortable for you. You will also be working in as non-distracting an environment as possible to start. Note we do not have a verbal cue just yet. Later when we add forward movement, we can take advantage of our environments such as walls or hallways to help keep our dogs in position.
Tools: Leash, clicker & treats
Assuming dog on your left: You will be holding the leash, clicker and even the treats all in your right hand. If you have difficulty holding everything, you can opt to use a verbal marker and/or put treats in a treat pouch at the center of your body. Whichever way you choose, remember that both of your hands will always remain at and return to home base (your belly button) when they're not in use either as a target hand or a food reward hand. You will hold your hands at Home Base unless using as a hand target and you will feed the treat at the RZ.
It looks like this:
Here is one example of holding the leash. Place handle over wrist then loop leash over fingers - treats are in your palm - Close your hand. If this method of holding your leash doesn't appeal to you try looping the end of the leash loop over your thumb and then take up the slack by looping the leash again over your thumb and closing your grip.
Part 1 - Starting 3 Steps Backwards
1. With the dog on a leash standing in front and facing you, begin to click and treat 5-10 times to help prompt them to turn their attention to you.
2. Now place a treat in your left palm and cover it with your thumb. Present this treat hand (hand target) to your dog's nose, palm flat and thumb over treat palm facing toward the dog.
3. As you take 3 steps backward lure your dog in a straight line well past your left leg.
4. Click and treat in position (past your left leg) on the 3rd step.
5. Either turn and face your dog for the next rep or lure your dog around to your front and REPEAT Steps 1-4 at least 5X or more before moving to Part 2 - we want you to be able to do this without thinking about it.
Part 2 - Adding the 3 Steps Forward
1. Now, instead of clicking on the 3rd backward step, you're now going to TURN your wrist so that your thumb is against your leg (palm to dog's muzzle) behind you. Your dog should naturally follow this movement if you keep your hand on his nose like a magnet and draw him far enough past your left leg so he can easily turn.
2. Take 3 steps forward and click and treat on the 3rd step at RZone.
3. REWARD ZONE: Make sure to deliver the treat at your left leg regardless of where your dog is. It is his job to be or get into position. As a reminder to yourself, place your thumb up against the seam of your left leg. This will ensure your reward hand is always in the correct spot.
4. REPEAT the sequence of 3 steps backward/forwards for 5 or more reps. If you can do this without thinking about it and your dog is coming into heel position at the RZone and not out of position (is parallel to you) then move to Part 3
Part 3 - Adding 1 Step Forward
Here's where we start to add 1 step forward BEFORE we do the 3 Step Backwards/Forwards Jig. Remember ONLY a 1 step forward please in the beginning.
1. With the dog parallel to you on your left side, present Hand Target w/lure (thumb facing the dog's nose) take a 1 step forward
2. Turn your wrist, turn the dog so they're now facing you and take 3 steps backward
3. Turn wrist and take 3 steps forward
4. Click and Treat at REWARD ZONE
5. Repeat the sequence 1 thru 4, 5 more times
6. Gradually increase the number of steps you go forward to a max of 3 before doing the 3 Steps Backward/Forward Jig.
Keep in mind this is not about continuing forward for any great length just yet, this is about teaching our dogs a distraction/pulling reset cue.
Adding The reset CUE
Only when you've got a smooth transition of going forward, 3 steps backward - 3 steps forward again will you add the cue. You will add your dog's name with the cue as an added attention getter in the beginning stages. My cue for resetting my dogs if they decide to charge ahead is "The Dog's Name, This Way" and my hand target is simultaneously presented for them to follow as I immediately start the 3 step reset.
1. Start with hands at home base.
2. Take 1-3 steps forward, say dog's name and your cue "this way", extend target hand as the dog turns towards you.
3. Take 3 steps backward, turn wrist and take 3 steps forward
4. Click and treat at your RZ (seam of your pants)
5. Repeat the sequence of steps 1-4, 5 X or more.
6. Any time your dog charges ahead call their name and give your "this way" reset cue to bring them back into position.
Here we added the reset cue of "This Way" and the 1 step forward movement. Add your dog's name before the reset cue as an added extra prompt.
If your dog charges ahead after each reset try pausing after doing the 3 back-3 forward reset, count to 2 and C/T 3+ times for your dog remaining with you and then step out again.
Try putting a treat to your dog's muzzle as you make your first step, release the treat and quickly do your next C/T. This buys you a little time to help keep the "energizer bunny" with you and not charging ahead.
A SAMPLING OF WHAT PRIOR STUDENTS HAVE SAID ABOUT THIS COURSE ....
This class gave me so much more confidence that I will eventually have a dog I can take out in public.
Heather did a beautiful job with the class materials. The videos and lectures were very clear. I especially liked the pace of the class. Just enough material was presented to allow you to practice and actually get it.
Feedback was very prompt and detailed. One note: Heather uses frequently the name of your dog, rather than "your dog." What a difference that makes! Not all instructors and in-person trainers do that. It really helps to establish a connection. As important or more important perhaps that using my name.
Great Class! You are very supportive. Wish I had taken gold level.
Heather, you've done a fabulous job of helping me feel more confident in my ability to work with my pup and help him be able to manage in the real world. Looking forward to continuing with Hound About Town class.
I was so glad to take this class. Heather is a marvelous teacher. Although my dog has a lot of “skills,” she loses focus when we are out walking and sometimes just loses her mind. Before this class, she loved to throw all her weight to the end of the leash to get to a bush or a pole. Heather was clear that the class was not specifically meant for reactive dogs, yet the moves that we worked on have given me a lot more confidence in handling her. And she is responding as well. She is walking beside me nicely most of the time after this six-week session. Our connection has grown stronger. Heather’s lectures build on each other nicely. The perfect amount of material was introduced. I could actually complete the work and practice it without being overwhelmed. Heather’s responses to our posts were prompt, detailed and thoughtful. She is extremely supportive, and I always came away feeling good and pleased with our work even though she often had suggestions to help us improve. - Sandy H
I went from being unable to walk my dog to being able to make it down the street in a relaxed manner. Heather was extremely patient with me and helped me through all of the stumbling blocks I encountered with my overly excited Giant puppy.