Sunday, May 18, 2008

Kay Laurence: Walk Together, Learn Together DVD

This DVD was discussed on a clicker training email list that I subscribe to. The system is supposed to calm down excited dogs by walking in an oval repeatedly. After several times around, the dog begins to focus on the handler instead of all the distractions.

Unfortunately, my library does not have this DVD (nor any of Kay Laurence's books), so for now I'll have to rely on the description in the emails. What I've been doing is I start with an oval at the bottom of the yard. Once the dog is paying attention to me, I turn down the alley (where there are lots of scent distractions). As long as the dog keeps the leash loose, we keep walking. I have enough slack in the leash that the dog can sniff as long as he is right next to me. The moment the leash tightens, I immediately turn back into a new circuit (or if I'm close enough, I'll return to the old one). I figure that a half hour walk is a half hour walk, whether we spend the time completely in the backyard or we walk halfway across town.

This has actually been working quite well, and it's very relaxing to just focus on walking a circuit. I get into a meditative state of mind, and after a while it seems that the dog does, too. I definitely want to buy the DVD when I get the chance.

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