Morning dawns, bright and clear. You’ve been up for a while and dressed – You go to the kitchen to make yourself a cup of early morning coffee. Fido greets you with wags and smiles. “Yes, boy, it’s a great morning for a walk!” Wags and smiles increase in intensity. You go to the cupboard to get Fido’s lead … and … reality bites. Fido erupts into a seething mass of excitement, spinning, snatching the lead and in between all this, barking excitedly. “Ok, boy, calm down – calm down – that’s a good boy. Stand still boy, let me put the lead on. No boy – let go. NO – LET GO! STAND STILL!!!” Eventually, red in the face and covered in saliva, you manage to grab Fido’s collar, clip on the lead, and open the door. Fido sees the gap and races through the open door, with the lead as taught as a bowstring and you hanging on for dear life, your arm practically wrenched out of its socket, and rope burns on your hands. He drags you as far as the yard gate, wild-eyed and panting at which point you are questioning your early-morning rush of blood to the head. Unable to face being dragged around the block for the next half hour, you give up, your “walk” for the day over, and make it back to the calm of your house. “We’ll try again tomorrow, Fido – sorry old boy I’m just not up to this.”
Does any of this sound familiar? And how many dogs are not taken out because this is what happens.
Don’t despair – you can teach your dog to walk nicely on a lead, even after months and even years of Fido rehearsing the behaviour (and perfecting it). It takes a certain amount of commitment and patience, but you can certainly get it right. You will no longer dread the pain and embarrassment of being hauled along behind a wild-eyed, gasping dog.
I will be describing how to do this in the next few entries in this blog.