Walking a Dog That Doesn’t Want To Be Walked

Working with a young gun dog that still has some puppy characteristics can be very trying.  Often, these bad puppyish traits appear out of nowhere and quickly go away but sometimes, they’re a persisting problem.  My English Setter is one year old, and up until the other day he was not very good at on the leash.  He would pull so hard and most of the time, the verbal commands we worked diligently on did not work.  He pulled like he should have been attached to a sled.

english setter leashThat was before I learned about the loop around the body method.  By simply wrapping the leash in a loop around the dogs belly, you now effectively have control.  By gently lifting on the leash, you reduce the traction available to his hind legs.  As the loop is tightened, breathing becomes a chore and coupled with its loss of locomotion, the dog will become compliant.  Instantly.  Want to learn to heel or whoa?  This loop will make the dog do whatever you want.  The amount of pressure it takes to gain compliance is astoundingly minimal.  It’s almost like some kind of magic trick.

english setter chukarI’ve spent quite a few days on the bird farm recently and have gotten Pete over some chukar for the second time.  He acts differently around chukar and it is entertaining to see him get birdy right before striking a stiff point.  He even half way fetched one which in itself is a small victory.  He’s learning.  Some days are better than others but I’m staying consistent with him and he’s learning.

english setter pheasantI got to hunt over two good English Setters recently.  Gunnar, in the foreground, and Maddie behind belong to a guy I work with and they’re pretty impressive to watch work together.    They go on point a good way from the bird and don’t try and park right on top of them.  They’re professionals.  I’m hoping to get my dog to that level and it was very cool to see something to aspire to.  We will get there, and if not, it won’t be for lack of practice.