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Taking Back the Walk From Beyond the Leash Dog Training Psychology Guide www.k9pack.com By Dale McCluskey One of the first interactions the owner stops as the dog gains power within the relationship is the walk. The ability to walk or run with your dog is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences of having a dog. Getting back the walk is really about getting back power within the relationship. The direction a dog's mind takes is connected to the level of influence the owner has as it links to nature and the pack relationship. Below are some recommendations to help owners take back the walk. •

Do not use retractable leashes or body harnesses. An awareness of authority needs to be felt and communicated from the owner to the dog for power to be exposed and shifted. It is no coincidence that owners who connect with dogs on a more emotional level have more behavior issues and problems with dogs. Owners will adopt certain methods, devices and techniques that align with this type of psychology. A direct link can be established between this type of connection and unwanted behavior. Dogs are in tune to the owner's thoughts, feelings and emotions and interpret strength and weakness via this shared connection. Self-discipline of your mind is key with surrounding your dog with the type of confident and assertive energy which will help with this role changing process.

A standard leash and flat collar are the best devices to use as these align with the owner's mind. Wrap the leash up in your hand allowing approx 1/2 foot length from the hook to your hand. As you perform the leash flexing method a little slack is given following each interruption. This is to evaluate the direction of your dog's mind and gauge whether to increase or decrease application of method as it connects to the owner's influence.

The dominant dog will attempt to express power and authority during most interactions including the walk. They will either attempt to surge out in from of you or resist and stop the walk. If your dog attempts to get out in from either stop the walk and place your dog into the sit position or flex the leash to interrupt power states as they are occurring. If you dog attempts to stop the walk keep your mind in a "your coming" state. Do not drag your dog but rather


keep authority going through the leash with 2-3 feet distance in front of your dog. This can be compared to a tug of war with the opposing team getting the first man over the line. Any dog will come out of this challenge state if the owner's mind is locked in and the proper leash method is applied. This challenge state will diminish over time.

The distance you want to go is not as important as where your dog's mind is traveling. Getting in tune with the moments your dog's mind is separating away from you is very important. As your dog's focus shifts you need to assert authority via leash method.

If another dog etc approaches flex the leash and extend your influence over the other dog or person. Everything needs to come through you within a conditional state. During the first 2-3 weeks maintain a comfortable distance from other people and dogs are you are asserting influence. Position your body to decrease the line of sight your dog has on the approaching dog or person. Your goal is to tempt your dog's mind to become influenced at a level that you can interrupt. During this exercise your mind needs to remain calm and assertive which you use smooth and fluid leash technique. Over time your goal is to get closer and closer as your level of influence increases. You should feel that your dog has one eye on you all of the time. Every day your expectations need to increase.

Do not allow your dog to sniff the ground and grass during this power shifting process. This is connected with your dog's mind separating away within the context of power and influence. Until power has been shifted you need to increase your level of influence over your dog's mind. What you perceive as a dog being a dog is connected with empowerment as it links to the psychological.

Beyond the Leash - Dog Psychology Training Guide is available through my website at http://k9pack.com. I have over 18 years experience in the dog training field including numerous distinctions, awards and accomplishments.


Dog Psychology - Taking Back the Walk