Sunday, May 2, 2010

30 miles in 30 Days Makes Loose Leash Walking A Snap

Fait accompli! Okay so I think I deserve a little slack in the fancy word department as a way to say: we did it! It is an "accomplished fact, something already done and beyond alteration." The fait accompli? We successfully walked 30 miles in 30 days. Challenge complete!

So I am a little full of my self, those of you who know me realize that for someone who is a self confirmed energy hoarding sloth this really was an accomplishment.

Many four legged lessons were learned. But my favorite thing was learned by Maizey. Not too long ago we started L2 Loose Leash Walking(LLW), and since I think Maizey was as determined a puller as our 90lb Alaskan Malamute, whom we will always miss, I was admittedly not too optimistic. Especially since this is what LLW does not look like:
"Ahh crap, I'm about to go turn around and follow you walking backwards aren't I?
You do know the neighbors think your a nutcase for walking me down the street backwards all the time?
Pardon me while I roll my eyes in disgust"

But the progress was amazing. And it is so nice to walk down the street and not look like a fool of a grown woman bing dragged down the sidewalk by nine pounds of girlie hair! So this is what LLW does look like:

But first of course we have the celebratory "pretty girl shot" before we start our last miles of the challenge.

On our walk I cue, "get ready" and make sure she is 'in the game' and paying attention.
"Get Ready? I AM ready crazymomlady! Lets Go!"

So with a chipper and completely unslothful, "let's go" we start off.
L2 LLW is defined as,  "a loose leash [is] a leash with the snap hanging straight down from the collar. If the leash supports the snap in any way, the leash is no longer loose." So that is our criteria. At close to perfect it looks like this:

Now there are two ways described to reinforce the LLW and I strongly recommend reading the details at Sue's Training Level site, but for purposes of our picture commentary I'll just comment that I chose the option of c/t when she is in the position I want her and while we are moving forward. I feel it gives a clearer explanation of, "Yes! You are perfect right where you are." 

The theory goes that a dog can be taught to know that when on harness it's "recess", so to speak. It's play time, with a looser interpretation of the rules. Then when put on flat buckle collar they realize, "Okay, class time! Time to have a nice LLW and pay attention to crazymomlady." It works great! By now she is getting used to the position I expect her to walk in, namely her shoulder at the seam of my jeans, and often times even on her harness is walking that way.

I think we are going to make her a new section, "LHW" for loose harness walking.

Of course this is recess so it doesn't always stay loose. But its okay.
 "WHOA that's some foot ya got there crazymomlady!"

In conclusion Maizey would like to say:
  "Yeah I know I'm the princessface and not only am I pretty, now my knees work I can walk on a loose leash 30 miles in 30 days! Ya, I rock it.!"


Priscilla said...

Yay! Happy for both of you! You'll be finishing your training levels in no time!

Marie said...

Woot! You girls rock! It's so cool that you've seen so much progress in such a short time frame. I'm sure to you, there were lots of days it may have not seemed to be progressing fast at all, if you're like me. But from where I'm two are doing great. Way to go!!!!

And a big congratulations on achieving your 30 miles in 30 days.

Cynthia Blue said...

Woot! Congrats on the challenge! :)

And that settles it, I'm sending Jet over so you can teach him LLW. :p

katie said...

thx everyone! It was exciting to actually accomplish something we set out to!LOL Keep an eye on us we have big plans for the next walking challenge.

Marie, I'm glad someone can see our progress.:) Of course I can always see progress in Maizey, but not in my training skills.LOL I'm glad the challenge was fun, thx for walking with us!

Cynthia, comeon, I think we all know Jet is too smart for me!LOL He'd be all, "who are you crazy-not-very-smart-dogtainerlady? And where's my mom?":)) Thx for the encouragement and for joining us.

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Lessons From and For 4 Legs has moved to a new address: Where we will continue to learn life's lessons from my little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel's, Maizey and Magnus. Don't miss Meeka's lessons too, by checking the archives of my big girl rescue Rottie. They all teach me so much!