Find a way to stop Parker and Skye from rushing up to other dogs when they're off leash. Some places we visit are more like dog parks- there are always dogs running up to you and everyone is cool with it. Other places are more formal, and a barking-grumbling-freight train of a pit bull doesn't go over well. Sure, I could just leash them, but the idea is that they get to greet the dog off leash once they get to us. I'd rather teach my dogs to hold themselves back than have to do it for them. Especially Skye, who likes to walk ahead of me at all times. Of course Skye only runs up to greet when Parker goes first. Ah the joy of having multiple dogs!
Teach both dogs a set of commands that can be chained together to stop the madness. First, a command they already know- 'hold up.' This is the same as 'wait,' where I just want them to stop until I know what is around the bend in the bath or if the approaching dog is friendly, then they are free to move on. I added a long distance 'sit' to this because Skye tries to make her own decision about when 'hold up' is over. I don't always have her sit, since sitting in the snow is a punishment worse than death for Skye, but I wanted her to learn it just in case.
Second is the recall command. I use 'here' since Skye had a major aversion to the word 'come' when I adopted her. Parker comes to a whistle that I do, since I taught him way before Skye came along. He'll still come when I say 'here,' but it lacks the gusto of his whistle recall.
The last behavior was a new one for the dogs- an off leash heel. Since both of my dogs are terrible at leash walking to begin with, I felt like this would be really tough. But my trusty clicker and treats got me through it just fine, and both dogs were heeling for short stretches without distractions.
Oh, right. Distractions. Well, that is where we are today. I've been switching off the heel with sit-stay or focus, because Skye gets antsy when we're doing something for too long. Parker has also done well, but sticking close to me is more rewarding to him to begin with.
This was about a week or two into the training. I should say that this isn't daily training, it is 'as the mood strikes me' training. Some days I just want to walk my dogs, or let them romp and be annoying. Or I'm too darn frustrated by Skye's complete lack of attention to work with her. Is next month National Train Your Human month? Because that would be great.
A few days ago I brought the dogs to a spot that I had only been to a few times with a client. It is a loooooong canal with a path on their side. In good weather dogs can swim, and it is the 'go-to' spot in that area for off leash dog activity. Since you can see people and dogs coming from way off, it seemed like a great spot to practice. In the video, there is a lady with a dog on the other side of the canal heading toward us. I waited for Skye to notice the dog before asking her to hold up.
Later in our walk both dogs did a great job as an old sheltie came our way. This is exactly why I wanted to do the training- no elderly dog wants to be rushed by a couple of young hooligans. They stayed with me until I said 'you're free' and by then they were too close to get their running start.
As we reached the parking area, we were rushed by a big lab mix and a min pin who were extremely rude, but Parker and Skye turned the other