Those of you handling smaller dogs will probably be able to remain seated. Some of you with larger dogs may have to stand. <gasp> Ideally, you can get this step done while sitting because it helps clarify for the dog that featherweight pressure on the neck is actually a cue.
Your goal will be to get the dog to turn in a circle using neck pressure as your cue. The way to get there is through several repetitions extending the distance the dog has to move to follow the pressure before the pressure is released.
The handler's job is more complicated this time because you want to keep the same featherweight pressure on the leash until the dog has turned enough to get a click, without increasing that pressure at all. For most dogs, this means your hand needs to move to follow the dog's movements. It's like playing the "sticky hands" game from several different forms of martial arts, for any of you familiar with it.
I do have an evil, evil solution for people who find themselves applying heavy pressure to the lead. Take a raw egg, hold it in the leash hand and let the leash run over the egg. Applying too much pressure will break that egg.
Not to worry, though, your dog will probably be thrilled to help you clean it up (eggshell and all).
How are those of you who have dogs who think a leash inside the house means "scream and dash around" doing?
M. Shirley Chong
Grinnell Iowa USA
Monday, February 11, 2008 6:57 pm