Building the Foundation – Walk With Me

There are generally two options when it comes to lead walking for puppies. You have loose lead walking and a relaxed heel walking. Loose lead walking is where your puppy can be where they like, doing as they like, as long as their lead is loose. This I believe should be our aim for the majority of our walks. Relaxed heel walking, I call this Walk With Me, I believe is great for distractions, busy areas or places like country roads. For this they walk with us, around our heel area. This is also handy for puppies that really struggle with Loose lead walking initially. You can teach them Walk With Me and then begin to relax this, falling into Loose Lead Walking. This works purely to prevent them learning that pulling works to go places.

Practice this in low distraction areas such as your garden first. Having two lead set ups or by using a cue word (such as ‘with me’, ‘close’ ‘heel’) to begin with, will come in handy to help teach them when training is taking place and when it is not. Once your puppy begins to understand your ‘walk with me’ cue, you can begin to use this out and about and then gradually build up through distracting situations. As mentioned before, this isn’t a skill for your entire walk, this should be something you can use while passing distractions or while walking through cafes or busy markets for example. I therefore advise you practice in short snippets along your walk in random places.