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In February I talked about training my dog to be a therapy dog. My biggest struggle with this plan was my dog’s inability to listen to me on a leash. Since that post, Ely has made great strides towards loose leash walking and most walks only need a few reminders. The biggest thing is that the leash pulling is no longer there. He stays loose or goes up to the end of the leash, but doesn’t pull. GO DOG!

This success, however, is not enough success. Therapy dogs are either all or nothing. Even if he is in complete control, as soon as that leash goes tight, it’s over. So basically, I have only gotten my dog to be a good dog, not a great dog.

Today I had a breakthrough! I was practicing having him stop on a walk. Thankfully, he is really responsive to “Stay.” He looks at me and stops as I stop. It dawned on me that if I told him to stay and I kept walking, he would walk right by me and watch me. I tried it out for half our walk and he was AWESOME! We even walked by a very loud dog and he watched me and ignored the dog!

I’m so proud of my puppy! He is a B-average student. With a bit more studying, I think I can get him up to an A+ and then I’ll get the bumper sticker!

 

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