Fast forward three years ago when I went to school to become a dog trainer and learned how to correct train a dog to walk properly on a leash.
A bit of background: Six years ago, before I became a dog trainer, we adopted Ash. She was 2 at the time and came with some bad habits such as pulling on the leash. I tried choke collars, pulling the leash, all those old school way of dog training and none of them worked. I finally stopped walking her because I totally hated the experience. Perhaps she was not very fond of it either. Fast forward to 3 years ago, when I went to school to become a dog trainer and learned how to correctly train a dog to walk nicely on a leash. Ash and I now walk very much and it is always an enjoyable experience, although I often have to tell her to slow down as she is forging ahead. She will tremble a bit if she sees a squirrel, rabbit or other creature, but today she did not. She just stood there and watched a squirrel then looked at me then again at the squirrel and then again at me. Basically the conversation went on for a minute or two then we went on our way. Which secret form of communication did I use to obtain this amazing result? A clicker
On our walks before, I used a clicker. I have taught others to walk their dogs using a clicker. But I have never used the clicker just yet. I usually tell the dogs to just stand up, flinch, or to slow down to try to teach what I want them to do, and when they do it I click and treat them with a piece of food to reinforce the behavior they just did. But I did not just get the stellar results I had been looking for. This time, I decided to try something different. I closed my mouth and it worked! (My wife has told me this for years!
So I challenge you Teach the dog something without speaking a word. It’s easier than you think! Dogs don’t ever say our language, but they do understand our body language. They know what they have done right as long as we communicate that to them (with a clicker! And they will do it again if they are reinforced with something they actually like.
Go ahead. Don’t shut up and do it!