Teaching the dog to walk


Tanner after a game of ball

Today: Tanner’s first lesson in walking–not running, galloping, or bounding down the street with me in tow. Now with a very sore lower leg and a decided limp I will have to teach him to walk along side me. With the invisible fence  he can be out with us and play ball and exercise to his heart’s delight–lots of running and jumping wildly through the air–but the time for some training has come. The haltie I used for Fargo, only when we ran into another dog, was really effective in slowing him down and making him think, Do I really want to go crazy? I never actually attached the leash to it, just slipped the loop over his nose, as a warning correction. This I will try with Tanner as a first go. Then I might resort to a prong collar if need be. When I have him under control I can start some obedience work. Heeling is another exercise that I don’t want to confuse with walking along. At some point, after he’s adapted to all that is new to him, we might begin using the remote collar to really refine his focus. After all the obedience work I did with Zoe, and all of the truly difficult exercises I taught her, this should be a piece of cake. Techniques I learned from an expert are unique to each step in the process until it is mastered, so I realize just how the complexities should be broken down and taught one step at a time. Patience.

A somewhat cloudy day with peaks of sun may turn out steamy and showery later. There are two small shrubs to be transplanted now that the brickwork’s complete, and major weeding to get into. Water changes for both ponds are also on the list. Water Lilies, Water Lettuce and Water Hyacinths help to keep the water clear and healthy, but nothing works as well as fresh well-water run into the pond bottom with the hose while old water overflows over the sides.


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