• Cindy Benson

Follow Blush’s Litter (11) – On Leash– 10 wks

Updated: Nov 1, 2020

#clickertraining #maremma #puppytraining #dogtraining

Leash work with LGDs is different than leash work with companion dogs because LGDs own the ground they stand on. Pet dogs are owned by you, so wherever you go they go too, and all is right with their world. They do need to learn to tolerate the constraints of a leash and harness or collar, but that’s it. For an LGD he needs to learn to accept that too, but his bigger concern is what to do with this new ground – what is his new responsibility?

Before I introduce leash training I teach my puppies that they can be safe in new surroundings, and that in fact these changes can be great fun! That is the first step. You have seen us teach this litter of pups that they can be confident in a variety of new places.

The first place I do leash work is in the interior of my large cedar barn, which is where their stall is in field #2. The landscape in the barn is very different for the pups because the barn is full of equipment and things to look at, and the perimeter is obscure.

LGDs always care about defining the perimeter, so this in itself is a challenge/concern to the pups.

Because of the strength of teaching a positive CER to novel stimulus, and tying the clicker to tasty treats, all the pups thought this new adventure was great fun! Some of them were grumpy about how their collars felt from time to time, but they quickly forgot about that in favor of exploring. To a one, every puppy investigated the interior of the barn with confidence and curiosity.

In the first leash session we do not direct the pups at all, and in fact the girls made every effort to be sure the pups never felt the tug of a leash. The Krysta, Marissa, and Kayla brought each pup out for ten minutes or so; the pups got to decide when they were ready to go back to the safety of their stall. I keep a dry erase board in the barn that I record training progress on. I managed the gate for the girls and recorded which pups had been out, in addition to tending my video camera.

In the next session we will begin to teach them that we have a destination in mind.

This seven minute video shows the highlights of this first leash training session.

Stay tuned for the next big changes....

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