The past month since Riley has been granted more exercise privileges I have driven the dogs the short distance from home to access our local trails where they can run off leash. Riley's recovery is now allowing longer time and distances so this past week we returned to walking from the house to the local trails and then back home which meant the dogs actually had to walk on leash along the roads.
Isn't it amazing how quickly leash manners can disappear!!!
My criteria for on leash walking is actually pretty basic. I don't care if my dogs walk in front of me but I don't want to be pulled down the street. I expect them to walk politely at my side for a short distance (crossing street, oncoming dogs or people etc) when asked. I also don't want to stop every two paces for them to sniff or munch grass. That first day I had dogs going in different directions to check out whatever caught their interest and either ignoring me or just pulling me along with them.
Arghhh! I really wasn't amused but I suppose it was a message I needed to hear. Riley is getting stronger every day and the rules have been pretty relaxed over the last several months. I have said in the past that he was a dog that needs to be worked/trained and apparently that is something he has yet to outgrow as he approaches seven years of age.
A little bit of harness adjustments (front attachment versus back attachment) and a few days of walking with rules and reinforcement was all that was needed to slip back to our "normal" walking routine. I will settle on an activity for Riley in the next while so that we have the needed working time together to keep us "in tune" with each other. I might go back and do some rally with him or possibly tracking. We also tried an introduction to nosework seminar last week which could be a fun option.
There are no couch potato dogs in this household! Some days I wish for nice lazy breeds .... but they are good for me and I wouldn't change them for anything.