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Discussion Starter #1
What is the big deal about letting your dog walk ahead of you anyway. I've read the articles about how if you allow you dog to walk in front of you he will assume he is the alpha-male.

I just don't buy that theory, Harley walks in front of me all the time but he certainly knows who the alpha-male in our home is and never tries to challenge it.

The only time I pull Harley to my side is when there are many cars on the road or if I walk with my kids who take smaller steps.

Am I setting myself up for trouble down the road ?

Andy.
 

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Caesar used to pull really hard on his leash in front of me. He was basically walking me. We had a therapist tell us that Caesar must walk beside or behind us. That's not fun for either of us. He likes to walk ahead and have time to stop and check out "smelly" spots. And we like to watch him do it. He's a little bit older now (10 months) and doesn't pull on his leash as much anymore. And if he does, it's becasue he's really excited to get to something. If you look at the way most people walk their dogs, the dogs are walking ahead of them. And it doesn't seem to be a problem. We did try the choke collar a few times and I just couldn't do it anymore. Some say it doesn't hurt the dogs but I didn't like it. I don't think you have to worry. Because if you do, then I have a problem too.
 

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If Harley isn't dominant, you might be fine. I let Gage walk in front of me, and do his own thing (sniff, eat grass etc.) outside, and ended up in a situation where he thought he was in charge when we were outside, and that people were in charge when he was in the house. This is obviously not a good thing, since he felt free to try and drag me to places he wanted to go, stop when he wanted to stop and chase things even though I told him to stay.
 

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I remember Cesar's way mentioned about dominant dogs. He said do not ever let the dog walk out the door before you. Let him sit and stay, you walk out the door first then him. I tried that, I'm not sure it is working on Charlie, he still walks ahead of me with his nose leading, I mean after the door thing. But I guess the point is you initiate the walk, and they are the follower, and I am the alpha, I guess. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/confused.gif
But anyhow, it is not the alpha -male issue, having a sizable dog pulled is not a fun thing. My arms will hurt for couple of days for a petite person like me, it is not a pleasant walk. Harley might be very gentle on leash, lucky for you. :thumbup:

Charlie mom
 

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Siera, I totally agree with you. I don't buy those If you let your dog ...(please feel the blanks), your dog will be the Alpha.

There is nothing wrong with your dog walking in front of you nor behind you as long as he does not pull on the leash. Pulling is the problem, for your arm, and for your dog's treachea if on a collar and elbows if he is on a harness.
Furthermore, dogs who do pull are more likely to get out of control as they do not pay much attention to his handler, risking to make you fall.

Other than that, I would agree that the position by which the dog's chest is not to pass your knee when folded in a normal walk is nothing more than a convention. It does look nice though!
 

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My beagle walks in front of me most of the time when we are out and it's fine for both of us. I think once you've established yourself as the alpha, you'll remain the alpha no matter where you are, in the house or outside. IMHO, walking should be a time for fun and for more bonding. Besides, if we walked ahead of our beagles all the time, how would we know if our hounds were picking up things they were not supposed to? /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/confused.gif For me, having the hound in front enables me to monitor him easily. Well, I guess different methods work with different dogs and owners. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif
 

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I have the hardest time trying to walk Fin. He's always pulling at me and I feel like I'm choking him if I try to keep him behind me or at my side. What is the correct way to do this? He only does this outside, inside the house he listens very well. His dad always has full control of him inside and outside, but I do not. I figured it was because he sees his dad as the alpha and not me. I've tried following exactly what he does and he'll even walk with Fin and I to try and teach me but 'm not getting it. I definitely don't want to pull on him and choke him. Maybe its that I haven't asserted myself as the alpha enough.
 

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Lucky and I have been going to training classes and we found using a harness was the easiest way to walk him. He always pulls a little at first, but has learned to not pull like he used to. He walks a little in front of me but mostly beside me. That's how we walk because that's how we have to for class. I have mostly gotten him to stop sniffing on walks too. Of course, he will only do this for me and no one else.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Quote:Originally posted by LuckyBeagle:
I have mostly gotten him to stop sniffing on walks too.
How the heck did you manage to do this - I swear I think Harley's nose is glued to the ground both inside and outside the house.

Andy
 

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I took both my dogs through obedience, and consistently practice the heel command. However, I don't use it on every walk. When I give the command, I expect them to obey (beside me).....but I release them from the heel to sniff and roam on a loose leash either in front or behind on our lazy walks. Later in the walk, I will use the command again (and change my stride also).....just to remind them, like any 'child' that work and play are still MY decisions. Keeping their attention by practicing discipline seems to be helpful, since we live in town, and there are so many other dogs around.

P.S. I also use the COME command the same way. When they're out playing with each other, I give the command, praise highly when they come, then release for more unspervised play. I want them to know that obeying the alpha, is NOT just 'when they're in trouble'.
 

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I am so torn about letting Shiloh sniff-walk. Half of me says 'she's a beagle, that's her job', but the other half of me gets so tired of constantly stopping for her to sniff a bush, a leaf, a tree, the curb, the grass, etc.
 
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