Practice Turns on a Walk




Whenever you are walking your dog, they will be learning the little signals you consistently do, that help them to predict what is going to happen next. The more aware you are of your body movements, the more you can consciously develop the communication between you and your dog. This enables you to walk in harmony together, easily navigating turns and obstacles without the need for verbal cues each time.

In this exercise you are going to practice turns while walking. Turning away from your dog is easiest but you’ll also want to practice turns towards your dog.

Find yourself a quiet location to practice. Start by moving in a large square with your dog on the outside. Before each turn, slow down and be aware of how you move your body. You might step into the turn with the corresponding foot to the direction you are turning. Perhaps you point your upper body in the direction you want to move, or you might signal with your hands the direction you intend to turn. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it is consistent and your dog will start to respond to your subtle body movements and move alongside you with ease. When your dog is doing well, practice moving in the opposite direction so that you turn towards your dog.

Another setup you can practice is walking in a T shaped route. Sometimes you will turn left, sometimes right and sometimes you’ll turn completely in the opposite direction.

Practicing these turns in a quiet environment like your home or garden before taking it out to more distracting locations will help your dog to succeed, making walks together much more enjoyable.

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