Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Problem solved.

Walking Juneau has always been a battle of the wills. She’s a pack oriented bred to pull stubborn little girl. Smart to the bone, but huskies aren’t known for their strict obedience. It’s that survival thinking that helps them live in harsh climates.

We first walked her leash and collar, but she’d pull and choke herself and sometimes throw up after. Not wanting to feel like I was killing my dog every time we walked, I got her a harness. But we quickly realized that we weren’t going to get this girl to heel. I mean, training overtime we went out, constant rewards and no’s, no luck. I finally caved in and thought of it as an arm workout. I had enough control over her where she wasn’t going to pull us into traffic or anything but if she saw other dogs and started at a run I’d usually trip along behind her before regaining control. I basically looked stupid while we walked and I’d find myself explaining to other walkers, “oh she’s just a husky…”

Here is our old leash, you can see the strain on it from her sighting some ducks. It also presses on her  chest too much which can be damaging. She’s knocked the wind out of herself before.



Enter the easy walker…purchased today and immediately followed by a feeling of “where have you been my whole life?” Perhaps it was our naiveness as new (ish) dog owners, but this thing is amazing.

Personally I think Juneau was trying to tell us something, because she went in her doggy basket one day and ate her harness. That’s right, ATE it. Well about a fourth of it anyways- enough to drag the ol owners to petsmart. We did some browsing and picked up the easy walker, the back of the box reading “great for strong pullers!” We were pretty skeptical since I’ve never seen any of the other dog park huskies or malamutes wearing anything but harnesses. I also hated that it looked like a muzzle. We sometimes get people that are afraid of her wolfish appearance and I figured from far off she might look more ferocious with a muzzle looking thing.

We gave it a go. Juneau hated it of course, but only for a brief while. We did a little dance together that looked like breaking in a horse to it’s bridle. Actually it works pretty much like a bridal. By a quick walk up and down the street the few times she had gotten the hang of it (and stopped trying to rub her face on the pavement). Nadda pulling and it’s easy to redirect her from trouble AND I don’t feel like I’m strangling her! Also since I trained her to know her left and rights (gee and haw) we had a fun time on our run. She knows  them, but on the leash/harness she wouldn’t obey. On the easy walker she paced herself with me and my directions kept us from getting tangled. It made our mile run completely enjoyable…minus the exercise part.



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