Betty came to Suburban K9 asking for help! On a walk one day, Lucy’s excessive pulling on the leash, which resulted in Betty falling and breaking her wrist. Without a way to get Lucy outside, Betty had to give Lucy to her son. This transfer of ownership devastated Betty, as she loved Lucy and missed her company. Being on a fixed income, Betty was unable to afford training, resulting in the Suburban K9 Gives Back Program stepping in. Betty received ten in-home training lessons to help reach her goal of being confident enough when walking lucy, without the risk of causing another injury.
During lesson one, we started teaching Lucy how to walk in a heel. We wanted to work on the heel position, as it will keep Lucy focused during walks by giving her a job. By getting Lucy to focus on maintaining a proper heel position, she was less distracted by all of the lizards, squirrels, dogs, and people!
Today, we reviewed our heel walk and started to teach Lucy obedience. We also focused on Lucy’s sit and stays, so Betty could sit outside without worrying if Lucy will run away to other people. Not only did these obedience lessons help Lucy, but they also gave Betty more control in situations that she had no control over before.
With the heel walking, sit and stay progressing nicely, we switched gears towards teaching Lucy the down command. This command worked amazing, as Betty used this command more frequently on walks when they stopped for breaks at the pavilion and benches on the walking path!!
We are only on lesson four, and Lucy’s training progressed amazingly, so we started working on the come command. This command paired with the heel walk would help us reach our goal of Lucy of being able to walk Lucy off-leash. And, since Lucy tends to wander off towards those passing by, this will be critical!
Today we worked on progressing Lucy on all of her commands by working on those longer distances, unique distractions, and different durations. This involved practicing her sit stays in situations, such as watching the neighborhood kids getting off the school bus to practice Lucy’s impulse control around noises and commotion. She killed it!
Lesson six was another great lesson! We started Lucy on an off-leash heel using a long line at an area she was familiar with! By using familiar locations, we had more control as we had already practiced distractions training at those locations. By using the 50ft leash, we let Lucy think she had free rein, but in reality, we still had total control!
HOLY COW!!! Lucy has been excelling and killing it during the long line walks, so we started doing part of the walks with no long line! We walked/trained in new locations and started to test her around difficult distractions.
Today’s training was just a simple recap and a nice refreshing walk! Oh, and with Lucy passing all of her tests during parts of off-leash walks, we were able to start doing our entire walk with no leash!!! We are all so happy to see Lucy grow into a calmer, well-mannered companion for Betty!