I read on another blog, I think it was That Mutt but I could be wrong, that you shouldn’t try to avoid situations that your dog has issues with but should try to confront those situations and work through them. I’m paraphrasing obviously.
I sometimes don’t like walking Trooper because when we encounter other dogs he gets rowdy. Timber is the same way. But I realize that the more I walk Trooper and encounter dogs in various states of excitement the better he gets in his reactions.
If a dog is lunging (excited or aggressive) Trooper still wants to react toward that dog but with the choke chain and the sharp command “leave it” or “No” he isn’t trying to pull me off my feet anymore. Of course, an aggressive dog makes him get protective but he’s getting better at that too.
Timber, meanwhile, is also making gains in walking properly with his mama. I took him to daycare on Friday and for about 20 minutes went back and forth from my car to the door trying to get him to not pull on me. Finally the owner took pity on me and in 2 minutes had that dog healing and looking up at her in total submission.
I was very jealous. What was I doing wrong? I was being too nice!!! =) Which is funny since I’m the “mean” one of the family (mean as in strict). But I wasn’t being mean enough.
So more practice is necessary. My goal is to be able to someday walk both boys together. Without being pulled over. In the meantime I’ll be happy walking them separately without having a shoulder dislocated.