Lazy Ask... help me walk my dog?
Don't feel like researching this at the moment, because I'm way lazy, so if you know how to go about this off the top of your head, let me know... →
As Sky gained more confidence with us, she eventually became quite demanding while on walks about being able to sniff everywhere, even sort of "digging in" when we told her to come along. It was getting to the point where it was becoming unpleasant to go on walks with her, because she was straining at the leash to go smell every peepee everywhere, and that's a lot of peemail!
SO, I started training her to "heel" - just on my own. I only started a couple of days ago, and she's almost perfect now. Whenever she strains at the leash, I just stop, and if she looks like she's not paying attention I pull her up, by me, so she's by my feet, and as we start walking again, I say "walk with me" (but in a slightly sing-songy distinctive way), and I praise her all the time that she walks right by me with the leash held loosely. If she looks like she wants to go check something out, I remind her to "walk with me", and I praise her when she does.
And she's got it! She's doing great. Almost perfect. But now I want to be able to let her go sniff and explore a little bit occasionally, since that's her great joy. I want to give her a signal that she can go smell around a bit while I wait - and then when I say "walk with me" again, it's time to stop doing that and go ahead as usual (not straining or pulling, not stopping to sniff).
I'm not sure how to approach this bit, since I don't want to confuse her training so far. I've only decided that the words for that will be "go see". But if I tell her to "go see" at the moment she looks like she's considering whether she should go sniff that tire (as opposed to reminding her to walk with me), is this okay?
Or should I just give her this signal somewhere where I'm pretty sure (from past experience) that she would want to sniff?
The thing that worries me is that the halting to tell her to "go see" and allow her to do that, might be confused for the stopping I do when she's misbehaving - and I don't want to create doubt about what's good and bad, and make it all seem arbitrary.
Have you done this training successfully before? How did you approach it?