two steps forward, three steps back

That seems to be my pattern with Maverick

He seems to be doing really well with training, he’s understanding words, he’s responding to commands, we’re having fun with this and then bam – we go out to the field, which we do every stinkin day because it’s where he potties = and he decides to turn into the lead dog and make me the sled.

My part – I got angry because this kid is seriously strong and it hurts when he just won’t stop pulling. ** I think I yelled loud enough to be heard in NYC. I know, wrong move. At the moment, it was my first reaction to 5 minutes of yanking on me. I talk to myself, “don’t pull back, makes it worse. Don’t move, he’ll stop. Take one step when he does.”

So after absolutely not even a drop of pee was let loose, he started back to the house. One very slow step at a time, with him straining at the leash, relaxing for a hot second and right back with more force.

Apparently this frustrated him, because he turned and grabbed the leash and the tug of war was on. Again, my mistake – not reacting is hard to do when your arms are being ripped from your shoulders. The one bright spot – he did sit when I yelled that word! And then grabbed on harder and yanked even harder. By the time we got to the house I was in tears, put him inside, sat on the swing and cried.

And then I got my shit together and we went upstairs and he jumped on the bed and he has no clue that he behaved very badly 15 minutes earlier.

To be a dog and live in the moment. I reminded myself, before I came in, that he doesn’t understand English, didn’t know what STOP IT NOW meant – hmm, can I train that? – and will have forgotten the whole thing by now.

Meanwhile, we go back to some work on basics, and yes, he WILL go out to the field again with me. And we’ll both behave better.

**I will not use a choke chain, a harness, or any of the other temporary fixes. Tried them all with Max, they work for a minute.

This entry was posted in dogs, Maverick, puppies, training and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to two steps forward, three steps back

  1. When I was training one of my previous stubborn dogs the trainer recommended that every time he pulled I turn around and walk the other way in a swift fluid way. She said it applied just the right amount of attention getting while teaching the dog to watch you for clues as to which way you were going to go. It took time and sometimes walking only a couple of steps before changing direction but eventually it mostly worked. My dog got to view it as a game which he sometimes tried to lead. Good luck!


  2. 2 steps forward, 3 steps back. Now you’re doing the dog cha cha cha. πŸ™‚


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