Q I have two beautiful Labrador retrievers and since I started watching your show and reading your magazine I’ve been using your techniques in the house and backyard with my girls. A few years ago I stopped taking them for walks because they were pulling me down the street; it didn’t matter if I walked them together or separately – they pulled. I now want to try to start walking again using your method, and I was wondering if I should start with them separately or should I just do both of them together? I’m also unsure if I should walk them both on one side or one on each side of me. – DAWN REID-SIMS
A The walk is the most important thing you can do with and for your dogs. The walk fulfils your dogs’ needs and gives them an opportunity to release their energy, so they can remain in a balanced state. It may be frustrating
that your dogs pull while on the walk, but it’s important to keep training and never give up. I recommend that you start separately with each dog. Be sure to master the walk individually, and then you can walk them together. Walk each dog on whatever side is your stronger, more confident side so that you can project a strong, assertive energy. If you find that she’s still pulling, try using a doggie backpack to help her release more energy on the walk. I also suggest that you bring someone along with you when you first start walking. Having someone there to keep you calm will also make your dogs calm.
And most important, don’t forget to reflect on the successes you have with your dogs. We often forget to look back on the positive points and only focus on the problems or issues we’re facing. Congratulate yourself and your dogs when you overcome issues. It’ll help you to continue making more successful moments.