I've had a lingering cold-flu thing for about two weeks, so you can imagine, my walks with Elka have suffered. Well, certain other things have apparently suffered as a result. As in, the Doberman needs regular exercise in order to be able to access her brain!
I mentioned here, and here that we were working on Heel, and on loose leash walking. Really, we had a pretty good routine down, with our walk route, and Elka's behavior on the 4 foot leash, on the sidewalk, and on the 20 foot leash, at the park. Well. That apparently goes out the window if you've been cooped up for a bit too long.
Instead of being say, here:
Elka would start at heel, and then run ahead, so far as those 4 feet would allow her. I would say "heel", and she would leap bodily backwards into heel position. Rinse, repeat. Automatic sit? What's that? It just blew her mind that we were out! We were walking! Oh my God, WE'RE GOING TO THE PARK.
Needless to say, I need to get my act together, because this dog needs her exercise. Our walk schedule was a little sporadic before this year, but since March or April, it's been walks in the morning, all the time, and she knows that! So, was the mischief maker Elka, or was it my lazy butt? At the park, towards the end of our long leash time, Elka came back to me, without cue, and heeled. Just, y'know, for the heck of it. Once I put her 4 foot leash back on and we were on the sidewalk, we practiced heel both on the left and on the right (I normally heel her on my right. Avant garde, I know.) On the way to the park, she was spooked by wreaths hanging on a picket fence, where no wreaths had hung before. On the way back? We approached a person I know from work who has one of those rolling walkers, and Elka didn't bat an eye.