Follow My Lead

I’ve found it quite difficult to train my bipeds to walk nicely on the lead. I have to coax them along very carefully. I should be able to tow my bipeds along at the speed I choose – I’m big and strong, it should be easy! I’ve seen bipeds being towed along, arms straight out and the lead taut, it always looks so delightful to me. Some very small dogs seem to manage it very well. I sometimes think I have the most stubborn bipeds on the planet! But I think I should take you back to the beginning, so that you can see how this came about and, hopefully, other puppies will be able to avoid my mistakes.

My first mistake was that I didn’t understand how important it was to train my bipeds to walk well on the lead. I initially refused to walk when the lead was attached and they had to tempt me with treats. Getting as many treats as possible seemed like a really good plan, but, with hindsight, I can see my priorities were wrong at that early stage. They’d managed to get the upper paw, quite sneakily I might add. I discovered the importance of bipeds being lead-trained when I had my first real walk and I set about training them afterwards.

This early training was mostly on the female biped, as the male biped had a problem with his ankle when I was young. I set about teaching her to go in the direction I wanted and at the speed I wanted, but she responded really badly! Every time I put the slightest tension on the lead to get her to go faster, or in a different direction, she would turn and set off in a new direction of her own as though she was in charge. This was so frustrating! I spent weeks doing everything I could think of. When I thought I’d come up with a really good plan – this was to pull and bounce as hard as I possibly could – she just stood still and refused to move at all. After a few weeks of these attempts, I settled for coaxing her along, with no tension on the lead, at the pace she liked – for the time being.

When I was about six months old, I decided it was time to move her training on a little. She could now walk quite nicely, if I applied no tension to the lead and I allowed her to choose the direction. I was much stronger now and I thought I could put my strength to good use. We walked a few hundred yards this particular morning and then I decided we should walk a little faster, so I applied tension to the lead. She said, “Clowie, don’t pull!” I didn’t release the tension as she was expecting me to, instead I pulled much harder. She tried to change direction, but I was prepared for this – I just refused to move at all.

She said, “this way”, but I remained on the spot. She then told me to sit, using a very firm tone of voice. She knows my weakness! So, of course, I sat. They had spent weeks brainwashing me, so that my first thought on hearing ‘sit’ is that I’ll get something tasty if I comply! She told me I was good for sitting and then asked me to walk. We took two steps, I pulled on the lead and she told me to sit. We spent the next few weeks doing what I call the sit-two-step. It goes like this – step, step, sit, step, step, sit, step, step, sit, ad infinitum!

I became so bored that I gradually did a few more steps without pulling, in the hopes of actually getting somewhere! We gradually made better progress and I resigned myself to coaxing her along at her pace. I’m sure this is what she intended all along!

Although I’ve failed in training them to walk the way I’d like, I have discovered that my ‘walking nicely’ as they call it has its benefits. I get to take my bipeds on lots of lovely walks and, sometimes, when we have a family day out I’m allowed to walk very small nieces and nephews on my lead. One of my bipeds stays close by with a handy supply of very tasty treats. And the cuteness factor of walking with a young biped who can’t see over my shoulder always gets me lots of attention and admiration from all the bipeds around.

See you next Wednesday!

88 thoughts on “Follow My Lead

  1. Oh the joys of “step,step, sit! We did this for a long time with Stan before he could walk well on his lead – with Tommy we are doing it now but for him it is about 5 steps before a sit so he should have us trained sooner.

  2. Me and Nellie do not go for walkies very often. We have a huge play area to romp and frolick in. Mummy says it must to at least an acre, whatever that means, so there is no need for Us to go on walkies. But when We do, We are very well behaved. Or at least We think so. Mummy and daddy might have different opinions. Love Nellie and Jasper.

    • It must be lovely to have such a large area to play in! Bipeds often have a different view from us of what is good behaviour.

  3. I have to confess that I was not very good on the lead to begin with. When Beloved first got me she was at the start of what was to prove to be a chronic illness though she didn’t know it at the time. It is just as well she didn’t know it or I might not have found her.
    Anyway, this meant that she was often too ill to walk me but I had a big garden. When she did take me out she didn’t have the energy to try and train me so I got my own way 🙂
    However, after a while I just automatically began walking at her pace and at her side and today she has to slow down for me so I think I am training her now.
    I think I became more gracious and understanding as I got older and of course having to train The Princess let me see things from a different perspective! I became the wise, well behaved Tibbie you see before you today 🙂

  4. I haven’t learn’t yet Clowie..I do the step, sit ,step, sit….I getz sooo excited, all the different smells and fings to see, that I pulls my Humon along at 90 miles p/h..bol Wellz it bitten mez in the arse…coz Humoms got a trainer coming in..Urh..and guess woyz??? He trains Police Dawgs..that’s myz fun over 😦 Have a great Wednesday.xxxx000xxx

  5. You are very wise, although you could maybe start teaching your little neices and nephews good lead manners – i can just see you pulling them along, you running down the road, them flying like a kite, i bet they would love it!!

  6. Well done Clowie you have done better than me as i still pull at break neck speed as it is such fun. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  7. Love the thought of you walking your nieces and nephews – you are a very sweet girl, Clowie 😉 Although the training went a little awry, it sounds like you all have worked out a modus operandi that suits you all.

    • Thank you! Yes, it does suit us all most of the time. I have occasionally managed to tow my bipeds, when I’ve been really excited and surprised them – it’s such fun!

  8. My humans are very slow walkers and most of the time I slow to their pace, I mean they are just frail humans who are getting on a bit (early 30s is ancient, right?) . But when I get excited, like when we’re going to training class, I can’t help myself but run and drag them with me bol 🙂

    • It’s nice of you to be so considerate of them, but they will take advantage of that! I’ve occasionally managed to take mine by surprise when I’ve been really excited – it’s exhilarating to tow them along, woof!

  9. Hi Clowie…..I too go for walkies with my Mom and wear my harness and am on a leash. I pretty much run the show though – we move at MY pace….I got Mom trained very early on – if she was going to make me suffer the indignity of wearing a harness, she was going to have to get used to my need to sniff every square inch of property within my radius! It makes for a very SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW walk but she knows the drill now! Training….takes time.

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy

  10. BOL yep actually think you have the better plan all in all, I dont get to go all the places I would like. I have my hu’parents mostly trained they walk at my pace but they still choose the direction. Had them on a work out today, time they lost some weight from the summers laziness days!

    • You can’t have everything! Or, at least, that’s what they tell me. It’s a bit cooler here as well – it’s nice to be able to get out for longer. We’re looking forward to some longer walks again.

  11. snoopys@snoopysdogblog

    Hi Buddy,

    I can understand your frustration with the bipeds, sometimes they can be very difficult to train, maybe they were holding out for you to give them treats? 🙂

    I remember when I was a pup and they wouldn’t be walking in line and I’d have to nip their ankles to get them back in line (luckily I had my herding dog instincts so I could keep my flock together!)

    Have fun,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

  12. Hey Clowie, Jet here.

    Loved this post. I think my biped is slightly better trained than yours. When JJ and I simultaneously pull, jump and bark, she holds on for dear life!

  13. I remember Buddy trying to train me, it wasn’t that I didn’t want to learn, I just didn’t want to be dragged into the ‘SPA’ (a big muddy & weedy boag). Luckily I had an expanding Leash, otherwise I might have lost a shoe or two. I do not recommend boags, they’re stinky, but maybe you like that smell. Good Luck with your training.

  14. Please give me some encouragement, I feel like I’m giving up with this lead training, it’s not moving forwards 😦 Backwards rather!

    • It took me and my bipeds a long time to come to an acceptable arrangement on this. I found it very frustrating and I think they did as well. Be obstinate!

  15. I’m too small to have much say when out walking, Torrey on the other hand tries to walk faster than anybody. It doesn’t work out well for her usually. She is learning that she is not in charge on walks.

  16. HooOOOOOoooooWWWWWwwwwWWWLLLLLLLL!!!!! So they had you doing the “step step sit dance” did they?!! That was very sneaky of them teaching you to do “heelwork to music” so very well without any treats and without you even realising you were “dancing to the beat of a different drum!” But not to worry 😉 You don’t really want them walking with outstretched arm at your command….what you really want is them pounding helplessly head over heels behind you with outstretched arm hanging onto taut lead for dear life, other arm flailing madly like a windmill as you hurtle joyfully into the sunset with them!! They won’t let go so it’s great fun!! Leave them with me for a week….if they ever got a collar and lead on my Wolfie neck, which of course they won’t, but for the sake of argument, IF they did lol then I will demo the art of taking bipeds for a breakneck speed run at the end of a very, very taut lead! It will be so much fun Clowie! I think you’ll be awesome at it when you take them back!! But Clowie the Cute with little short bipeds is a different story of course 🙂 The biped pups in the biped pack are always a special case so keep up the good work looking after them on their walks…the adult bipeds however….yeeeeeeee hawwwwwwwwwww!!! 😀

  17. You’re brilliant! You may just be chosen as Teacher of the Year!

    Love and licks,

  18. Great post. Made me smile!

  19. Urg, sneaky bipeds!!! I’m still in the process of trying to train mine…she’s a little weak when it comes to my cuteness, so I use it to my advantage! I pull, she stops, then I cock my head and look cute, with 75% effectiveness, I can get my own way! 🙂

  20. I’m not qualified to tell anyone how to walk on a lead, bipeds or otherwise. That’s because I REFUSE to take walks! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

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