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Last year at this time I was walking the adolescent Galen and somewhat ruefully wondering if he would ever grow up. It seemed like every walk was a battle of wills or a game to see who could outsmart who. Stop-start-stop-start to remind him to leave slack in the leash. Digging in my heels as he tried to drag me into a yard after a scent, and then another scent, and then the chipmunk peering out of a stone wall. Luring him with treats to stay at heel. Finding the right balance of treats after I gave him too many and he lost interest. It was just hours of spending time with my dog, trying to get inside his doggy brain, and dealing with setbacks.

I realized this week I'm now getting the payoff from all our walks and training sessions. Now it's Ritter who is trying to drag me into the neighbors' yards. Galen is just patiently following along on a loose leash, slightly bemused expression on his face, as I try to install some brakes on the big lummox of a puppy. Occasionally I feel a gentle nose boop against my hand, reminding me I owe the good dog a treat too. Galen isn't perfect by any means- he is still as fascinated by scents and friendly neighbors as the next dog- but he's not the little wild boy from last year.
 

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Last year at this time I was walking the adolescent Galen and somewhat ruefully wondering if he would ever grow up. It seemed like every walk was a battle of wills or a game to see who could outsmart who. Stop-start-stop-start to remind him to leave slack in the leash. Digging in my heels as he tried to drag me into a yard after a scent, and then another scent, and then the chipmunk peering out of a stone wall. Luring him with treats to stay at heel. Finding the right balance of treats after I gave him too many and he lost interest. It was just hours of spending time with my dog, trying to get inside his doggy brain, and dealing with setbacks.

I realized this week I'm now getting the payoff from all our walks and training sessions. Now it's Ritter who is trying to drag me into the neighbors' yards. Galen is just patiently following along on a loose leash, slightly bemused expression on his face, as I try to install some brakes on the big lummox of a puppy. Occasionally I feel a gentle nose boop against my hand, reminding me I owe the good dog a treat too. Galen isn't perfect by any means- he is still as fascinated by scents and friendly neighbors as the next dog- but he's not the little wild boy from last year.
Nice !
Our Poppy is 1 year old, couple of weeks ago.
And whilst 'we' still tend to think we are on an endless journey with her, actually the truth is she is coming on leaps and bounds.
Walking her is at a stage now we could only dream about a few months ago.

The odd thing is sometimes, just sometimes - I find myself missing that little bundle of fur and trouble!!
I heard someone say once that they couldn't really recall their dog as a puppy....
 

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Last year at this time I was walking the adolescent Galen and somewhat ruefully wondering if he would ever grow up. It seemed like every walk was a battle of wills or a game to see who could outsmart who. Stop-start-stop-start to remind him to leave slack in the leash. Digging in my heels as he tried to drag me into a yard after a scent, and then another scent, and then the chipmunk peering out of a stone wall. Luring him with treats to stay at heel. Finding the right balance of treats after I gave him too many and he lost interest. It was just hours of spending time with my dog, trying to get inside his doggy brain, and dealing with setbacks.

I realized this week I'm now getting the payoff from all our walks and training sessions. Now it's Ritter who is trying to drag me into the neighbors' yards. Galen is just patiently following along on a loose leash, slightly bemused expression on his face, as I try to install some brakes on the big lummox of a puppy. Occasionally I feel a gentle nose boop against my hand, reminding me I owe the good dog a treat too. Galen isn't perfect by any means- he is still as fascinated by scents and friendly neighbors as the next dog- but he's not the little wild boy from last year.
I love to hear this, such a success story backed by lots of time and energy.

Beau will be 11 months next week and this gives me confidence that we’re on track to a well behaved doggo.

On the paved trail closest to our house where he started his leash learning and that we walk most often, Beau is almost perfect on leash. It’s really amazing and he impresses all the passers by 🥰. On any other trail he is still learning and takes a lot of start stops and turn arounds. So thank you for your story, I know we’ll get there too!
 
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