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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19676
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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My dog heels very well but needs to stop and smell every tree

Customer Question

My dog heels very well but needs to stop and smell every tree bush, etc. It would it much nicer when walking her if this didn't happen. It is a female Bichon and maybe there is nothing that can change this behavior but if there is a solution it would be wonderful.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi JaCustomer, My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. I am typing up your answer and it will take me probably about 15 minutes to finish. I hope you can be patient.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
There is actually a lot you can do. The walk should be a fast paced walk with the dog right next to you the whole time. You say she heels well, but a good heel involves staying at your side and not stopping every few minutes as you describe. The easiest way of getting her to stop the exploration behavior is to make it worth her while to stay where she belongs and continue walking. Of course it also helps if you continue to walk and not stop when she stops. Get some hot dogs and slice them paper thin. You can usually get about 50 treats out of one hot dog. Since she is a smaller dog you might also cut the slices in half. What you do is have treats in your hand. Make sure your dog knows you have the treats. Since hot dogs are smelly and oily, the smell stays on your hand and keeps the dog interested in staying where she belongs and not stopping. As you walk along if she stays where she belongs for a few feet, lean over and let her have a treat while you continue walking. Do not stop or drop the treat. Let her get it out of your hand. This may be a little difficut given her small size. I actually have used a hand style back scratcher to "hold" a treat and get it low enough for chihuahuas and other small dogs to get the treat while we continue walking. Every few feet you walk, give the treat and keep the dog walking and fast. Gradually extend the amount of feet she needs to walk by your side without stopping to get a treat. If she mostly walks well at your side, you might start giving treats as you get close to places where she has stopped in the past. This will help keep her interest on you rather than smells and treats etc that might be along your walk. You should keep the pace fast so she doesn't have a chance to stop, but keep a place in mind half way through your walk where she is allowed to stop, walk around and investigate before starting back for home. This should take care of your problem. I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi Shirley,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Suki. How is everything going?

Jane Lefler

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