Right Hand Man

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October 9, 2014 by Julia West

Dash and I had another session of pulling practice with his brake line tonight and I think we made a break through. I worked on Dash initiating the pulling himself with verbal encouragement (no food lure). He did a great job, pulling down and back twice with vigor.

I figured out that he likes “Let’s go!” as an initiating phrase, instead of “Focus,” which I had chosen. I hadn’t used “Let’s go!” because we use that in everyday conversation with the dogs. I used it tonight out of habit and noticed that he responded well.

I noticed he only initiated the pull when he was on my right side. Given all the obedience I’ve done with him, you’d think his instinct would be to move with me when he was on my left.  I’ve never noticed a side preference from him before, but I’ll be looking for it now.

It’s funny, as much as we humans try to make the rules and draw the lines, we need to remember to listen to our canine partners – they will tell us what works for them.

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