What is the practical aspect of loose leash walking? Is it just to show off? Is it just a matter of ego?
When l can walk a dog off leash and communicate with a dog without constant leash tension, l can take the dog to a lot more places and enjoy a lot more fun and freedom with my dog.
When l can have such a connection with my dog, l am a lot more relevant to my dog than someone who needs to constantly correct the dog to stay in heel with a very short leash.
When a dog will choose to follow and stay in a particular position on his own next to the human around distractions, you know this dog is much more engaged in his human than his surrounding and the human is a very relevant being to this dog.
Loose leash walking is a by product of engagement.
When a dog knows how to walk without feeling any leash tension and still chooses to remain very aware of his human’s body movement, this dog is engaging in his human more than the surrounding even without any physical restraint or command or food from the handler. This is when the dog and the human are deeply connected.
Loose leash walking is not just something we do to show off; being able to do so is an indication of a deep connection between the dog and the human.
It is an indication of a high standard of training, but most importantly, an indication of a very engaged and motivational relationship between the dog and the human that all owners and trainers should strive to achieve.
Hope this makes sense.