Loose leash walking
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, when l can communicate with a dog without a leash, l can take the dog to lots of places and enjoy off leash freedom with my dog.
For example, l can walk my dog in heel off leash on a trail when a cyclist comes by, before l release my dog to be free again.
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 my dog can respond to my body cue around distractions, l know my dog is much better at making proper decisions in the real world even without being constantly spoon fed by the human with “leave it”, leash pop, or food.
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 off leash heel.
When a dog knows how to walk without a leash and still remain in impeccable “heel” being very aware of his human’s body movement, this dog should also know how to walk next to his human with a loose leash.
This is not just something we do to show off, this is not about ego; this is an indication of a much deeper connection and how the human can be one with the dog even without physical constraint.
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.