Lessons from Winston: leash walking

Winston was a rescue bullmastiff mix from the Animal Welfare League Hawkesbury Valley Branch. My inspiration to learn how to train dogs, the reason we moved to this property, my teacher, my partner and my bubba-boy. Handsome until the very end. . Our lives revolved around him for 13 years. He passed peacefully at home on Saturday 17th April 2021 at approximately midday.

Winston was all about the walks. It didn’t take long for him to start pulling me down the street, straining to get to the next sniffy-spot. It was classic opposition reflex, plus it worked to move me.

We put him on a head collar (a Black Dog Wear training halter) and practiced practiced practiced. It did take time to condition him to the halter, but being all about the walk he accepted it as long as he got to his sniffy-spots.

Once I learned the more subtle use of the leash as a communication tool, things improved dramatically. Walks became more relaxed. We practiced on the halter, harness, martingale collar, and flat collar. He became my demo dog and poster child, my proof that it could be done. Even with big dogs.

Winston walking with Mickey’s mum to demo the feel of leash communication

You can do it too. PM, text, email or call (and leave a VM), I can help.

🗣 shout out to Josh Moran, Chad Mackin & Tyler Muto for showing me the subtle art of leash work; my style is adapted from what they taught me. Thank you.

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