Dog training in Sale Victoria and Surrounds

By far, the most advantageous skill your dog can have is to walk nicely beside you on a loose leash. I’m going to go one step further and suggest a loose leash, by your side and with the rules of no going to the toilet or sniffing. Hear me out here…..

So many problems can helped and even avoided just by doing this.

Dog won’t listen?

Why should they look to you for your guidance if they are making all the decisions on your behalf? A structured walk puts you in the decision-making seat. If your dog wants the freedom to sniff, they better be doing what you’ve asked to earn that privilege.

If your dog gets easily distracted, those things can easily be taken off the table just by insisting your dog remains in position.

Dog is impulsive?

Is your dog used to being patient and waiting for things? It takes a lot of mental restraint to remain in position next to you and keep control of impulses in order to ultimately get what they want.

Dog is reactive for whatever reason?

A tight leash is a major contributing factor for reactivity. In fact, without a loose leash, you will not be able to fix reactivity.

If they have no job to do on the walk (ie, stay in this position and don’t pull), what will occupy their mind instead? This will develop some impulse control and keep them more focused on the job at hand.

If you’re not providing guidance of what they can and can’t do in any given moment, why would they check to see what they should do when things get a little scary? They just react instead.

If your dog is not next to you, how are you going to be in a position to guide and protect them from the perceived scary things? And it is essential that you do protect them from the perceived scary thing. Advocate for your dog or you will forever be making the problem worse.

So, we can see how a structured walk can be beneficial, but I’ve heard that sniffing on a walk provides so much mental stimulation…..Agreed. It most definitely does. Sniffing alone uses 10% of a dog’s brain.

So what should I do? A structured walk or a sniffing adventure?


The beauty of a structured walk is you have all the benefits mentioned above by having the dog in position. But you also have the decision as to when, where and if your dog gets to sniff and go to the toilet. You just put it on command. For example, my walk command is “lets go” and my free to go sniff is “OK”. I reserve a “Heel” command for competition style heeling but this is all personal preference.

On a little side note, be careful of letting your dog mark around your neighbourhood. If there is any territorial aggression present at home, you will have not just extended your dog’s territory to the whole neighbourhood and there is plenty of examples of dogs running down other dogs in the neighbourhood for entering “their” territory.

What do you think? Are you going to give the structured walk a try?

If you’d like some help with dog training in Sale and Surrounds, why not get in contact with us at Unified Canine? Find us at or call 0400 113 273.