Choosing your battles!
I would say that over 90% of owners want to be able to achieve loose lead walking and constantly have the problem of being taken for a walk by their dog rather than taking their dog for a walk.
We have to take our dogs out once or twice a day for a walk and for most of us that will mean using a lead for part of those walks, so our dog should be an expert in walking nicely on a lead, so why are so many owners still struggling?
Most of the time it is because of inconsistency!
Days that are not on a time schedule are days when you have time to practice keeping your dog on a loose lead by stopping and waiting for the dog to reconnect with you and rewarding for correct positioning and then continuing. Days you only have a set amount of time and you think that they just need to get to the park or field to have a run off lead, are the days when your dog gets to pull you where ever they wish to go, dragging you from one smell to the next.
Therefore no lead walk is consistent.
Whilst dogs do need to be able to run free, it does not need to be everyday! Some days they can work their brain instead and this can be done on lead and in a shorter period of time as mental stimulation is far more tiring than physical. So when you are on a time schedule use that time to practice fun activities on lead, such as searching for treats or a toy in long grass, weaving in and out of bollards or trees and bushes, how quick can we get a down or sit (think musical bumps), How does this help with loose lead work I hear you ask, well if you have fun together when your dog is on lead and work with them to achieve things, why would they want to be anywhere else!
Obviously you still need to work on basic heelwork to get them to walk consistently with a loose lead but that can be practiced when you have those days with more time.
So choose your battles wisely and when you have time.
I do 121 sessions and will be running workshops soon on tricks and games that you can do on lead, when out and about on your walks or just at home.