Like most dogs, Danny’s got two masters. We work together on his training, and we use the same hand signals and words to get him to do specific things, like sit or shake.
But, it turns out, we differ in the dog walking department. This was a shock to me, since I am a seasoned dog walker and I have related minute details of the dog walking experience to Doug, whether I’ve just returned from walking Danny or a dozen dogs at the humane society. Turns out Doug’s got his own way to walk Danny. More shocking — Danny knows the difference.
When I walk Danny, I use the leash as backup. I think the ideal walk is one where I have one finger casually hooked in the leash loop while Danny trots along beside or in front of me, stopping to sniff or pee and catching up when the leash gets to a taut six feet. If I have to close my hand around the leash and hold it tight, that’s no good. And if Danny throws a tantrum or misbehaves, I use a short leash to keep him close to me as a walking time-out for a few minutes.
Doug keeps Danny close all the time. He doesn’t let Danny wander all over, back and forth, left and right, front and back, with a six-foot radius. He aims for a slack leash, but he’s more strict about where Danny’s allowed to go.
The amazing part is that Danny seems to know the difference. He knows what we each expect of him, and he complies with our different sets of walking rules. As long as there are rules to follow, and Danny’s been apprised of them, he’s generally happy to go along. Even if they differ between his two masters.