Kathleen McFadden | Eight Second Walk

Eight Second Walk

June 22, 2018  •  19 Comments

Topper's the new door dog. She's waiting for you.Topper's the new door dog. She's waiting for you.  I screwed my hat down tight on my head then cinched the stampede string snug under my chin. 

One, two, three circles around my hand with the rope, I pulled it as hard as I could. I checked it and pulled it tighter.

A deep breath to center myself, then with a confident nod, "BANG!" the door flew open and we tore out as if shot from a cannon.


No, I've not lost my mind and taken up bull riding as a new hobby. I'm merely taking my dog, Topper, for a morning stroll. She's a bit of a puller on the leash. She's got more pull per square inch or torque or however you measure extreme pulling power than a tractor, more than an ox or a draft horse or sled dog. She could pull my car out of a ditch, which will be handy in the winter, but not so much fun for morning walks around the neighborhood.


She leans into it, pins her ears back, digs in with her claws, pushes with her hind quarters, never looks back or side to side, never stops to smell the roses. This is work for her, it's a job to get done. I've tried every "no pull harness/leash" combination ever made or sold. I've tried stopping every time she pulls, (those 45 minute walks turned into 2 hour ordeals.) I've pleaded, yelled, made annoying loser noises like they have on game shows when you get the answer wrong. I've clicked and treated, treated and clicked. Nothing works. I find myself saying, like a mantra, "Cutter didn't pull like this. Cutter walked nice on the leash. Why can't you be more like Cutter?" She hates that. It probably makes her pull harder.


A few times, I just dropped the leash and watched her trudge along. She realizes pretty quickly that I'm no longer attached, the extreme resistance is gone, it just doesn't feel right, so she comes back to me and waits for me to reattach myself at which point she pulls ahead.


We've all got places to go, things to do, but she's a dog. What could she possibly have on her schedule that makes her push ahead so strongly to get this walk over and done?


So, to all my dog walking friends out there who do not suffer regularly from shoulder dislocation and deepening frown lines, can you offer some advice? I'll give you a treat if it works. Click, click.




Thanks for sharing Kathleen. I have no good advice for this but I do enjoy reading about new puppy woes.
Carol Jobe(non-registered)
What at a blast! This just made my day! Really! It just made me want a dog! Batman and Sugarfoot (cats) are so "indoor",
but I know they look longingly out the window at pooches being walked every day. Do you suppose they make leashes
for cats??
Thanks for the fun! What a gift you do have!
Luv, Carol
Susie Gobbell(non-registered)
Sounds like a mission for Céacer Millán the Mexican-American dog behaviorist lol! He’s amazing!
I wanted to copy and send this to my nephew who is excellent at training dogs.... but I can’t copy and paste it to share with him and get his feedback!?! However, Bill Scully’s comments sounded spot on to me!
Bill Scully(non-registered)
Most, but not all, Border Collies are genetically engineered for 2 things: thinking and physical activity. Basically, they are intellectual athletes. If it involves running, so much the better, since every BC knows that mere walking is a waste of time. Suggestion: join a frizbee or agility or fly ball club. This will get her moving and thinking. It will give her life purpose to match her inner voices. Thankfully, they enjoy activity in co-operation with humans. Teach her to fetch. She'll do it like an Obsessive Compulsive and love every minute of it. It will be easier when circumstances limit your activity to walking.
Thank you for the glimpse into "your world"! We had a wonderful Border Collie in Canon when we had our farm....he was convinced it was his job to care for the livestock, herding them every which or way, standing guard over a calf or feeling it necessary to even accompany an animal if it left the property. He was a great dog, very sanguine and stoic, and when he died we all felt the loss terribly.
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Come On OverCome On OverHatch, Utah
This fella was really curious about me and my camera. In fact, he invited me to come on over to his house to visit a while. The barbed wire stood in my way, so we exchanged pleasantries over the fence, like old neighbors.

Mamiya 645 120mm
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