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Who’s Leading Whom?

To help others address their leadership behaviors, you must first manage yours

Louie has had an annoying habit since the day I adopted him almost six years ago. I cannot train it out of him, and I cannot coax it out of him. It’s almost as if it’s in his DNA and he seems to be clueless about this behavior.

What is the annoying habit? He walks right in front of me. On our walks, he usually stays beside me, but he will cross paths in a blink of an eye right in front of my feet. This is not only annoying but also frustrating, and he will frequently trip me. When that happens, I am then annoyed, frustrated and embarrassed because I tripped over my dog. I have to do a quick course correction, tug on his collar and move him back into position by my side. He looks at me with total surprise on his face, and I can almost hear him ask, “What?”

I decided to pay attention to what is happening when he steps in front of me. When he is on the short leash, he knows to stay to my left side as we were taught in training. Many times, I will put him on an extended leash so he can run from one interesting sniffing spot to the next. This is when we run into problems. (My dog training friends are nodding their heads.)

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