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L2-Topics      L2-Social       L2-FCC1      L2-FCC2      L2-A&C      L2-RP2      L2-WWM      L2-BG     L2-Week8


Level 2

Training the Family Dog



Cues and Games



Games from Level 1:

Movement Games and Movement Exercises Foundation On-Leash

Confidence, Focus, Arousal Up/Down, Engagement, Disengagement (Walking With Manners, Relationship)

Pick Me

Confidence, Optimism,  Focus, Arousal Up/Down, Engagement, Disengagement, Proximity (Recall, Walking With Manners, Relationship)

WWM Out & About

Confidence, Optimism, Focus, Arousal Up, Engagement, Disengagement, Impulse Control, Thinking in Arousal, Reliability

(Walking With Manners, Socialization, Relationship)



Focus, Proximity, Engagement

(Recall, Walking With Manners, Relationship)

LLW - Loose Leash Walking

Confidence, Focus, Proximity, Engagement, Disengagement, Impulse Control, Thinking in Arousal (Walking With Manners, Relationship)

Harnesses Shaping

Confidence, Optimism, Calmness, Focus, Engagement (Walking With Manners)

This game is on your socialization page at the bottom.


Orientation Games Outside

Confidence, Optimism, Focus, Arousal Up, Disengagement, Engagement, Proximity, Impulse Control, Thinking in Arousal, Reliability (Recall, Walking With Manners, Relationship)

Proximity Zone

Confidence, Focus, Proximity, Engagement, Arousal Up/Down, Reliability (when outside)

(Recall, Walking With Manners, Relationship)

Walking Orientation

Confidence, Optimism, Focus, Arousal Up, Disengagement, Engagement, Proximity, Impulse Control, Thinking in Arousal, Reliability (Recall, Walking With Manners, Relationship)




(Looser in structure, designed for the companion dog and not obedience/rally competition structure which is more regimented.)

Here is a proximity cue you can teach your puppy. It is called "Finish" (but you can use whatever verbal cue you would like), and it is to get your dog into the heel position sitting at your side. The video and instructions use the left side, but if you walk you dog on the right side just flip it. You can also train both sides and give each side it's own verbal cue.

Teaching your dog to finish is helpful for afew reasons:

  1. It gets your dog to the correct side beforestarting the walk and eliminates any leash pulling or "steering." This in turn can help to prevent leash frustration.
  2. It can help when working on leash pulling exercises.
  3. If you plan on teaching your dog to heel, this is a basic step.

I have included the link and the written instructions for you. In addition, the handout provides tips for working your dog beyond basics and get you started (if you haven't already) working with your dog in the heel position. This is all in preparation for teaching your dog loose leash walking and even a formal heel down the road.

Walking With Manners (WWM) Loose Leash Walking (LLW)


Having good leash manners is important. A dog that walks nicely on a leash is walked more often than a dog that does not. Teaching good leash manners is a long process. Aussies are high energy dogs and love walks, but it can be a challenge to teach them how to walk without pulling. Your Aussie puppy may quickly learn to walk near your side, but soon lose those manners once he enters adolescence. People in general walk too slow! There are many steps to take in order to teach leash manners, and many waysto teach your dog about the end of the leash. This video gives you a few techniques to experiment with so you have a variety of strategies to utilize.


Always check your puppy's collar and harness to make sure the fit is right. Puppies grow fast! Also check to make sure that you clip the leash to the "D" ring on the harness securely.

If your puppy is starting to pull hard, and you are uncomfortable, it’s time to replace the puppy harness with one that will help you better in your loose leash training. I highly recommend getting one with a two-point attachment (back and chest) and one that allows freedom of movement throughout the shoulders. (See Harnesses on the L2-Topics page)

Walking your dog with the leash attached to a collar or harness is your choice - but you must train and teach your dog how to keep a loose leash for the safety of your dog, for your dog's health and well-being, and for your comfort, too.

NEVER use a slip collar (choke chain), prong collar, or shock collar on a puppy. These punitive tools can cause lifetime damaging emotional effects on a young puppy and sensitive adolescent.


Revisit your Movement Exercises Foundation and WWM Out and About videos to initially train your puppy about walking next to you. Be sure to never pull or steer your puppy with the leash. This can cause her to resist and not move - kicks in a natural opposition reflex. The leash's purpose is to give your puppy a certain vicinity around you to remain in - not tophysically move her. These games can be played on and off the leash, and at home so continue to build necessary skills for walking with manners without the added distractions.


When out and about and working on LLW techniques, keep training sessions within your puppy's ability to stay focused without frustration, and then release your puppy out to sniff and explore. Then call her back in again and work some more, and then release her again. As she gets older and develops a longer attention span, your working sessions can get longer and longer before you Premack to free choice. It is important to give your puppy breaks - use a Premackcue!!! Walking with manners is tough and takes concentration - something a puppy has in limited supply!

Enjoying the walk needs to be for both human and dog. Sniffing is part of the enjoyable experience for the dog. But sniffing is within reason. Your limit to sniffing is up to you, but some should be allowed. That can be while you are woking or only on breaks. But never let your dog pull you to sniff something or your are rewarding pulling!

Have realistic expectations for puppies! They are still learning about their world around them and sometimes switching sides or zig-zagging can be coping mechanisms. Leash biting can be frustration.

Your goal is to teach your puppy how to walk nicely on leash, keeping the leash loose. This is not heeling. Your dog can be alittle in front, to the side or behind, on your left or right side.


I refer to this as Out and About for a reason - because a dog walk requires advanced skills. Your puppy is in kindergarten! So your out and about time, training walks so to speak, are practicing all the skill necessary for nice walks in the future. Now will not be about a destination or so many miles. I never venture far from the house walking a puppy. I don't want to be stuck far from home when the puppy decides she's done and is now having temper tantrums and we still have to get home!!

Walks Look Like This...

  1. Start with your pup at your side, sitting and looking at you (cue if needed)
  2. Step off and say "let's go." Note which hand the leash is in (see video). If "Let's go" gets your puppy to excited, don't say anything. You starting to walk will be the visual cue to go.
  3. Start and stop and practice focus - cuing Sit, Look, Touch and using Following a Lure when needed. Go for a short distance, like mailbox to mailbox , etc., utilizing the various LLW games.
  4. Stop, cue a Sit and a Look (if needed) and the release (Premack) and allow your puppy to sniff around and have a break. Give your puppy the entire length of the leash and follow her.
  5. When it is time to start again with structured walking, stop following your puppy. Stand still. This is now an orientation game on a leash. Wait for your puppy to orient back to you and mark and reward. Play additional orientation on leash games or Pick Me! games. Or maybe a proximity zone game. Teach your puppy it is fun to focus on you and that it is a big part of the outside experience.
  6. Bring your puppy back to the heel position (Finish, Touch, Follow a Lure... any will work)
  7. Have your puppy Sit and Look, and start again...

Walks need to be fun for your dog - it is important to break up the monotony of just walking with breaks and with games! And sniffing is a must!

Exercise with structure is important and needs to be balanced with free play. Walking out and about is a great way to do exercise with structure. It is also good socialization. Remember to practice DMT and your Attention Cues/Sounds while you are out. Play Orientation Games andthe Pick Me!Game, but on a leash. Practice the Look cue while walking. Capture forward focus and still in the proper position in proximity to you with the Proximity Zone Game. All ofthese games support your efforts in walking with manners and loose leash walking.


Orientation Outside


This is where it matters! This is where you need reliability in the behavior. And to get that, you have to play it when you are outside. This means more than your yard, though that is a good place to start. You will take this game and play wherever you go with your dog. I play it at the park, on "walks," when at the stores that allow dogs and that includes the pet store. You can play on or off leash.

Go outside with your dog! Play orientation games when you go outside with your pup - your pup will love this! It is so important to go out with your pupsand play withthem, and have that fun of play focused around you. Structured play is far more valuable than free play where your Aussie just runs it out (which they won't - they will always save some, just in case). Running it out does not involve you, your dog doesn't need you, and therefor that activity is not contributing to your relationship bank account. Have your pup use energy for the "team: and not for self-rewarding behaviors that don't involve you!"

If you are super fun and exciting, your dog will choose you over other things - like wandering off, sniffing, digging, etc. This game will facilitate the behavior of your dog turning to you, checking in with you, and maintaining focus and awareness of you. This is huge! Huge for your relationship and your value.

And very importantly, play this game when you go out and about.Empower your walking through play and teach important behaviors so that they become a habit, and therefore happen when you need them - like when you want to have an off-leash walk or come across a distraction. 

**NOTES: Never trust an adolescent! On the walk, Kia still has her leash attached, just in case! And I also have Doc there to help me if she wanders off too far. Be very careful when playing this game off-leash with a young and unpredictable dog. Be in a secure area for safety. You can also have your dog drag a long line to help you and give you better control/safety than a standard leash. You can also see from this video that I play this game not just with puppies, but with my older dogs. These games are for the life of your dog!

HAVE FUN!!! This should be part of all play times outside.

Walking Orientation


This variation of Orientation Games combines with Proximity Games to build proper behavior habits with leashed or off-leash walks and hikes. It also allows your dog to enjoy the activity and be a dog without losing focus on you. Ensure your dog develops good habits with orienting to you, orientating away from distractions, catching up to you when falling behind because something catches their attention, and remaining closer to you in general.

This is a great game to play in your yard, to teach your pup how to follow you and keep you in his/her mental picture. It is also great for perimeter work for out front or unfenced areas. Use a long line fro prevention and safety purposes. Long line should always be attached to a harness at the back.

Recall Bonus:

This also gives you an opportunity to practice a loose recall "Let's go."

Proximity Zone


Proximity Zone lies at the core of training a well-mannered dog - from calmness to recall to loose leash walking. It also works on focus. Most importantly, it will develop your relationship with your dog so that you are the best place to be and will be a place of security when needed - a must when working a pup through the tumultuous time of adolescence.

If your dog likes staying near you... they don't pull on the leash, they don't need recalls as often, they don't wander off...

You have already fundamentally established that being near you is a good thing with the Pick Me! Game, orientation games, etc. Now you can start working with more specifics with the behavior so the application works for a variety of situations and the behavior is strengthened.

Proximity Zone Outside


This game works on these concepts that are essential for every dog owner. Boost the value of you and being close to you - it's a great place to be! A dog that wants to be close to you is less likely to run off... other behaviors also become more reliable with the value of proximity (loose leash walking and recall to name a couple).

Teach your dog to maintain focus when outside and in distracting situations. Make sure to play this game everywhere you go so that your dog can practice in generalizing the behavior. That is what makes behaviors reliable - being able to do them under many different situations, environments, etc.

You played it inside, now take it on the road and generalize the behavior. This will take practice!