Purchase required to use this site. In using this training site, you agree to the privacy policy: This is for member use only. Please do not share, copy, post, forward or otherwise distribute the link, URL address, or any of the material from this site without written consent from Limitless Pawsibilities. This includes the descriptions, infographics, photos, videos, video links, and all written material.

© 2020 Limitless Pawsibilities

All Rights Reserved

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

L3-Topics      L3-Social       L3-DIS      L3-NRG      L3-ART      L3-STAY      L3-WWM      L3-GO!


Level 3

Working with the Ultimate Companion


L3-WWM - Walking With Manners

Level 3 Games to Fine Tune Walks


Walk With Games

Reactivity and Stacking



Heel Basics

Confidence, Focus, Proximity


Heel Basics Outside

Confidence, Focus, Proximity, Impulse Control (Relationship)


Target Walking

Focus, Disengagement, Engagement, Proximity, Impulse Control, Tolerance of Frustration, Thinking in Arousal (Walking With Manners, Loose Leash Walking)

Orientation Distractions Basics

Confidence, Focus, Arousal Up, Disengagement, Engagement, Proximity,  Impulse Control, Tolerance of Fristration, Thinking in Arousal (Recall, Walking With Manners, Relationship)

Magic Hand

Confidence, Focus, Engagement, Proximity, Thinking In Arousal (Walking With Manners, Loose Leash Walking, Relationship)

Proximity Magnet

Confidence, Focus, Engagement, Proximity, Impulse Control (Recall, Walking With Manners, Loose Leash Walking, Relationship)

Proximity Magnet Outside

Confidence, Focus, Engagement, Proximity, Impulse Control, Reliability (Recall, Walking With Manners, Loose Leash Walking, Relationship)  


Fine Tuning

Confidence, Focus, Disengagement, Engagement, Proximity, Impulse Control, Thinking in Arousal

(Walking With Manners, Loose Leash Walking, Relationship)

Orientation Real-Life

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

Emergency U-Turn

Confidence, Focus, Disengagement, Engagement (Relationship)

Giving In to Leash Pressure

Focus, Disengagement, Proximity, Impulse Control, Thinking in Arousal (Walking with Manners, Loose Leash Walking)

also included...

5 Games for Focus

Confidence, Focus, Disengagement, Engagement, Thinking in Arousal (Relationship)


Why Playing Games, And Not Just Walking, Is So Critical

Below is a video for an example as to why playing these games when out and about makes a huge difference with your pup - a glimpse into the future... Walking isn't just about keeping a leash loose and staying on one side - it's requires so much more. And a huge part of success is your dog having good focus, a good foundation on all the skills and concepts needed for walking with manners, and knowing how to handle distractions. Every walk is a training opportunity. Just walking and keeping the leash loose is only one small piece. There is so much more! And all of my games will teach the behaviors you will need for when something comes up, which it will. Then, because you played your games while walking, your dog has the behaviors down and you will have a better response when you need it. Games also break up the monotony of walking, which is very boring for puppies and young dogs!

- - Walk with Games - -

There are a number of variations on orientation. Do each one of them! By breaking this behavior down into various steps and creating reliability with each one, this behavior will be automatic for real life situations down the road! I can't stress enough how important this simple behavior truly is!

Now we’re are expanding on the Basic Orientation Game and putting them on leash and out and about. It is important to generalize the behavior so your dog gets used to offering it while on leash (to support loose leash walking in the future) and when working recall and dealing with distractions down the road.

This step is crucial to your route to success! How wonderful is it going to be if you have a dog that automatically turns to you when she gets to the end of the leash? Or when she gets a little too far away and automatically comes back to you? Or she sees or hears something interesting, or exciting - a high value distraction and instead of trying to go to it, she goes to you instead? This is part of the solution - orientation games - for all of these scenarios.

Step by step concept learning for the end goal in your dog knowing how to manage her own behavior.

Socializing the Adolescent

Socialization is ongoing. Adolescent dogs go through random fear days - where things that they didn't react to as puppies, all of a sudden seem to throw them off. Sometime a response you weren't expecting can be a fluke; your dog was just caught off guard. But if the same reaction happens again to the same thing, you will want to put a plan into action to help your dog work through the situation. This is being proactive in your approach to training. It is a necessary compenent when helping a young dog get through the turbulent time of adolescence. I take a proactive approach immediately - one negative response to something, especially dogs or people, and I am back to DMT Level 1 right away.

Sometimes It Feels Like "One Step Forward, Two Steps Back…"

Sometimes you have to go back a few steps in training to make forward progress in the future. Trainers call this "going back to kindergarten." We do this when teaching cues and mistakes are being made by the dog. This strategy also applies to socialization. Returning to just the observation stage of socialization can help an adolescent gain back the needed confidence to get through a situation again.

  • DISTANCE - Remember that your first order of business, if your adolescent reacts to something, is to get some space (Emergency U-Turn is for this purpose). Get farther away so that your dog feels safe and feels less pressure. Distance can also be part of the reward with DMT (Combine DMT with the Emergency U-Turn).
  • DMT - work through it with DMT. Consider what level your dog is at with different distractions (level 3, 2 or 1). This can vary from day to day and is also dependent on your dog's bucket at thatmoment in time. It never hurts to starts early, maybe even before your dog sees the distraction. How often you feed (rate or quickness) will vary depending on the distraction and the situation. Sometimes feeding multiple small pieces of food will help keep your pup focused on you.
  • USE YOUR GAMES! - you have a ton of games at your disposal now to help your dog work through distractions. Experiment and see which ones work best. Different games may work for different situations. Magic Hand (or just simple catching), Orientation games, Proximity games, Toy Switching (tug), Middle, Reverse (in LLW), etc. Don’t hesitate to combine games together - like Emergency U-Turn, Tug and Reverse, or Magic Hand, Proximity Zone or Middle, and DMT.
  • WHEN IN DOUBT, PUNT - don't feel you have to stay out. Sometimes it is best just to do a u-turn and head home. Play games at home and take the pressure off your dog. Stress can stack and make things worse. It can takeup to 72 hours for the stress hormone, Cortisol to leave the system. Cortisol will affect behavior. Quiet days at home might be just what your dog needs to empty the bucket and have better-coping skills for another day.

The best way to handle things is to address them right away, don't wait or hope that it will just go away. And don't wait to see if your dog will react, be proactive and assume he will and start training before the unwanted behavior happens.

Reactivity and Stacking

Reactivity is a good thing when your dog responds to you. But responding to the environment can be another matter. That is why DMT and observation are your primary steps with socialization. They both buid focus onto you and not the environment. But, there comes a time when distractions can begin to affect a dog. They induce emotions that can be quite intense. Typically this happens during the adolescent stage when hormones are fluctuating and unstable, but it can happen at any age.

More information on reactivity and stacking are on your topic page.

Games and Arousal Levels - Continue Arousal Up/Down for Daily Life

Different games utilize different energy. Some bring arousal levels up, while others bring arousal levels down. Adopting the concept in the Arousal Up, Arousal Down game continues to support growing skills at calming down. This skill is critical for handling numerous real-life situations, including walks. The concept also helps to make the hole in the bottom of your dog’s bucket get bigger and drain more quickly. This aids on recovery from events that stack and can lead to over-arousal and reactivity.

Arousal Stacking - Understanding Your Dog’s Bucket

Stacking of emotional responses to events, and the anticipation of those events fills your dogs bucket. If you begin activities when your dog’s bucket is already filling, you have less room to work arousal levels before your dog goes over threshold. I you start when your dog is in a level of calmness, your dog has morespace to work through events and the emotions they cause. That is one of the reasons I stress calmness so much.


Transitions games that bring arousal levels down are great choices for the end of a walk or other activity. Then follow up with some level of calmness to help you dog further empty the bucket.


Orientation with Basic Distractions


Something that can be difficult for young dogs is listening and behaving properly when facing a distraction. So it is important to play games that reinforce the behaviors we want - orienting to you, staying close to you, looking at you... when facing all those interesting, exciting or strange things out in the real world.

These games help to assist yourdog in learning how to manage his/her own behavior and learn impulse control. And in theprocess, boost confidence, optimism and your relationship with your dog.

These games teach impulse control, good decision making on your dog's part, the value of choosing you over other things, proximity, orienting back to you focus (on you) so that you are always in the picture... Super amazing stuff!

It also supports loose leash walking and the recall.

This is the beginning stages of teaching you dog how to handle a temptation... that things are "by permission" not "up for grabs." That checking in with your first and waiting for you to say if it is okay or not -that is impulse control!

Target Walking


An exercise for impulse control... and to stop pulling!This game really helps to nail down the concept of not pulling. Many dogs pull because it gets them to where they want to go, even if that means continuing to walk. So this game puts to test the concept of not pulling gets you want you desire. A simple exercise would be having the target be a piece of food. Tougher might be getting to a particular person or place. For my dog Echo, it was getting from the parking lot to the park where her doggie friends were waiting to play!

5 Games for Focus


These are fun games that you can play anytime and anywhere. They are simple and quick! Boost your dog's focus with you while out and about with any of these quick 1-minute games...

Magic Hand


This game is so amazing and fun! And it has so many applications.

I've played this game with my dogs that worry with thunder and lightning and it helps them focus and play through it.

I also play this game to get my dogs past certain distractions. We also played as a warm up and focus game when at competitions. We also play it for fun during outside play time. They love the catching!

This game is super for building focus (especially when you use a release to end the game) and value in proximity. And, it is very helpful for teaching some basics of heel in a fun way. This game also supports loose leash walking and can even help with recall. And then to top it off, it builds your dogs ability to ignore and work through distractions.

First teach your dog how to catch. Catching is a great game to play to help work through distractions. But, it takes time for dogs to learn how to catch, especially small treats. So catch is the first order of business and this may take a lot of time for your dog to master.

Proximity Magnet


This is the ultimate in proximity - both with skill and value!

This takes focus, body awareness, and practice, practice, practice! But with time, you will have a dog that will know how to stay by your side, move with you easily no matter which direction you turn and move, and have the skills necessary for heeling.

This is crucial for any dog going into service or any type of assistance work.

It will also come in super handy when maneuvering your dog through crowded places or moving through a narrow space.

*Playing the Paws On Advanced (Pivot) Game first, before working this game - it makes it easier because your pup has learned some back-end awareness and practice in pivoting.

Proximity Magnet Outside


Generalization of behavior is very important, and outside and when you are out and about - this is where it really matters, so you must play where it matters.

Make sure before taking this next step, that your dog can do Proximity Magnet inside without using furniture to guide the dog when going backwards.

This requires a lot of focus, so take it slow. Play short games and then release your pup to play. Mix this game in with other games to havevariety and fun - variety is the spice of life, right?

When you want proximity like a "magnet," cue your pup to your side, like with the Finish cue. This also must be released! So make sure to use your Premack cue to release your dog. Your dog may choose to go sniff, or run or play, or he might choose proximity again! That's when you know you really accomplished the value of proximity with your dog! This does not happen overnight. This comes with lots of game play.

*Remember to get proficiency inside first before taking the game outside.


Fine Tuning


Still having trouble with pulling? Need better focus from your dog? Still having loose leash walking woes?

Fine tuning is all about those particular behaviors that still perpetuate pulling, or lack of focus. 

Many times dogs know how to walk nicely when looking at their handler, but the moment they look forward, they shoot ahead. Some get stuck in shooting ahead and then coming back again - what I call "yo-yo" dogs.

Sometimes it's about distractions - the nose to the ground and the joy is sniffing that causes the dog to be in their own world, pulling ahead or to the side, or lagging behaind or stopping every 20 feet. Or it might be the hyper-vigilant that is environmentally sensitive that causes the dog to lose focus and pull ahead, because you are no longer in their mental picture.

Sometimes it's about the anticipation or an impeding distraction, because it is part of the "routine." The anticipation can be just as exciting or just as scary as the actual distraction itself.

This video helps to fine tune behavior so that your dog learns focus, impulse control, and better reliability with Loose Leash Walking.

Heel Basics

Generally speaking, people talk about need to teach a dog how to "heel," although 95% of the time you just want your dog to walk with manners and on a loose leash - which we call loose leash walking.

But heeling looks cool. So, even though you may not be competing in rally or obedience, I am providing you with the stepping stones for teaching a good heel.

A true heel requires good focus and concentration. It involves a dog focusing (with eye-contact) the entire time, walking at the owner's side right next to the leg, which is very demanding of a dog. This is not easy to teach! It requires a lot of practice for each individual step. Things easily fall apart if rushed. So here is the starting point for the basics of the cue.

You have many games that have already taught the foundation for heel... and more games that will help support it for the future...

Heel First Steps


Now that the basics of position are clear and polished, it is time to take those first steps. This is where the trouble can start, because people want to take too many steps right off the bat. So this video breaks it down, step by step, to create better positioning, following, and focus.

You want your dog to anticipate when you stop, not when you move.

Don’t allow the dog to jump up at the baited hand. Only reward when the dog stays in the heel position.

Practice until the dog can stay in the heel position and focus on youwhile moving for 20-30 step-stop (sit) until released.

If the dog drifts out of position, try working along a couch or in a hallway along the wall. When you are ready to generalize the behavior a wall or fence can help you with initially positioning outside.

Remember to reward the dog right at your left leg.

A little side note...  "BY ME" vs. "HEEL"

I don't use the heel cue in real life situations, it's only for the competition ring. But this is because of my life with my dogs. Yours may be different...

There are times when I am going to want my dog closer to me and right next to my side - like when passing someone on a walkway, navigating through a crowd, or when something is going by like abiker or skateboarder. Then I want is a loose heeling behavior I call "By Me." This looser version of heel does not require the precise positioning and focus as heel, but it still accomplishes the same thing... "Be right next to me when I ask and remain there until I release you."

You may choose to do this too. Or you might call this your heel. Training is for you! What you want and how you want it. Everyone hastheir own version, so do what works for you.

Heel First Steps Outside


Now that the basics of position are clearer and your dog is auto-sitting, staying at your side and remaining focused for each step until released, it is time to take those first steps and practice outside.

Generalizing the behavior before moving on to new challenges is key. This is where the trouble can start, because focus is far more difficult outside. So this will require plenty of practice!

Don't be too quick to start "walking." Focus is key and you build that through short distances - just a couple steps at a time!