As you make your way towards the Decoy Team, you might struggle because you can’t get past the first few steps. That’s normal. Be sure that your timing is on point and that the order of events is pure:

Dog pulls/barks/fusses > you say “oh…too bad” > then you turn and walk back to the starting point. Don’t let any of these overlap; this means that you cannot say “oh too bad” before your dog fusses, and this means that you cannot turn and walk away at the same time as saying “too bad”. You need “oh…too bad” to be followed by a breath so that it predicts the ‘turn and walk back’.

This is punishment enough – you do not want to give a leash correction or verbal correction or sound too harsh. There’s no need to over-react to your dog’s over-reaction. You just want it to be clear that polite walking and quiet behaviour brings them closer to their friend and obnoxious behaviour sends them back to start (do not pass Go, do not collect $200).

Right, but do I drag my dog back to the start? Well, ideally not, but you might have some tension on the leash to move them in the opposite direction. I usually try kissy noises and just make it low-key but not scary.

Other challenges might be that this increases frustration. This might look like more barking and fussing even from a great distance that used to be comfortable, jumping on you, biting the leash, etc… If that happens, you might need a little one-on-one coaching. Connect with us in the Community and have a friend video record your session so we can help!