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Following up -- loose leash walking with rescue BC -- veering into me and causing falls

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Hi, all, thanks so much for all the support and suggestions on walking on leash politely. My BC Winnie is now 10 months with me. Still seeking suggestions for a new variant of the problem: unpredictably veering right into me at knee level and causing me to fall.


What has improved thanks to all your help -- much better response from Winnie to stop pulling, although it is not totally consistent. Big progress is that she can often go on a 30 minute walk now w/o pulling on either an easy walk harness or flat collar. I do let her go ahead, sniff, etc. as long as she is NOT pulling. I have pretty much giving up on teaching heel, tho.


The new walking problem has caused me 3 hard falls in the last two months. Luckily, I broke nothing but had bone bruising and limited mobility for several weeks at a time. It relates to Winnie zig zagging into my space. When I first got her, Winnie would pull violently and zigzag back and forth constantly. It took months to teach her to walk consistently on my left.


But she still seems to have no sense of her own space or mine -- in the house or outdoors, when walking near me she will suddenly veer right, knocking into my knees or getting underfoot. I often catch my balance but there seems to be no way to predict when this is going to happen. It's not due to a sudden distraction, like a passing car/person/rabbit, etc. She will also unpredictably step into the path of my other dog at home, or literally step on him (not aggressive, just oblivious). Thus, the 3 hard falls for me, one was going up steps and I hit my head very hard as well.


I have briefly tried a plastic prong collar under a trainer's supervision, with no effect on the pulling or unpredictable veering right. So I went back to positive training techniques as many of you suggested.


I have been to my vet and Winnie has fine vision and hearing. So it is not a medical issue.


Thanks to all for any suggestions!

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When my dogs walk right in front of me like that, I shuffle my feet so that I won't step on their paws, and run right into them. If I'm standing next to a wall and they try shoving or barreling between me and the wall when there is plenty of room on the other side, I stick my knee out right before or as they go past. They usually learn very quickly.

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Wow, that sounds pretty serious. I hope you're doing ok now.


The veering into your legs is hard to explain just from your text. It might be attention seeking behaviour (instead of jumping up, walking into you), but it could also be a response to anxiety (being afraid of something), or some form of avoidance (trying to avoid a touch or another stimulus), or it could simply be herding behaviour: the fact that she doesn't do it to cars etc. does not say too much about her herding drive, it could still be the cause of the problem. Before you know the cause, it's difficult to work on it constructively.


Have you observed anything when she does it? so:


- do you, or your other dog speed up a little, or change direction, right before she does it?

- do you usually interact with her right before she does it? if so, what is the interaction?

- Or does she do it when you've ignored her for a while?

- have you seen signs of anxiety when she does it? like hair standing up, yawning etc.

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