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Dog Training/Clicker training and walking without a leash


Hi. I have an Australian cattle dog. They are very smart dogs,am I'm sure you know, but I wanted to take his intelligence to another level. When we go for walks. He is in a harness. And usually a short lead. But he does well and sometimes, not often, gets a little sidetracked but he corrects himself. He pulls a little when he gets excited. I would like to start clicker training and walking besides me without a leash. I want to teach him dominance and that I am in charge but I've never fully looked into it because everyone says something different. I truly hope that I could depend on your advice and would love to hear back from you. He is 1 year old  he taught him self to sit and he knows where his food is. He also taught himself to scratch at the door if he needs to go out. I am ready to do so much more. I originally wanted to show him but I couldn't find any good trainers near me. Now it's all about obedience. So what do you say, how do I do clicker training and walking without a leash?
Is there hope for me? Lol

Hi Gina,

I am going to operate on the assumption that this is an honest question. I am not really sure what you mean by teaching your dog dominance. This is not an accepted teaching philosophy these days. Please refer to the position statement of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior ( as a good place to start. Also please know that dominance and obedience are in direct opposition to clicker training.

I have a YouTube channel you may find helpful in learning basic clicker concepts and technique:  You may also find some of the articles I have written, especially those that appear on the Animal Info Publications website helpful. You can find these by clicking on the Articles tab on my website:

As far as clicker training your dog to walk off leash at your side, you may want to see this series of YouTube videos for an idea of how this might be properly done, but beware, you need to understand the basic concepts and principles of clicker training before trying this:

You can also see my Facebook page for helpful tips and information:

I offer distance training if you are interested in more assistance. See my website ( for more information.

Thanks for your question, and best of luck!


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Cindy Ludwig, M.A., R.N., KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA


My specialty is clicker training. I'm a Karen Pryor Academy graduate and Certified Training Partner (certified clicker trainer). Karen Pryor was a marine mammal trainer and one of the early proponents of force-free animal training who helped popularize clicker training in the early 90's. I also do behavior modification with dogs that have fear, anxiety and aggression. I work with service dogs and was a certified therapy dog evaluator with two other organizations before starting my own therapy dog program, the first of its kind requiring all dog candidates to be trained with force-free methods and all evaluators to demonstrate a commitment to force-free methods. I made weekly visits with my own therapy dog to a nursing center in Dubuque, Iowa for four and a half years. I have an undergraduate degree in science and am a registered nurse with a previous specialty and certification in critical care, so I can answer questions pertaining to biology, behavior and pharmacology but because I am not a licensed veterinarian I cannot legally or ethically answer questions requesting a diagnosis. I have done graduate work in animal learning and wolf ethology, and have also completed coursework in dog biology, behavior and pet nutrition at regionally accredited U.S. universities. I continue my study of applied behavior analysis with top experts in the field. For more information and to schedule a consultation or enroll in classes, see my Canine Connection website:


Prior to becoming a full time professional dog trainer in May 2009 and opening my business, Canine Connection LLC I worked part time as a professional dog trainer and behavior consultant and also volunteered at humane societies in several states over a period from 1992-2009. My previous full time occupation was in the medical profession. I have completed various continuing education programs including but not limited to the Purdue University Veterinary School Principles and Techniques of Behavior Modification course; Clicker Expo; undergraduate courses in dog biology, behavior, and pet nutrition; and graduate coursework in wolf ethology. I was a Field Representative for Paws with a Cause for 3 years and train service dogs. My Golden Retriever that accompanies me in my work as a Field Representative is a "career changed" dog from the Paws breeding program that I have clicker trained as a demonstration service dog. This same dog I trained to earn the first Dog Scout title in the State of Iowa. She and I were also members of the Badger Kennel Club Drill Team and performed with the group annually at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. My dog, Ginger and I provided weekly pet therapy visits to a local nursing center for the past three and a half years. I continue my education by participating in seminars and class offerings provided by such notable experts as Dr. Sophia Yin, Dr. Ray Coppinger, Michele Pouliot and others. My services include in-home private training and behavior modification, group classes and pet sitting. More information is available on my website:

Founder and owner, Canine Connection LLC; Founder, Canine Connection Positively Trained Certified Therapy Dogs; Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT); 2010 APDT Education Committee; Truly Dog-Friendly Trainer Coalition; Doggone Safe; American Kennel Club

Top Tips from Top Trainers: 1001 Practical Tips & Techniques for Successful Dog Care and Training (March 2010); The Golden View; Family Connections;; Animal info Publications; HubPages; Finding Fuzzybutt Four Blog; Petopia Newsletter, Galena, Illinois; Suite 101;;; Dubuque 365 Ink Magazine; Dubuque Telegraph Herald; Columbia Business Times; Columbia Senior Times; Columbia Missourian; Columbia Daily Tribune; Graphic Education Corporation; Belson-Hanwright; Critical Care Nurse; Journal of Emergency Nursing; Home Healthcare Nurse; Nursing; Journal of Emergency Medical Services; Shape; Houston Community College Egalitarian; Findlay College Obelisk

B.S., Science; M.A., Higher & Adult Education with graduate work in animal learning, canine biology and behavior, pet nutrition; Graduate, Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior; Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner; Diploma, professional nursing; licensed registered nurse (R.N.); Paramedic completion program; previously licensed paramedic in Texas and Missouri

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