OK, so this may have been a fluke, or it may be because Willy walked in his Thunder Jacket, but there were a couple of major improvements in our walk.
First, when we did our sit down on the desert to watch the sunset, instead of wandering to the end of the leash and walking circles while whining to get loose, Willy sat down next to me and asked me to scritch him.
I know this doesn’t sound like much, but for Willy it is major. Despite being off property with so many smells and sights, Willy chose to sit with me. He has never done that before, outside, even in the back yard.
Second, the way our street is laid out, there is nowhere for Willy to really go if he gets loose. Ergo, this is where we start working dogs off leash. Usually, Willy wanders into someone’s yard, and I have to corner him against a fence to catch him.
I dropped the leash in our usual location, and Willy, as usual started to drift into a yard. I said his name and, though he did not get into a ‘heel’ position, he did return to my general vicinity and stayed on the street. Major Wow!
Having walked the entire street, for the first time off leash, the closer he got to home, the faster he got, and he turned up our driveway and jogged up to the gate. NEVER has he given ANY indication he knew where home was.
As I said, it may be a fluke, but still, I am so proud of Sweet William.
We will try it again with the Thunder Jacket, and if all goes well, we will go next time without it to see if there is a difference.
Need to add in a disclaimer here: Ours is not really a street. It is a narrow gravel easement. All properties have fences and walls, and perpendicular to our house, which happens to be at the end of the easement, are a wall and chain link fence on neighbor properties. There is no traffic. I would NOT attempt this with William or any other dog for that matter, on a street where there is traffic, or where the dog could get away.