Walk This Way Loose-Leash Group Class

Positive steps to stop the pulling and start enjoying walks with your dog!

Course Summary

While no-pull harnesses can help limit leash-pulling, the trick is to teach your dog to focus on you as needed throughout the walk. These 6 sessions will help improve your dog's focus while teaching you and your dog loose-leash skills.   We'll start in low-distraction areas with simple exercises to improve focus and gradually work towards walking by distractions like other dogs and people.  This class will set you and your dog up for success and help you avoid the temptation to use aversive methods like prong or choke collars.  In addition to a variety of cues and exercises to improve leash skills, we'll play interactive games that will make learning fun for all.
Walk This Way is a program created by master trainer Louise Stapleton Frapell and taught by Walk This Way Certified Instructor Shannon Morrow.  The training is done through repetition and positive reinforcement.  We'll be rewarding our dogs amply for their successes.  Positive reinforcement and practice make perfect, and your dog will love this training because he or she will be rewarded frequently rather than punished for stepping out of bounds.  Using food to teach new habits and cues creates a positive association with the task at hand.  Your dog will enjoy learning and will become conditioned to check-in with you and stay closer to you knowing that an occasional reward might be in the future!  Rapid and frequent reinforcement with food is needed at first, but we'll also start you and your dog on the way to reducing the treats as we progress.  We always recommend having a few treats in your pocket for when your dog is really good, but we will fade the treats, and as your dog learns, you can begin to substitute praise, friendly touch, and play for treats.
Each class is approximately 1 hour in duration and is limited to 4 person/dog attendees to keep distractions to a minimum and allow everyone ample time and space for practice.  Classes will be held outdoors at the Soundside Park in Surf City,  so wear weather- appropriate clothing for the hour long session.  Rain dates will be posted alongside the schedule just in case!
This course is an alternative to using aversive training collars or punishments to change behavior and stop pulling.  You may use a harness that you already have, or purchase one that we recommend for the course.  Well-trained dogs can walk with leash and collar, but we recommend harnesses to prevent accidental injury to your dog's neck even after training is complete. See the video at the foot of this page for a guide to choosing a great harness for your dog!
You will need:  A standard 5 or 6 foot leash, a training harness, dog waste bags, a variety of training treats and some extra yummy food items that your dog will do anything for (think small pieces of cheese, chopped hot dogs, etc.), and a training pouch or pockets to keep treats in.
Class fee is $150.  

  • Winter 2022 class dates option 1:  Saturdays January 15, 22, 29, February 5, 12, 19.  2:00pm  Soundside Park, Surf City, NC  
  • Winter 2022 class dates option 2:  Saturdays February 26, March 5,12,19, 26, April 2  2:00pm Soundside Park, Surf City, NC
  •  Spring 2022 class dates option 1:   Saturdays April 23,30, May 7, 14, 21, June 4 (no class Memorial Day weekend)  2:00pm, Soundside Park, Surf City, NC
  • Spring 2022 class dates evening option:  Wednesdays April 6, 13, 20, 27, May 4 and 11 6:00pm Soundside Park, Surf City, NC
  • Note:  This class is offered through Surf Sitters, not Surf City Parks and Recreation.  We'll be using the park because of it's ideal location, but registration and payment will be through Surf Sitters Pet Care.
  • All rain dates are the day after at the same time.

Do you have a reactive dog that doesn't do well in group settings?  We can help you in the privacy of your home using the same material and methods, with extra information and coaching on counter-conditioning and creating a more positive association to frightening things in your everyday walking environment.  Contact us for more information at (910)431-5680.

Would you like to learn more about using food rewards to train your dog?  Watch the video below to hear Shannon talk about using treats on walks to promote focus and what types of treats you might want to try.  This video is part of our online course"Mastering Calm Walking".

Have questions about what kind of harness might work best for your dog?  In this video, Shannon gives an overview of a variety of harnesses.  Watch below or give us a call at (910) 431-5680.  We are always happy to make recommendations whether you take our courses or not!

Shannon Morrow

Shannon Morrow, CCDT, KPA Puppy Start-Right Instructor, DN-WTWI, is co-owner and certified dog trainer at Surf Sitters Pet Care and Up With Pups Dog Training in Surf City, N.C. Shannon has worked with hundreds of dogs of all ages, sizes, breeds, energy levels, and abilities. Starting her career as a dog walker and pet sitter gave her insight into the behavioral challenges many pet parents face with their furry best friends, and fueled her desire to learn more in order to help dogs and their people live together in harmony. Shannon is currently studying to become a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.  Shannon uses only fear-free methods and equipment for all training and pet care, and is a member of the Pet Professional Guild, an organization dedicated to promoting professionalism and humane practices in animal care and training.  

Course Pricing