Walking German Shepherds (and many other dogs) on leash can be a challenge for the average dog owner. That’s why DogWatch created the SideWalker® Leash Trainer, a training collar that gently corrects overly enthusiastic leash pulling and helps dogs (of all shapes and sizes) learn appropriate on-leash behavior.

To see how the SideWalker helped one German Shepherd pet parent gain control of walks with her dogs, we reached out to Lorna, a DogWatch customer from Van Hornesville, New York. Lorna is pet parent to two beautiful German Shepherds, a four year-old female named Bella (left) and a two year-old male named Solo (right). Both dogs were avid leash pullers, especially Solo.

“Solo is a young, headstrong male (is there any other kind?),” says Lorna. “[He] has benefited greatly from this product. So have I, because he’s now a pleasure to walk!” Bella, meanwhile, also improved her walking behavior thanks to the SideWalker. “[Bella] has a strong prey drive, and loves to run,” says Lorna. “She does beautifully on the SideWalker, and is eager to please.”

One of Lorna’s favorite features of the SideWalker is its ‘self-teaching’ design. When the dog pulls on the leash, the pressure of the collar strap on the SideWalker activates either a vibration or a stimulation (also known as a correction), which gradually increases as the dog pulls and resets when the pulling stops. Speaking about the energetic Solo, Lorna says “I like the fact that he basically ‘corrects’ himself,  so my timing, or lack of same, isn’t a problem when he pulls.”

Like any pair of pups, Bella and Solo’s personalities and behaviors are different, and the SideWalker accounts for this. It has 5 adjustable settings from low to high plus a vibration option so the user can select a setting appropriate for their dog. “Having a good range of correction levels makes matching intensity with behavior easy,” says Lorna. “I test the levels on my arm, so I know what they’re feeling, and adjust accordingly.”

German Shepherds Solo and Bella playing the yard

Solo (left) and Bella (right) playing in their backyard on a snowy day

Bella and Solo are also DogWatch Hidden Fence customers, and completed their training with Aileen and Bob Howard of DogWatch of Upstate New York in March 2016. “I’ve always had German Shepherds, and they have been happy, well-balanced dogs, thanks to the Hidden Fence,” says Lorna. “They know the rules, and are reassured by having boundaries,” adds Lorna. “I tell people who have dogs that the Hidden Fence is well worth the investment, the vet bills and heartache that they WON’T have, pays for it.”

Lorna tells us that she often sees Bella and Solo running full-out after rabbits, and coming to a complete stop at the Hidden Fence boundary. The DogWatch Hidden Fence boundary may stop them from chasing the rabbits out of their yard, but it doesn’t stop Bella and Solo from having fun, staying active and delighting their mom everyday!

To see the SideWalker® Leash Trainer in action, check out this video of another DogWatch of Upstate New York customer, Maggie of Countryside Veterinary Clinic, and her energetic dog Bran.