There are countless different methods when it comes to training your dog and methods/beliefs frequently contradict one another. In our experience with our dogs it’s extremely clear that what works for one dog may not work for another, so there isn’t always a “right” and “wrong” way, just ways that are effective or ineffective for your dog.
Perhaps the best way then to go about finding a training system that works best for you is to try out multiple systems, starting with what sounds like it makes the most sense to you and your situation. This is where the “Walk In Sync” training system comes in.
Inventor of the system Alecia Evans reached out to us to see if we were interested in trying out a method for teaching a dog to walk, and I immediately jumped on the opportunity. Our sweet little husky mix, Pidgy, really lets her husky side show when it comes to walking. She takes every inch possible when on the leash and is always fighting for more, seeming to thrive on the tension on the leash.
The Walk In Sync system is unique in a few different aspects. First, lets talk about the harness.
A harness is usually something I would never use while walking my dogs. Especially on a husky, a harness simply encourages and allows a dog to pull on the leash to their heart’s content as the leash is clipped near the dogs shoulders, giving them great leverage to pull.
The Walk In Sync method, however, is a different type of harness – a “no-pull harness“. It has a front-clip that allows you to get “in front” of your dogs energy, letting you lead them before they get their momentum going and start pulling you. Alecia describes the design the following way –
Our revolutionary design is modeled after a Principle of Physics which states that: “the further away energy travels on a fulcrum the more energy you have to use to bring it back.” By placing the leash clip in the front of the harness your dog will feel that they are walking into pressure and choose to move off it, as opposed to feeling that if they pull against the pressure hard enough they can break free of it.
The training method for walking is pretty simple – attach your leash to the front of the harness, and if your dog starts to pull or move too far in front of you, stop walking while maintaining your grip on the leash.
Speaking of the leash, the Walk In Sync leash is unique as well. Using a design they call “Accu-Grip”, the leash has padded handholds on the leash that instruct you on where to place your hands. This has two major advantages – the first is that it makes holding the leash a bit more comfortable. The second and more important one is that this shows you where to properly place your hands in order to maintain the proper positioning between you and your dog.
Also available from Alecia Evans is The In Sync Dog Training Method. This book is just under 100 pages and covers Alecia’s philosophy on dog training and life with dogs.
There’s a lot of “new age” dog trainers out there that give advice that I find is just plain stupid. The In Sync Dog Training Method is NOT one of those systems. While it covers both human and dog psychology, it does so in a very grounded and reasonable way that’s easy to understand and implement into your own life.
Without writing a full book review, I think that all dog owners (and especially new dog owners) would benefit from reading through this book as there are gems of knowledge in every chapter.
Did the Walk In Sync Method Get Results?
On to the important part, how did Pidgy react to the Walk In Sync harness?
I’ve been using the harness with her for a few weeks now, and I have to say it’s been much easier than walking her on a collar. By using the front harness clip, she never really gets a chance to pull at the leash as her energy is immediately redirected when I stop.
The other really important aspect of this system is truly the “Accu-Grip” handles on the leash. By using them, I can give Pidgy the exact same amount of slack during every walk, so I can be consistent in my training which is majorly important for her learning.
While she isn’t yet a perfect walker, she has been making improvements with the Walk In Sync method and I’m very optimistic that she will continue her improvement to walk as good as Kartoffel in the future! Perhaps in a few weeks we will be back with an update.