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Balanced Koa

Cesar Millan uses his balanced pack to do things that we, as humans, cannot do. It's a great idea and it truly works, as long as the dog is balanced and you stay patient. I have used Koa in this way many times and I have to admit it is mind-boggling how easy it is and how fast it works.

This morning, Jameson was still a little into the pulling mode on the pack walk and while I was walking both he and Koa side by side (with Koa on the outside), Koa's leash started hanging in front of Jameson's neck. He immediately INSTANTLY switched to walking like a real dog, absolutely no tension on the leash and no pulling, controlling his own pace to match Koa’s pace.

As often as I have used Koa by connecting another dog's leash to his (like Kobe & Remy, and other dogs that need a little help from another dog), I could have slapped myself for not thinking of this. Why? Because, as humans, we make things so complicated when the real challenge is to make things simple. Our entire pack -- Elvis, Mc, Koa, Abby, and Capone -- does this when they are together but it is always so amazing to watch it unfold... and you have to pay attention because it happens so fast!

Also this morning, after the pack walk, Koa and I went back down to the water just to cool off. There at the water's edge was an older woman trying to control and highly energetic Lab/Dane mix. It was painful to watch. The dog (on a harness, of course!) was pulling, jumping, lunging, grabbing the leash and pulling the owner off balance right & left with it. They were generally travelling in our direction (well, the dog was; the owner was following!) and it was one of those things that you can't stop watching...

When they got closer, I asked how old the puppy was and she told me he was 2 years old, a rescue, and had not learned how to walk after 2 months with her. I also commented that he certainly has a lot of excess energy and that he truly had control of that harness. Her belief was that he was so much better with the harness on as compared to a collar and she can control him with the harness. I just could not say anything to that; if I only had a video of the previous 5 minutes to show her it still might not have done any good. Of course, during this time Koa is standing with me and just looking at the dog in his calm way and the dog just stood still and then very respectfully started licking Koa's ears (huge sign of respect in the dog world) and calmed way down.

Koa didn't start off as perfect and he has had his times (Lisa & I used to call him our 98%er -- 98% of the time he was great, but the other 2% he ignored our direction and went his own way). However, adulthood and lots of reinforcement with patience is an absolute investment in your dog.

Stay patient and assertive!

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