So my last dog was 6 when i was injured and trained to walk by my side (in chair or on foot) quite well for the next 8 years of her life. My mourning/grieving/don't-want-another-dog-ever period has passed and as of about 7 months ago, I am once again a dog owner. We (the pup, my gf and myself) work with a private trainer and she does quite well with all the normal obedience/manners stuff. We're at the stage where I'd like to be able to have her act predictably while outside (with distractions) while both at my side in my chair or while up on crutches.
From the training we got from our trainer, my strategy is to attempt to always keep a "slack leash". Though very tedious and time-consuming, my gf and I have been walking her out in the community, gf pushing the chair, me holding the leash. I use the command: 'with me" and click (clicker training) and treat when she stays by my side and looks at me. Regardless of the treats and praise that all dogs crave, she frequently pulls ahead or darts left and right after delicious squirrels or anything shiny.
My strategy (based on what i've learned from our sessions with the private trainer) is to stop dead in our tracks the minute the leash becomes taught. I wait until she regroups and sits with a loose lead. Once that happens, we progress forward until it happens again... and then the same. As I mentioned, it is slow and tedious, but I believe this to be the most effective method and that soon enough she will catch on and be able to go blocks without us having to stop as opposed to the every couple steps we're at now.
My girlfriend is starting to become skeptical. Anyone have any knowledge and/or experience to back either side?