It seems like my dog doesn’t enjoy the walk as much if she doesn’t get to sniff and smell and be out in front. Does it really make that much of a difference?
It depends on why you are walking your dog. If you are walking your dog for the reasons Cesar believes in, then it is very important that your dog walk beside or behind you. A walk like that is more an exercise of the mind than body. The purpose of that kind of walk is to establish pack structure and obedience.
If you are just walking your dog so it can go potty, get some exercise, and sniff around, then it is fine for your dog to be out in front as long as there are no dominance issues at home with your dog.
I rarely walk my dog now that we have established our pack structure. I happened to do a structured walk with her today, but more often than not, I’m doing recall training and frisbee with my dog.