Leash Training

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DADofTHREE's picture
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Joined: 2012-08-23

1st Post.....My little girl Gypsy is getting her stitches removed today & so far she is such a good pup. Almost housebroken at 12 weeks. My question is why am I having trouble leash training her? She practically refuses to walk on leash but will follow me in the yard. I don't want to take her for a drag!!  LOL  I keep a leash on her around the house so she gets used to it but still not much success. She has learned to sit on command now with hand signal. What am I doing wrong?

tess's picture
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Joined: 2012-01-28

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I have a little one to and leash training him was easy.  Here is a trick.  My Axel is very food motivated and knowing the breed yours probably is as well.  So just carry a little bit of kibble and put it in front of her nose while she is on the leash. Have her follow the scent and reward her. Soon she will associate nothing but good things with the leash. You can then wean her off the treats and just give her praise. My Axel loves to be told he is such a good boy. Now all I have to do is grab the leash and Axel sits down and I leash him up and we go for our walks.  He loves to go for walks and Im sure Gypsy will like it too.  Its worth a try. Good luck and enjoy your little one.

 

Tess

jocooper27's picture
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Joined: 2013-01-15

Hi,

 

I have just joined this website.  My pup is nearly 5 months old and am struggling walking him.  He pulls all the time and in this cold weather we have I am scared that he will pull  me over.

 

I have tried treats but he loses interest as soon as he sees another dog.

 

can any one advise me of any training leads?

 

Many Thanks

DJ's Dad's picture
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Joined: 2010-10-04

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@jocooper27:  There are many ways to work on getting your dog to stop pulling hard against the leash.  One method is to come to a dead stop as soon as he pulls, stand there and not budge until he gives slack on the leash, or even returns to walk beside you.  Point being, he will presumably figure out eventually that pulling gets him nowhere, and loose leash is a good thing.

Another method is to do a 180 degree about turn without slowing down your pace as soon as he pulls.  Same theory as above--he will soon figure out that he can not proceed forward with his walk until he stops pulling.

Personally, I tried both these methods and made very little and definitely temporary progress.  That's when I bought a prong collar.  No more pulling.  We dont use the prong so much anymore, since it is a trainng collar and DJ doesnt pull hard unless she sees a squirrel or a cat down the street in front of us.  She is quickly corrected, though, and our walk continues on without incident.

Other people will most likely chime in and give you their personal preferences as to how to deal with this problem,also.  Sometimes, you have to try several methods in order to find out which one works best for you and your individual dog, since what works well for one doesnt necessarily work for all.

Longshanks's picture
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Joined: 2013-01-06

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I have also tried the stopping and turning around method to train Jake to walk, we seemed to be making progress but on his walk today he was just as bad as when we started. Our trainer has suggested that I get a pinch collar, I was hesitant, but he showed me how it works and I no longer feel that I am hurting Jake by using such a collar on him. Jake is 70lbs of muscle and I am not, there are a lot of outside cats and some loose dogs in our neighborhood and I will be glad to be able to control Jake without it being a pulling match. I look forward to our walk tomorrow I will let you guys know how it goes. 

 

DADofTHREE, have you tried clipping the leash on in the house and and playing with her while she wears it? it may help her acclimate to the leash. Just my two cents

Longshanks's picture
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Joined: 2013-01-06

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So we just got back from our first walk with the pinch collar, I have to say I am really glad we had it for todays walk. It was a complete turn around from the other day when I was being dragged the whole time. Jake did not pull and was very well behaved, near the end of our walk two Chihuahuas ran up to Jake, I don't know where there owner was!?! One of them bit Jake on the back leg, didn't break skin or anything but I was not happy, and a little worried since Jake was badly attacked by dogs just a few months ago. Jake kept at my side and I scolded the dogs and they backed off. Jake wanted to go back to them the but with the new collar a gentle tug was all it took to redirect him to our walk. I have to say I have officially changed  my position on pinch collars.

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

Glad to hear you both got out unharmed by those little teeth, I have a chihuahua but he is very friendly and has never ever snapped or been nasty to other dogs, he is beginning to feel braver now that he has a rottie as a body guard though.....also depending on the age of the chi's its possible they got riled because they couldn't see well but could smell him, rushing him like that was not a good thing and it sounds like he did very well under the pressure and having had a bad encounter beforehand I think he did quite well considering.....did he get his hackles up or bark or snarl??? I don't know why some people insist on letting their dogs out without supervision.

Longshanks's picture
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Jake did not bark or snarl or do anything aggressive when the dog bit him. I have seen that dog before, running back and forth across the road. I don't know what house he belongs to, but it bothers me, someone could hit the dog he is really small and letting him run around with no supervision is just asking for trouble. *continuing rant about bad dog owner in own head*

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

I had the same thing in my neighborhood, it was a shih tzu and I would put my collie out and the standard chihuahua and I would only be gone maybe 5 minutes to get something and I would notice the dogs got really quiet and I would go see, like kids when they get quiet you have to worry and they would be standing at the door with a terrified look on their face and there would be someone's little white dog running around and playing and jumping around and all my dogs wanted was to come back inside hahahahaha, but this little thing was always crawling under my gate and coming in to play with them, but my dogs ignore other dogs so they wanted nothing to do with it.....I found a halter that Pepe the chi couldn't wear cause it was a tad too big and I put it on the little dog and attached a note to the halter that explained that their dog would get run over, attacked by other dogs and that I was tired of worrying and fretting over their dog and we lived in the city and they had to keep their dog at home. I have only seen the dog a couple of times since then.

He no longer comes into my yard cause he didn't know that Goofy the collie had died and we had a rottweiler and he came running into the yard one day just as I looked over and saw him loping across the driveway Ben the rottie saw him and it scared him hahahaha big rottie chicken, and he let out a bark that would have woke the dead and that little dog in that instant slid to a stop literally and another bark from Ben and that dog spun around and with his ears flat on his head raced out the yard the way he came and I have not seen him again. hahahahaah too funny.....

I rambled on about this but you might be able to attach a note to the dog if you can touch it without trouble or watch it and follow it to see where it goes in order to talk to the owners.....

Echo's Dad's picture
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Another avenue that works fairly well is to get a harness that has the hook in front over the chest, when the dog pulls, the leash will turn them sideways or even a complete 180 if they start off at full speed.  My girl walks very nicely on this harness, but the minute I switch back to collor or regular leash she's pulling again.

missym629's picture
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Joined: 2012-11-27

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i love this idea of the harness with the hook in the front! i know i cant use a prong collar on my dog yet because he is only 3.5 months old. i think i might try that mixed in with the stopping when he pulls and see how that works out. my arm is in pain from him pulling yesterday on our walk, he just plows forward with the back hook harness. hes a liottle better with the regular collar but still puls enough that im uncomfortable with the pressure it puts on his trachea...i have small dogs who are prone to collapse trachea so im careful with them!

great suggestions thanks:)

lollipopzeus's picture
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Joined: 2012-11-25

I'm still having a little trouble with the loose leash walking myself. The past few days I have taken Zeus down to the pasture for our walk. I've tried the dead-stopping (he'll still lunge forward) and I have also turned the opposite direction when he starts to pull. I have even tried jerking on the leash with a little "uh-uh" in which he seems to get for a millisecond but then it's right back to the same thing. He is very high energy and there are alot of things out there that catches his focus. I have no idea of how to keep him focused on moving forward...not sideways, not stopping to smell horse poop...you get the idea. LOL ...I've walked with my shoulders back and head held high (like Cesar Millan says to do) and it's like he has not a care in the world of what I'm trying to do! I guess you could say that outside he is very high energy...the puppy in him, I assume? I have no idea what I'm gonna do come spring-summer time while walking him, working in the garden, etc. I'm not gonna give up though...it gives my mind a little excersize as to how to go about it. It wears him out and he sleeps like a baby after we come in from the walk.

I must tell you all this though...last night he was wild. We were getting everything set up to watch a movie in the living room which is one place Zeus is only allowed every once in a while. Well I guess he was so excited about being somewhere "new" he was running all over the place! The little booger grabbed hold of my table cloth and took off running...jerking the tablecloth off, along with an unlit candle that was on top of it. Good thing the candle wasn't lit, or else I would have been pulling wax off of him as well as off of my floor! Never a dull moment around here anymore with him! I just had to share :)

DJ's Dad's picture
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"Loose leash" is something that most people have a hard time getting across to their dog, especially the younger ones, because they are so easily distracted by what they see, what they hear, what they smell.  The best thing to do is just keep doing what you're doing...dont give up.  He will eventually figure it out, but it sometimes takes a long time to get there.  Still, so worth it in the long run.

Funny story about Zeus and the tablecloth.  Funny because that's exactly the sort of thing DJ has done, and continues to do....life is all about the funny to her.  LOL  You wait.....Zeus is going to amaze you with his intelligence when he decides to put that brain of his into gear for GOOD.  :)

brunosmom's picture
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Joined: 2012-07-29

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The prong works GREAT. I was using it for Buggles but stopped for now because for her personality, its just a little too intense. Switched to the Gentle Leader and I don't have as much control but its helping. (She HATES it though, and doesn't seem to mind the prong.) 

DADofTHREE's picture
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Joined: 2012-08-23

I have a new Gentle Leader and it works wonders!! And keeping a treat in my left hand doesn't hurt either!!

HarleyBear's picture
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Joined: 2011-08-17

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Stopping and the 180 are all about timing and a lot of people struggle with it.  And I admit, I never got it down.  

We did try a prong, but I didn't feel comfortable with it.

We also tried the Easy Walk Harness (clips in the front) works great, until it gave Harley skin infections.  Sigh...

So as you can see above, Like DJ's Dad said, no one method works for every dog.  

What has worked for us is a method called 100 peck.  Or is it 300?  Whatever...

It requires having clicker loaded and lots of treats.  I am assuming most of you know about loading a clicker, if not, DJ's Dad or I can explain further.

But it goes like this:

Take 1 step, *click* reward.

Take 2 steps, *click* reward.

Take 3 steps, opps! tugging on a leash, go back to 1.

Continue adding steps, rewarding for duration.  

So at first, you are using a lot of treats.  Not a problem, most of you have puppies and they have an AWESOME metabolism.  But now, Harley and I are at around 40-50 steps.  I walk with my treat bag.  Rewarding for ignoring other dogs, rewarding for walking loose leash, etc.

See if this works.

HarleyBear's picture
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Dad of 3, I am happy to hear your dog is finally moving forward.  We struggled with that at first too.  Then it was pulling.  LOL!

KevinK's picture
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The problem that most everyone has when they can't get their dog to walk on a loose leash is TIMING.  If the timing of the correction, or if you use the "go the other way" method, is wrong, then it's 100% worthless.  You must go the other way, or give the correction, just before the leash gets tight.  If you can get the timing right, it's simple... if the timing is off, even slightly, it's going to take much longer.

The concept is simple, leash gets tight, you go the other way.  But getting that timing down is what's tough.  So, for those that have a tough time with this, I would recommend for this particular training, don't focus on the method so much, focus on the TIMING.  The timing is the difference between a dog getting it very quickly, or very slowly.