LLW, 1 Step forward, huge leap back...... help please
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Thread: LLW, 1 Step forward, huge leap back...... help please

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    LLW, 1 Step forward, huge leap back...... help please

    I have a pit/lab mix roughly a year old and she has been with me now for about a month. I got her from the pound and she was a stray they found wondering in a vacant lot. In house she is great, has some counter surfing still in her that I have been working on doing away with but beside that all is well. She shows some fear with new people walking into the house but she has gotten a lot better than when I first brought her home.

    Before when it was time for a walk, she would go bonkers, just trying to get her leash on was a hassle, jumping, rolling on her back, you name it she was like a fish out of water and way to excited. I always led the way out the door but soon it was just non stop pulling till she about passed out. I followed the LLW tips and I must say she walks a 100x better. Pulls a little here and there but i can easily correct it with a little tug at her leash. I am using a flat collar/choker set-up and seems to be the only thing that work with this ball of energy. So since I have been getting her to walk mostly by my side, maybe a step ahead she has become more aggressive towards on-coming dogs and people. She will start wining some and then it turns into jumping up and down and even growling. She will normally lay herself out when she's jumping and land on her back or something. When she would pull more on the leash and I let her more in front of me she was friendly with all passer by's and other dogs. There were several other dogs she would hang with and just sit there while I talked to the owners but now I am afraid to let her near and most people don't want to let their dog near my barking, jumping, growling pup.

    What changed with her walking so much that it would cause this? I took a huge step forward in walking her but went a giant step backwards with new people and dogs. When she gets all amped up I can not get her attention with treats, toys or anything. I am training her to keep focus at home as much as possible and even out in the field where I walk her and she is fine but this happens and I lose is all from her.

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    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Re: LLW, 1 Step forward, huge leap back...... help please

    She's only been with you a month and often dogs start showing their issues once they start settling in. Leash reactivity is common and just walking out the door first and keeping a short leash is not going to give you any help here. A short tight leash increases tension in the dog.

    First, lose the choke chain..this increases frustration and can damage her trachea/larynx.

    Second, look at getting a head halter or easy walk harness...or even a prong (though I don't usually recommend them, they are a hell of lot safer than a choke).

    You are looking at more than just a LLW scenario here, but working on LLW in low distraction environments (in the home, in the yard etc) and getting it really highly rewarded with time this will benefit you on your regular walks as it will eventually become "automatic". You also need to do some research on how to deal with leash reactivity. Patricia McConnell has a great booklet called "Fiesty Fido" which deals specifically with leash reactivity and leash aggression ( IF that is what this is). There is also a plethora of videos on Youtube for teaching LLW...like the "silky leash" videos and also the videos from Kikopup..she's a clicker trainer and is really good and keeps the info simple. None of these issues are EASY to fix and take time but the methods do work. There is also the book and video "Control Unleashed" that has great "self control" exercises...but you would need some clicker experience and an understanding of operant conditioning...www.clickersolutions.com is a great place to start.

    Leash reactivity can be caused by two things: fear or overexcitement and can be a combination of both. Pitties are notoriously easy to overstimulate so keeping them under threshold is a challenge.

    Please consider having a good positive trainer who specializes in this sort of issue come in and assess the behaviours (all of them) and to help guide you to the best way to help your girl learn to confident and calm on her walks. It is well worth the time and effort.
    Last edited by Cracker; 03-12-2010 at 08:50 PM.
    Maggi and Cracker, Dog about Rosedale


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    Senior Member LazyGRanch713's Avatar
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    Re: LLW, 1 Step forward, huge leap back...... help please

    Quote Originally Posted by devildog View Post
    I have a pit/lab mix roughly a year old and she has been with me now for about a month. I got her from the pound and she was a stray they found wondering in a vacant lot. In house she is great, has some counter surfing still in her that I have been working on doing away with but beside that all is well. She shows some fear with new people walking into the house but she has gotten a lot better than when I first brought her home.

    Before when it was time for a walk, she would go bonkers, just trying to get her leash on was a hassle, jumping, rolling on her back, you name it she was like a fish out of water and way to excited. I always led the way out the door but soon it was just non stop pulling till she about passed out. I followed the LLW tips and I must say she walks a 100x better. Pulls a little here and there but i can easily correct it with a little tug at her leash. I am using a flat collar/choker set-up and seems to be the only thing that work with this ball of energy. So since I have been getting her to walk mostly by my side, maybe a step ahead she has become more aggressive towards on-coming dogs and people. She will start wining some and then it turns into jumping up and down and even growling. She will normally lay herself out when she's jumping and land on her back or something. When she would pull more on the leash and I let her more in front of me she was friendly with all passer by's and other dogs. There were several other dogs she would hang with and just sit there while I talked to the owners but now I am afraid to let her near and most people don't want to let their dog near my barking, jumping, growling pup.

    What changed with her walking so much that it would cause this? I took a huge step forward in walking her but went a giant step backwards with new people and dogs. When she gets all amped up I can not get her attention with treats, toys or anything. I am training her to keep focus at home as much as possible and even out in the field where I walk her and she is fine but this happens and I lose is all from her.
    Not being able to see her doesn't help, but it sounds like (from the jumping, pulling, even growling and landing on her back, coupled with the fact she's fine when she meets the person/dog) she's excited at the sight of people/dogs and frustrated she can't do a meet and greet.
    It's going to be impossible to redirect her with treats, toys, etc once she's already flinging herself around. If you can redirect her when she notices the person but hasn't started fixating, that will be your best bet.
    I really like the book Control Unleashed (you can find it at almost any online bookstore, like amazon.com or dogwise.com). There are a lot of great games in there for dogs like yours, that are non-confrontational (since she had some fear issues, punishing this is probably not your best bet), and they're actually kind of fun once you get into the groove of things. I'm still learning from that book

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    Senior Member jinnyretr0's Avatar
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    Re: LLW, 1 Step forward, huge leap back...... help please

    I feel your pain! I've been dealing with this exact kind of behavior from Ella since I adopted her in October. Barking, growling, lunging at other dogs. For her though, it wasn't necessarily aggression, it was more what lazygranch said, it is all because she is so insanely frustrated she can't meet the other dog NOW.

    Its been a long road, and she still is FAR from perfect, but after a lot of research of training, and baby steps (that's what I've found is the key, DON'T overstimulate the dog, go very slowly), Ella's definitely gotten a bit better with her reactivity towards other dogs while on a leash. I've watched a lot of Kikopup's vids (love them, and love her! Actually met her a couple weekends ago in San Diego and get some one-on-one advice). Silky leash videos have also been great, as Cracker said.

    Good luck! Keep with it, you and your dog will learn. My advice is just don't rush it, and be prepared to have lots and lots of patience!

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    Senior Member Poly's Avatar
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    Re: LLW, 1 Step forward, huge leap back...... help please

    .... look at getting a head halter or easy walk harness...or even a prong
    .
    Used properly, a prong collar is as safe and as effective as a halter.

    In any event, devildog, remember that these are training tools. The goal is to have your dog walking under your control on a flat collar.

    You've already received some good advice.

    Don't rush the training but at the same time, don't lose sight of the goal.

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    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Re: LLW, 1 Step forward, huge leap back...... help please

    Quote Originally Posted by Poly View Post
    Used properly, a prong collar is as safe and as effective as a halter.
    In any event, devildog, remember that these are training tools. The goal is to have your dog walking under your control on a flat collar.

    You've already received some good advice.

    Don't rush the training but at the same time, don't lose sight of the goal.
    Agreed. I just don't usually recommend them as a positive trainer who sees them incorrectly fitted and incorrectly used. I do use one on the 170 lb Great Dane I walk, simply for control..he walks really well but when he does decide that the tree OVER THERE needs to be peed on some control to prevent myself and the other three dogs from being pulled across the park is helpful...lol. I'm a big woman but with three hundred pounds of dog on leash with me...I'll take any help I can get...lol
    Maggi and Cracker, Dog about Rosedale


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    Re: LLW, 1 Step forward, huge leap back...... help please

    The advice has been great so far and I will check out some of the videos mentioned. I have searched the net for endless hours watching vids about many different types of training but what I seemed to be seeing was that most were dogs that were already trained going through the steps although there were some with dogs that were just bonkers.

    I am not one to use a full out choke collar, I am however using a flat collar that has the chain at the end that tightens up and pulls the ends of the flat collar together. The way i have it set-up is even with her at full pull and the chains tight pulling on the collar there is still room on it. I am doing it this way so she doesn't choke herself out but she notices some tension on the line and stops pulling.

    She got her second walk last night and I changed it up a little bit and it made a world of difference. I let her have about 3-4ft of leash and she calmly just walked in front of me with a few pulls to try and sniff something out. I started on the Watch Me command and she has picked up on that very quick. It was about an hour long walk and during the whole thing she just kept improving. She didn't once jump, lung or back and anyone or anything. I think I am going to practice giving her a little bit of extra leash during the walking and slowly bring it closer and closer to me. She was a totally different pup with this walk so maybe I need to give her just that little bit of extra space for now and work her in closer.
    Last edited by devildog; 03-13-2010 at 09:51 AM.

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    Senior Member Poly's Avatar
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    Re: LLW, 1 Step forward, huge leap back...... help please

    Quote Originally Posted by devildog View Post
    I am not one to use a full out choke collar, I am however using a flat collar that has the chain at the end that tightens up and pulls the ends of the flat collar together. The way i have it set-up is even with her at full pull and the chains tight pulling on the collar there is still room on it. I am doing it this way so she doesn't choke herself out but she notices some tension on the line and stops pulling.
    This is called a "chain martingale" collar and if you can train her with that, you are doing great.

    Some people end up using a martingale-style collar as their regular collar instead of a buckle collar. Nothing wrong with that.

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    Re: LLW, 1 Step forward, huge leap back...... help please

    So thats what a martingale is, for some reason I thought they were the harness type that has the ring in front to control the dog. I must of read about every collar but just mixed up the names. With this colar it works out pretty well and I would like to use it as her normal colar but the size of her neck is really wierd. The small/medium martigale collars are way to small and the next size it pretty big as to where I have it fully tightened and the rings touch easily when she is at full pull with room still left. Hopefully we can get some progress over the next few weeks with this route and go from there. Any other tips are great as well. Thanks

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    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Re: LLW, 1 Step forward, huge leap back...... help please

    The martingale collar should be just big enough to get over her head relatively easily, it should only get tight enough to not slip back off over her head, rather than really tight. Sizing takes some trying, I know..lol.

    So you've figured out that a looser leash makes a difference. Good for you. Leashes should only be for safety (management) rather than as a restriction on the dog. For training, I think the silky leash video is probably your best bet..what it teaches is that tension on the collar/leash is not rewarding, but "loose" is. Tension on the leash is probably the number one issue with people trying to walk their dogs..it creates an automatic, involuntary pull. Since your dog is reactive/frustrated by the tension (and who wouldn't be) teaching her that loose is GOOD will go a long way.
    Maggi and Cracker, Dog about Rosedale


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