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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

My name is Andreea and I am the owner of a cutie Shar-pei named Lulu. She is extremely smart and very easy to train in the house, but impossible to handle outside.

To get a bit of background on us, here is our story in short:

I got her when she was 2 mo. old. She was extremely smart and because we could not take her out for walks because she didn't have her vaccines done right and we had to redo everything, we potty trained her to go in the bathroom. It was extremely easy to do that. (I am telling you this so you can understand her potential).

By the time she was 5 mo she knew sit and lie down from what we've been practicing at home. She can be easily trained in the house with ANY treats and ANY toy. However we could not get her to walk properly in a leash outside as she is not interested in ANYTHING that I have to bring to the table outside...So we made the effort of walking 1 hour to get to a trainer in our city and paid quite some money to get her trained because I thought maybe someone with experience could help us.

2 months into the training and she learned the command wait and we are using a leash like this: http://www.myusapetsupplies.com/images/02315.jpg to train her for leash walking. She walks almost OK on training grounds, but she is still doing her own thing when we are out in the city where there are lots of distractions. No amount of short sudden pulls of leash will take her out of what she wants to do, ESPECIALLY when she sees another dog or a cat outside. She would pull so bad she would strangle herself. We had to give up on training because after 2 mo I couldn't see much of an improvement and the 1 hour walk there and back + 1-2 hours of actual training was a bit too much for my busy schedule.

1 and a half months after leaving the dog training sessions we are still using that leash (the trainer said we need to use it for at least half of year to see results) but I realised that she has a patch with no fur and pretty serious rub burns on her neck. Assuming it was from the freaking leash and her pulling habits without care if it hurts we gave up using that leash.

I am looking for advice in the following:

1. What other methods should I try for teaching her how to walk properly in the leash OUTSIDE? ( taking into consideration no treats count for her outside, no toys count, sometimes she doesn't even look at me when I call her name. Inside she follows the leash perfectly)

2. What can I do to stop her from aggressive pulling when she sees a cat/dog, considering the same lack of interest in the commands I give her outside? (I tried to make her sit, while holding her with my hands into place, but she will just not stay put)

3. Do you think that even if the methods are a bit harsh, I should still use some kind of leash that hurts her when she pulls?

Really hoping that someone has time to read and give me some advice.. I feel so lost..I really want to do what's best for her..and I don't want people to be scared of her on the streets because she can't walk nicely on a leash :(
 

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Please stop leash popping your dog! Unfortunately you hired an "oldschool" trainer. Those methods are rarely used nowadays. Leash popping suppresses unwanted behavior, which can lead to frustration, and sometimes even aggression. That is why most trainers suggest using positive methods that work on replacing the unwanted behavior/reaction with a wanted behavior/reaction instead.

Sometimes, with a dog that has no interest in treats, toys, etc. outside, simply stopping, or going the opposite way is enough to deter them. Are you sure she is not interested in treats? Have you tried human food like cheese, ham, or cooked meat? I would also work on the basic "watch me" command. Try working on it indoors first, then on your porch, etc. Don't move forward until she gives you eye contact.

Look up the EasyWalk Harness or the Freedom No-Pull Harness. I would suggest purchasing one of these harnesses to help with the pulling issue for now.

There is a sticky for dogs with reactivity... http://www.dogforums.com/dog-training-forum/191506-links-books-blogs-etc.html

Have a look at it :)

I definitely feel your pain about reactive dogs! I hope you will be able to find what motivates her to help you deal with the issue.

Also good for you for reaching out and doing your own research :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Exactly what I was thinking.... There has to be a better way than that. I was also scared that this will make her aggressive, considering the fact that Shar-pei's are already a bit prone to aggression.

I did not try with meat yet outside, but I will surely try it. I only tried with bread or biscuits. The problem is we live in an apartment block, not in a house, so there is no such thing as an isolated outside environment to take the training step by step :(. It's inside - completely easy to focus - and next step outside -cars/dogs/people/ lots of noise. When I stop she usually gets the idea that she needs to stop as well, but as soon as I take the next step she's speeding ahead. Going the other way makes her walk properly for 1-2 steps, then she goes into 'searching mode' again, speeding ahead.

Thanks for the information on the harnesses and the suggestion to check the sticky. I will look into it.
 

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Taquitos already provided a lot of great info so I'll just add a couple of my own opinions. I used the freedom no pull harness and was pretty happy with it in terms of quality. Several people on the forum have noted that the Easy Walk has chaffed their dogs. The Freedom No Pull harness has a velvety sleeve over the straps in areas where chaffing would occur, however this worked poorly for us because it matted my dogs fur badly under the straps, even with frequent brushing. I don't think this would be a problem for a shar-pei though so between the two I'd recommend the Freedom. One really nice thing about it is the shorter leash it comes with, which I felt gave me more control when needed.

Definitely try small bits of cheese or meat over bread and dry biscuits. They also sell small soft training treats that would be higher motivation than hard dry treats. I often use low fat string cheese on walks.
 

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I don't know the exact layout of your apartment/ neighbourhood, but there is a definitive 'transition point' regardless. Could be the hallway, maybe the lobby, or even literally as you step out the door and set foot on the sidewalk. It does exist.

Find that point, make a mental note of it's location for future reference, and always require your dog to exhibit good behavior once she passes it. If she doesn't, then use a no reward maker such as "oops" in a timely manner, immediately back up to where she is attentive and unreactive, in the hallway for example, and simply try moving forward once again. Use R+ (meat treats) liberally on 'the other side' and repeat as necessary until your dog gets the basic message you're sending. Shouldn't take too long before she improves, even slightly. Then build on it for increasingly further distances.

I assume all of this is covered in the link taquitos provided, ie: the mechanism more formally known as 'threshold' and how to establish it's location and remain under it. I'm just saying that it does exist in your case, *somewhere*, and with certainty, even if it's your entranceway or whatever. Learn to use that point as a means of achieving progress.
 

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Exactly what I was thinking.... There has to be a better way than that. I was also scared that this will make her aggressive, considering the fact that Shar-pei's are already a bit prone to aggression.

I did not try with meat yet outside, but I will surely try it. I only tried with bread or biscuits. The problem is we live in an apartment block, not in a house, so there is no such thing as an isolated outside environment to take the training step by step :(. It's inside - completely easy to focus - and next step outside -cars/dogs/people/ lots of noise. When I stop she usually gets the idea that she needs to stop as well, but as soon as I take the next step she's speeding ahead. Going the other way makes her walk properly for 1-2 steps, then she goes into 'searching mode' again, speeding ahead.

Thanks for the information on the harnesses and the suggestion to check the sticky. I will look into it.
I think another thing to note is perhaps the fact that your dog does not know what you want from her. A lot of it is also consistency. You may end up going back and forth over just half a block if your dog is not used to loose leash walking yet. Make sure to make it clear what you want. If cheese or cooked meat works better, then I would try assigning a marker such as "yes!" or "good girl!". You can do this by saying the marker word, and following it swiftly with a treat. Try just doing that indoors a few times. With enough repetition your dog should know that "yes!" = a treat is coming yay! With that in place you should be able to clearly communicate that walking by your side without pulling = good.

Another thing is to not expect a whole lot of improvement within the first few weeks. Honestly LLW is one of the hardest things to train, imo, because it is all about consistency. Reward HEAVILY when you are first starting. Literally, with every step, mark and treat. You can slowly start easing off the treat from there on, and then begin randomizing it as well. That should help with the walking, but the reactivity will have to be worked on as well.

Good luck!

And if you ever have the time to post your doggy up in the dog pictures part of the forum, please do! Gotta love those squishy wrinkly pei faces ^_^
 

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Excellent advice above!

I only tried with bread or biscuits.
Definitely try something more interesting and desirable both inside and outside. I took cooked chicken to puppy class one night and I had all the pups gathered around me. Try real meat or homemade treats made primarily with meat. My dogs go crazy for tuna fudge.

Also, can you walk in a different location? Maybe a local park where there are fewer distractions? I have to take my dog to parks to walk because every other house in our neighborhood has a dog "contained" behind an invisible fence going nuts at us.
 

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Another thing is to not expect a whole lot of improvement within the first few weeks. Honestly LLW is one of the hardest things to train, imo, because it is all about consistency. Reward HEAVILY when you are first starting. Literally, with every step, mark and treat.
Definitely agree with the above! Honestly, LLW was something that I felt like we weren't getting anywhere with for a while but he improved so slowly and gradually that one day I just realized, hey he's been walking sooooo much better, when did that happen?! Prior to that epiphany I was feeling hopeless about his walking. What worked for us was a combination of positive reinforcement and negative punishment in the form of not moving forward if he chose to pull like a maniac. I also dealt with him stopping nicely and then continuing to pull the second we started moving forward again, but if you stop enough times, and also incorporate a command for heeling by your side and treating so that he understands that's what you want from him... eventually he should get it. It's just definitely not an over night, over a week, or sometimes even over a month thing.

We're still working on controlling his prey drive while on walks (lots of squirrels and deer), but he's not nearly as reactive to dogs (he used to want to play with every dog that we came across, even if they were barking and snarling at him). Rapid fire treats helped a lot with this to keep him focused on me. Now he'll keep walking by and stay quiet for the most part, with the occasional little cry that I take as him trying his best to exhibit self control. I'm sure the links provided above contain much more thorough advice though.
 

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You should also resign yourself to the fact that going outdoors may mean you only move 20 ft. You have to correct each time using whatever method you choose: stopping, penalty yards or turn around. If she walks a couple of steps and then pulls again, you have to rinse/repeat. Don't give her the high value treats anywhere but outside.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all for the advices!

I've been using the hallway as well, she behaves pretty good there. She knows when we get back if I leave her off the leash when we enter the hallway then she is not allowed to be more than 1 step in front or behind me until we reach the 3rd floor, where we live. She will then sit by the door until I open and enter and she will wait until I tell her 'Come on!' to enter the apartment.

The bad part is that from the hallway we go directly into a busy parking lot and she is scared of cars (basically everything that makes a lot of sound). We live in the middle of the city, near the city hall.

Nevertheless I will try to use the hallway more and maybe even not leave far from the building door if she doesn't behave. Definitely will try with meat, as inside she goes crazy for it.. I am curious to how she will react outside.

Regarding the harness, I live in Romania (Eastern Europe) so I was trying to find an alternative to your suggestions. All I could find was this: https://animalulfericit.ro/halti-ham-caine-small.html Do you think this would do? The offer for these kinds of harnesses is limited here apparently.. If it's not OK then I'll see how I can order the originals without having to pay a lot of taxes.

@taquitos I will definitely look for the picture thread and post a picture of my pretty lady. She doesn't have as many wrinkles now, but when she was little she looked like a folded blanket :D
 

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That looks like it would be fine. If you notice chafing, you could buy a small amount of soft material like fleece and sew it around the chafing points yourself. It wouldn't look the best (depending on your sewing skills), but it would work.
 

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Thank you all for the advices!

I've been using the hallway as well, she behaves pretty good there. She knows when we get back if I leave her off the leash when we enter the hallway then she is not allowed to be more than 1 step in front or behind me until we reach the 3rd floor, where we live. She will then sit by the door until I open and enter and she will wait until I tell her 'Come on!' to enter the apartment.

The bad part is that from the hallway we go directly into a busy parking lot and she is scared of cars (basically everything that makes a lot of sound). We live in the middle of the city, near the city hall.

Nevertheless I will try to use the hallway more and maybe even not leave far from the building door if she doesn't behave. Definitely will try with meat, as inside she goes crazy for it.. I am curious to how she will react outside.

Regarding the harness, I live in Romania (Eastern Europe) so I was trying to find an alternative to your suggestions. All I could find was this: https://animalulfericit.ro/halti-ham-caine-small.html Do you think this would do? The offer for these kinds of harnesses is limited here apparently.. If it's not OK then I'll see how I can order the originals without having to pay a lot of taxes.

@taquitos I will definitely look for the picture thread and post a picture of my pretty lady. She doesn't have as many wrinkles now, but when she was little she looked like a folded blanket :D
Heyyy my boyfriend is Romanian! Haha :)

Haltis will work but your dog might not like it all that much and may try rubbing her face all over the place lol! But they do work :) Make sure not to pop your leash if you use this kind! You can severely damage her neck. Don't let her run ahead of you and then come to a sudden halt at the end of the leash -- that will also hurt her as well.
 

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Heyyy my boyfriend is Romanian! Haha :)
Hah! What a coincidence! :D
Make sure not to pop your leash if you use this kind! You can severely damage her neck.
I'm afraid what will happen when she sees dogs, usually she will pull so hard she gets on 2 feet... How would I be able to make sure she doesn't hurt herself in this situation?

P.S.: Ask and you shall receive! Here are photos of my pei :) http://www.dogforums.com/dog-pictures-forum/334450-lulu-my-shar-pei.html#post3634090

It wouldn't look the best (depending on your sewing skills), but it would work.
Hah! My sewing skills aren't the best, but Hey! if it works, it doesn't matter if it doesn't look fancy.
 

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I'm afraid what will happen when she sees dogs, usually she will pull so hard she gets on 2 feet... How would I be able to make sure she doesn't hurt herself in this situation?
On a front clip harness (like the one you linked to), lunging shouldn't really be any more harmful than lunging on a collar (especially a slip lead). My dog does the same thing and doesn't seem any worse for wear. That said, you should try to prevent lunging as much as possible. I'm often able to predict when my dog will react - I know which houses have dogs, I'm constantly vigilant rather than relaxed on walks, I know where deer and rabbits like to congregate - and I can pee-emptively get her attention on me.

(I think) You mentioned that she seems frightened of things outside. Instead of going for walks, you might try just doing some counter-conditioning with her. I need to get to a meeting, but search for "Sophia Yin counter conditioning" and "Donna Hill counter conditioning." With CC, you're not looking for specific behavior from her. Really, you want her to not react at all (i.e., stay under threshold).

She's a cutie!
 

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(I think) You mentioned that she seems frightened of things outside. Instead of going for walks, you might try just doing some counter-conditioning with her. I need to get to a meeting, but search for "Sophia Yin counter conditioning" and "Donna Hill counter conditioning." With CC, you're not looking for specific behavior from her. Really, you want her to not react at all (i.e., stay under threshold).
Thank you! I will look into that! Yes, she is afraid of almost everything. This was actually the main reason why I wanted a trainer, but I was disappointed by the fact that this issue wasn't even involved in the training sessions.

She's a cutie!
Hehe :D Lulu says thanks!
 

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1. What other methods should I try for teaching her how to walk properly in the leash OUTSIDE? ( taking into consideration no treats count for her outside, no toys count, sometimes she doesn't even look at me when I call her name. Inside she follows the leash perfectly)
Milo is exactly the same. He's overly curious and distracted and it's probably because there are so many scents to be occupied by. I must say puppy training classes have helped along with seeing the trainer one on one and that was to deal with walking and being wary of other dogs, so look into that, especially if you're nervous about dog aggression. I think practising in your backyard, front yard, and just up and down your street would be beneficial too. Don't forget to come to a sudden halt if she pulls. Make sure you're in charge of the walk and the direction, not her. Have you tried a clicker? Instead of telling her off for bad behaviour or pulling, walk normally and practice sit and lie down every now and then but when she does what's expected of her, click and treat - if you can. She'll know she's doing something right and continue that behaviour pattern. I find Milo looks at me sometimes if I have my clicker as if he's trying to be good and waiting until he does something to be rewarded for. Definitely helped us. Even just simple praise can do wonders. Try to use richer treats such as sausage or chicken as well.

2. What can I do to stop her from aggressive pulling when she sees a cat/dog, considering the same lack of interest in the commands I give her outside? (I tried to make her sit, while holding her with my hands into place, but she will just not stay put)
Your body language is a big part of this as well as hers. We found that if we held Milo's lead looser and instead of holding him still simply put a hand in front of his chest and made him sit (if he doesn't do it on command, we use one hand to slip under the back of his collar on his neck and carefully slide our hand down his back to just tuck his bum under; never pushing the bum though as that can do damage or hurt), he was less likely to bark and be uncomfortable. He felt safe and like he could escape if needed but we still had control. His issue was more so fear that the other dog would come over and hurt him and that's why he was slightly aggressive, but I'm sure the same techniques would still apply.

Try not to stop every time you see a dog or a cat. Keep walking, keep perky, keep happy, keep confident! 'Oh, look! It's a cat! That's awesome! Come on, let's keep going'. Like I said, you're important to this too. She might pick up on that you're worried and be worried herself or feel a need to protect you. Do you know why she's aggressive? Did you socialise her enough? Was she older when you got her and therefore missed out on proper socialisation? Figure out the root of that and go to a trainer for extra assistance. You can always meet other dogs in a group training course in a safe environment with professionals to step in if needed. Plus, most of the time you're all on your own doing your own thing anyway. Don't tell her off for watching the dog/cat on the walk either. If she's simply doing just that, watching, and if she's sat down nicely and quietly - treat, treat, treat! Then keep walking like seeing a dog or a cat was the best time of your life.

3. Do you think that even if the methods are a bit harsh, I should still use some kind of leash that hurts her when she pulls?
In my own opinion, no. I don't have much experience in leads or walking materials but I do think that walks are to be enjoyed. It keeps the both of you fit and well and is great fun for Lulu and great bonding time. I don't think she'd enjoy the walk with something rubbing into her back and making her sore, especially if it hasn't really made any progress. You could do what Amaryllis said and sew fleece around chafing points but if it hasn't made anything better or hasn't done anything different in regard to how she is on walks, I would look into something else.

Our training group sells harnesses shipped over from America and they're the best we've ever used. If I explained I would hardly do it justice so just click the link below. How it says it works is so accurate. He isn't in heel but he is slightly in front or beside me and there's a slack in the leash. He trots along very happily. I'm definitely in control of the walk and if Milo gets too excited, I do the sudden halt and he knows who he needs to be listening to. He will stop when I do and look at me, waiting for when I'm ready to go again. He looks at me other times and I've been told by my trainer this is because he's checking I'm still there and checking for direction and praise; he knows when he looks at me it's good. I'm reinforcing that with praise and the clicker I mentioned. :)

And you know what? We got this harness on Monday. It's Wednesday and we've been on five walks since - more walks in two days than we have in a week and we're loving it. The second we got that harness on he was a lot better with the additional commands and more reactive to the halts and it doesn't hurt him at all. Walks are so much more enjoyable for us. I definitely recommend it for Lulu. I also recommend seeing a trainer and working with them on how Lulu is with other dogs and cats. Milo is already a ton better with them just by doing what I talked about before and by seeing the trainer. Sorry for the long reply but being in a similar boat and still in the process of getting that boat to sail perfectly, I had a lot to say! :) Here's the link - http://www.walkyourdogwithlove.com/howworks.php
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ahh...feels so good to know that the struggle happens to others as well. Unfortunately I don't think I can find a good trainer in my city from what I could find online, but all the advices here are of great help.

I did think about using a clicker at one point.. I know the basic concept, but I never used one before. I could give it a try.. Maybe that + harness + some very yummy treats will do the trick. Plus I discovered just now, on our evening walk that at night, when there are no people out she is responsive to treats.. I will use this in my advantage.

Thank you for the link!
 

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Questions;
1. What other methods should I try for teaching her how to walk properly in the leash OUTSIDE? ( taking into consideration no treats count for her outside, no toys count, sometimes she doesn't even look at me when I call her name. Inside she follows the leash perfectly)

2. What can I do to stop her from aggressive pulling when she sees a cat/dog, considering the same lack of interest in the commands I give her outside? (I tried to make her sit, while holding her with my hands into place, but she will just not stay put)

3. Do you think that even if the methods are a bit harsh, I should still use some kind of leash that hurts her when she pulls?
Answers;

1. I walk a dog who is approximately 100lbs and pulls like his life depends on it. I have 70lbs on him and he has dragged me OVER a picnic table in the past, and nearly broke my hand another time. That said, yesterday I had a chance to approach him 'my way', without his owners present. He walked like a dream.
Before we even left the property, I had him do some 'look at me' work. All I would do, is call his name, and give him a treat if he looked at me. He learned REALLY quickly to look when I said his name. Once we had that down, we started walking. Again - he's a big puller, so I would stop now and then and wait to see if he'd try to pull me. If he did - I'd say his name, he'd respond by turning towards me and creating slack in the leash, which he was then rewarded for.
The trick with him was to establish the fact that we were working as a team, walking together, and that I wasn't making 'demands' of him (which he's not used to, his owner is more... hands on). When he would stop to sniff something, he would turn his entire body sideways and get close to the ground to anchor himself - his owner would normally pull him away from all sniffing opportunities, but I allowed him to sniff instead and quickly the anchoring also ceased making the walk itself more enjoyable.

- Take the puppy into the yard, and work on 'look at me' as a starting point before even going for your walk. It will greatly improve other aspects of loose leash walking.

2. Another dog I walk, is extremely dog reactive and has a high prey drive. If I had let her she would happily chase every cat, squirrel, car, bike or PERSON in the neighborhood. As above - before even leaving the property, I did some 'look at me' work, using the exact same technique as I did with the first dog. She did eventually see a cat, and completely brushed me off - but I expected that, so I grabbed the back of her harness and although she was paying absolutely no attention to me, I led her away from the trigger. When she began responding again, I cue'd her to sit and rewarded her heavily with praise and high value treats.
Over the course of our walk, she learned that paying attention to me was more rewarding than trying to get to the cars/bikes/cats/etc. We were even able to pass 1 dog across the street without barking and pulling towards the dog! AND we were able to walk ahead of, and behind, AND PASS a pair of shihtzu's with very little issue. When she began to reach her threshold, I kept her focus by cuing her to 'sit' and rewarding while we watched the 2 dogs pass us.

- Again, work on 'look at me' this is a really helpful tool for training dogs who are reactive in either negative, or even positive (over excited) ways and will help you A LOT. Do not expect overnight results.

3. No, I don't think you need to use pain to teach. The 2 dogs in my above answers are routinely trained using pain techniques (hitting/punching/pressing on chest plate) and are absolute nightmares around their respective owners. I approached them using positive re-enforcement techniques and they responded well to it.
Build a friendship with your dog, not a "I'm the Boss" relationship where they learn to fear or even resent you and could become aggressive or fearful to the point of appearing "broken".
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Very useful!

I watched videos on Youtube on how to train dogs or so, but those dogs were always so good and not at all excitable, while mine... Not easy to get her to focus. Your advice is great. Nice to hear from someone's experience. Thank you!
 
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