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Hopefully you aren't trying to correct the dog with leash pops and pulls. This can cause behavioral problems from shutdown to aggression, depending on the dog and the situation.

This video from Kikopup shows a method that works quite well for leash training.

 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Hopefully you aren't trying to correct the dog with leash pops and pulls.
I am not trying to correct him yet with the slip collar. I have only tried to get him to accept wearing it. I intended not to pull or pop but it is possible that the collar is making him uncomfortable because of the way he moves while he is in it.

Thanks for the video, I have been trying something like this in class; While the instructor was watching me she suggested the slip collar. I am not always doing well with food incentives, I am too slow getting a treat for him. I am better with praise which doesn't work as well for something like heel.

I am interested in the gentle leader because it seems like it would help me if I could have more control over what he is paying attention to. But, as the instructor was generous to lend me a slip collar to try, I should put some effort into exploring this option as well.
 

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Your pup is too young to be forced to run for such a long time. They should only run around when they want to, and be able to choose to stop when they get tired. Forced runs at a young age can cause damage to the growth plates in their joints. Wait until the growth plates close (usually 18-24 months old for a large dog) before running with them, or running them on a treadmill. You could have the dog walk on the treadmill instead, or go for longer walks.

I HATE retractable leashes! I've seen a puppy wind itself around its owner while on one, then take off, yanking the person off her feet. Then the puppy was loose and running down the street and into traffic - scary! I also don't like approaching a dog who's on a retractable leash. The owner doesn't have control of such a dog b/c they're too far away from them. I always cross the street to the other side when I see a dog approaching who's on a retractable leash. I also think they train the dog to pull, since they have to pull more of the leash out of the holder.

While on a standard leash, try stopping and refusing to move everytime your dog pulls. Yes, it might take FOREVER to get anywhere at first - practice in your own yard for the first few times. You have to be consistent with this. Once you stop moving, don't have any reaction while your dog pulls; no yanking, no yelling. Eventually, the dog will get curious and turn around to look at you (thus loosening the leash), wondering why in the world you're not moving. At that time, give him a high value treat (TINY pieces of hot dog or boiled chicken work well for many dogs). Take another few steps (the dog will probably start pulling again). Stop again and wait. Treat when the dog eventually turns around to look at you, loosening the leash. Consistency is the key. This may take DAYS before you start seeing results - be patient. The dog has to realize that he only gets to walk when he's not pulling. Making the dog stop every so often and sit/stay is good training, too. Again, treat when you get a positive result.

You can also change direction often, sometimes after only a few steps. Dogs tend to start pulling more when they're going in the same direction for awhile. Again, you may want to start practicing in your own yard. Let the dog know you're going to change direction before you actually do it, so you don't yank his neck. You can say something like, "let's go this way", or something like that.

I use a Gentle Leader on my fiesty westie, because she's quite a puller, even with a choke chain or martingale collar. She didn't like it at first, but she's learned that it means a walk, so she's accepting it now. You can adjust it so that the dog can still breathe and pant just fine. You want to adjust it tight enough to stay on, but still have the dog be able to open their mouths to pant. Be prepared for your pup to pitch a fit when it's first put on (some dogs will even do fish rolls trying to get it off at first - lol!). Just keep walking. Don't yank on the leash when using the Gentle Leader. This collar puts pressure on the dog's sensitive nose, so you want to be careful.
 

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Running a pup is a really, really bad plan. You are flirting with joint issues that could last for the life of the dog.

If your timing with food is not good, your timing with corrections probably won't be either. Learn your timing before using the slip collar. Slip collars are ONLY useful if you are good with corrections. They were designed to be corrective collars. They are supposed to be "popped" and released.
 

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Not sure I see where it makes any difference if the collar is attached to either a flexi or a 6' leather leash. If I'm understanding your situation correctly, a bad reaction to a self-correction is a bad reaction to a self-correction, and can happen no matter which leash is used.


If the dog has not been properly taught how to walk on a loose leash first, if he doesn't have a THOROUGH understanding of the behaviour that you're expecting, and a true ability to comply, beforehand ... then applying corrections with a choke or slip collar prior to reaching this understanding is simply unfair. Especially with a tender, 14 week-old pup, who I doubt has these abilities yet .

If the trainer did not give you THOROUGH instructions on the slip collar's proper use before handing you one and sending you home with it to try, ... then I might be inclined to call the trainer's advice into question. At the very least.

Return the slip collar, explain that it did not work and the effects it caused, thank them for the thought regardless, ... and ask for extra help with your treat / timing technique instead. Learn the proper mechanics and put in the extra effort now, in the early days, to keep his training 'positive' for a lifetime. :)


Agree completely with the advice given re: joints and bone development. Try increasing mental stimulation, rather than such a high level of physical stimulation.
 

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Could you give more detail on the dog acting angry and aggressive? Like what does he do when he's on the slip collar?
It's very strange for a young pup to be aggressive, so I wanna make sure it's actual aggression and you aren't confusing it with something else.

Anyway, you'll want to learn to control him on a 6 ft leash because most places say the longest leash you can have is a 6ft leash, everywhere from stores, to hiking trails.
A good rule for slip collars is you correct ONLY when the dog puts tension on the leash, so when you feel he's going forward, correct by pulling quickly to the side NOT up(that makes it a choker) and relax the tension right away. If you hold the tension, then the dog doesn't learn anything, and it just sees you as pulling it to the side for no reason.
However, talk to your trainer so he can give you some hands on practice with that, if you are too slow or too early with the corrections, then you're bound to confuse the dog, or the message won't get through.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
OK, thanks everyone for your reasonable advice. I will be practicing with the 6" leash. The instructor didn't tell me to pop the leash, she said he would correct himself.
 

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A good rule for slip collars is you correct ONLY when the dog puts tension on the leash, so when you feel he's going forward, correct by pulling quickly to the side NOT up(that makes it a choker) and relax the tension right away. If you hold the tension, then the dog doesn't learn anything, and it just sees you as pulling it to the side for no reason.
So ... you too, like the trainer, are advocating collar correcting a 14 week-old puppy, who most likely hasn't learned even the most basic fundamentals of LLW behaviour to any appreciable degree, YET ???

In the grand scheme of things, I think it's safe to say this pup is ~barely off his mother's teat~, relatively speaking. Good grief.

Bluntly stated, corrections are typically reserved for more mature dogs who thoroughly understand the handler's expectation but fail to comply. << Makes sense ???
 

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So ... you too, like the trainer, are advocating collar correcting a 14 week-old puppy, who most likely hasn't learned even the most basic fundamentals of LLW behaviour to any appreciable degree, YET ???

In the grand scheme of things, I think it's safe to say this pup is ~barely off his mother's teat~, relatively speaking. Good grief.

Bluntly stated, corrections are typically reserved for more mature dogs who thoroughly understand the handler's expectation but fail to comply. << Makes sense ???
I didn't actually advocate using the slip collar, providing the owner with information on how to properly use it was my intention, in the event she does use it, something that you or I cannot control, no matter how much you or I say otherwise.
A 14 week puppy is very capable of being corrected, I've done it with pups and my own pup in the past, my pup was actually 12 weeks old, when I would use soft corrections to the side, I definitely didn't do it to hurt the dog, just send him a little off balance. Would I use a different method today if I could redo it or with a client? Probably. There are safer, nicer ways and I'm much more educated on the subject, than I was in the past.
But again, my intention was to inform, if crysknife does use corrections, I'd rather she know the proper way, so she doesn't hurt her dog.
 

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So, basically, this bitty little puppy has to endure pain and fear (and that's what's causing his "aggression". it's not aggression, he's just scared and wants you to stop) because you can't be bothered to learn how to properly time a treat?

That's really sad.

Let me tell you something. I have a genetic form of early onset degenerative arthritis in almost every joint as well as carpal tunnel in my hands. I've lost a good bit of feeling in my fingers and my fingers overall are stiff and clumsy. Yet I still managed to learn how to juggle a clicker and a treat in one hand for the sake of my dog.

What's your excuse?
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I have seen slip collars used and while I might not inspire your confidence, I know they are not necessarily cruel when used properly, and I am making every effort be cautious so that I do not cause any harm while I am on a learning curve.
 

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1. I have seen slip collars used and while I might not inspire your confidence, I know they are not necessarily cruel when used properly, and I am making every effort be cautious so that I do not cause any harm while I am on a learning curve.

2. I don't think personal attacks are appropriate.

3. I am perceiving that this is a touchy subject, so I have reported my thread to the mods. I would still appreciate receiving any additional useful information privately. Thank you.


Nobody here has attacked you, however many are concerned for the wellbeing of the pup. Running a 14 week old pup puts extra strain on the joints and increases the chance of Hip Dysplacia and other devastating joint injuries.

As far as training the pup for walking, please go take a peek at the training forum stickies, there is a great one there on loose leash walking that will help you both.
 

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Please do not worry about the treadmill. I am not forcing him to run, he enjoys running on the treadmill and he runs when he asks to, (especially now that it's so hot outside, he'd rather run & play inside in the AC). My veterinarian says this will not hurt him.
By "forced" running as compared to "free running" it doesn't mean that you are physically dragging your dog along and forcing him to run. It is whether his body is being "forced" to conform to a particular motion/action or not.
In the context of a physically immature dog, forced running is any running on-leash or on a treadmill that creates the same, repetitive motions and repetitive impacts on growing joints. Running freely on grass in the yard has lower impact and the varied motions help prevent stressing the same tendons and such on each step.

Think of it like this- a kid can run and play freely with his friends for hours but if you take the same kid and have them pitch a baseball over and over, you'll see repetitive stress injuries. (I use this example because doctors are seeing injuries in pee-wee sports players that were previously only seen in major league players and some college players and leagues are now putting in maximums on the number of pitches a kid can throw)

If it is very hot outside, try playing outside earlier in the AM or later in the evening, setting up a kiddie pool to splash in or wetting him down before playing outside.

Thanks for the video, I have been trying something like this in class; While the instructor was watching me she suggested the slip collar. I am not always doing well with food incentives, I am too slow getting a treat for him. I am better with praise which doesn't work as well for something like heel.
Try clicker training and get a treat bag that hangs on your belt and holds itself open so its easy to grab a treat. The clicker "marks" the correct behavior and give you that extra second or two to get the treat out. You can also hold a treat at the ready but holding it behind your back; give the command (like sit) and use your chosen hand signal with the non-treat hand.

On a retractable leash, he knows that when we reach an area where it's appropriate, I will let his rambunctious puppy impulses use all 16 feet of the leash. On a standard leash he knows he will always be stuck within 6 feet of me and that I can't keep up with what he likes to do, running around everywhere wildly.
Yep; the retractable has taught him to pull. It has taught him that he gets 16 ft of leash and he has the "right" to use it. He has to be taught that he needs to walk without pulling on a standard leash and only once he has learned that can he have the privilege of gaining freedom. By the mechanics of all retractable leashes they require the dog to pull in order to use the extended leash; which is but one reason (among the stronger safety based reasons against retractables) that a plain flat 15 -25 training lead is a better choice for giving a dog more freedom for playtime.

(When we're mostly alone in the woods he is often off-leash because he has great recall when he is not distracted by other dogs or people; He's a very friendly dog.)
Just a word of caution- you need to have much better recall EVEN when distracted by dogs and people (actually, particularly when distracted by dogs) before you allow him off-leash outside of your property or other private fenced property. This goes double if the area you are in is technically an on-leash area (yes, I know there are many rural and wooded areas that have no leash laws, but most state parks etc do). If your friendly puppy goes running up to the wrong dog and you cannot call him back, he could end up injured or worse. Hopefully people with dog aggressive dogs are not taking them to off-leash locations where they might run into other dogs, but if the accepted protocol (or the law) is to use a leash, then some of those leashed dogs could be dog aggressive.
My previous foster dog was dog-reactive. She would act aggressively if a loose dog ran up on us. I actually had to hold her off the ground by her harness once or twice to prevent her from "defending" herself against an off-leash (illegally, it was a city park) puppy while the person ineffectually called the dog to "come". thankfully my personal large dog is very dog friendly and simply sniffed the pup because there was no way I had an extra hand for him.
 

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As someone who is strongly against physical forms of correction, I don't agree with trainers who suggest leash popping. I've seen it in action in the training centres, and something about it just seems so wrong. The most obedient dogs I've seen had owners who never once had to issue a leash pop correction.
 

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I don't agree with leash popping under most circumstances either. However, if you are using a choke chain/slip collar, there is no other way to use it correctly. The dog can't really self-correct. They just noose themselves.

There are a lot of good reasons that the choke chain has fallen out of favor. The necessity of "popping" is one of them. The need for very clean timing is another. The choke chain is one of the last tools I would ever suggest for someone. They are so rarely used correctly. They can injure a dog. And used correctly, they tighten fairly hard around a dog's neck.

I have a choke chain. My dog wears it at dog shows. We are leashless when we compete. I like the way it looks on him and I like the control it gives me in the event that he gets rushed by a rude dog in crowded situations. For the most part though, I think that they should be abandoned as a tool.
 

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Here is a link to the research I told you about via PM. It names jogging, but running on a treadmill is basically the same.

http://doghealthdoc.com/muscle-joint/canine-hip-dysplasia-which-dogs-progression/

An injury in a young dog, overexertion or repetitive motion, in a young dog can result in hip dysplasia developing at a younger age in a dog.

It is suggested that a small dog should not be taken jogging until at least six months, and a large dog until they have stopped growing which is a year or more. If the joint is not fully formed, jogging can start the degeneration of the joint earlier.


Now, as far as getting him to walk Politely on leash, try this training. It's far more humane and suitable for a GSD, they are generally smart and very eager to please thier humans, he should catch on in no time if you are consistant.
 

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I have a 9 month old GSD that has finished 3 levels of obedience and got her CGC. She has been trained on a flat collar and doesn't require a prong or choke collar, which I'm thankful for. A prong should never be used on a puppy as young as this one, it can cause behavior issues. The best way to teach them to walk nicely is to start out with a focus command...watch me with treats works well. After your puppy understands watch me, teaching how to heel should be fairly easy. I use heel and "with me" for mine. I also use a retractable leash with my dog about 50% of the time, she goes the length of it, turns around, looks at me, and comes back to me. In general GSD's like to be close to their owners and with consistent training they can remain that way. I would also advise against running the pup. Any trainers or vets I have spoken to do not recommend this until the puppy is at least a year old. Mine is going into agility and there is not a class out there that will let my dog do the jumps or running involved in agility until she is one years old. If your are still having problems with the pulling you can try the easy walk harness, this worked great with my golden. He was very annoyed and agitated with the gentle leader..it did more bad then good. Good Luck
 

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My brother did the same thing with his GSD (running him too much too young) he ended up with bone splinters in both elbows, one of which the operating vet said was the largest that he had taken from an elbow, your dog needs to be at least 6 months or older before you start running him like that. Pardon my ignorance, but is a slip collar like a prong collar or is it just a chain?
 
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