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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Johnny is a golden retriever/yellow lab mix that just WILL NOT walk nicely on a leash. He will be 2yrs old on July 5th; I've had him since he was about 8wks old. He is highly food-motivated, and has been VERY easy to train with treats and a clicker. He knows basic obedience commands, and many "tricks", and he's picked them all up within just a day or two of my starting to train them . His recall needs work, but that's my fault, and in the past week, I've really been hunkering down on it - he's showing major improvement already :)

Our major problem is with walking. This 70lb dog pulls, and pulls, and pulls......and pulls. I have been lurking on this forum since long before I got a dog, and one thing I have really learned is to be consistent with training. So, for 18mos, I have been a flippin' tree.

This is our routine:
1. We play fetch in the house. Try as I might, I can't get him to play fetch outside, so we play inside, until he is done.
2. We run around the backyard. I try to play fetch with him, but he shows absolutely no interest. So we run around, and he will run with me for about 15 minutes. When he starts losing interest, we go on a "treasure hunt". I start finding things, like a rock, or a new hole in the ground (crawfish holes, mostly, lol), or a new stick that has fallen, etc. He likes this exploring game, so we so this for another 15mins or so, until we run out of new things to check out. I kick a soccer ball around, and he'll chase it, and we'll play a kind of doggy soccer for a few minutes, before he gets bored, and lies down. I try playing other games with him, I try getting him to move around more, to check things out, and I try to switch up the toys, but I cannot get him to really exercise with me around the house for more than half hour before he gets bored & just lies down (totally understandable).
3. We go inside (Johnny sits anytime we go through any door, and waits for my "Okay" command), and I take the leash off the hook. Johnny immediately sits and waits for me to put the leash on him. He will continue to sit until I say "Let's go".
4. Johnny walks calmly with me to the front door, sits, and waits for me to open the door, walk through it, and say, "Let's go".
5. Johnny walks out the door, and as soon as I take a step away from the door, immediately bolts to the end of his leash. I am a tree.
6. Johnny looks back at me, and sits, at the end of his leash, for anywhere from 3-5mins. I am a tree. When he looks back at me, I say "By me", and I tap my thigh with a treat.
7. Johnny gets anxious, and starts pulling, pacing back and forth, for another 3-5mins. I am a tree.
8. Johnny eventually comes back to me and licks my hand. When he comes up to my side, I say "by me", & he gets a C&T, and I start to take a step forward.
9. Johnny bolts to the end of his leash. I am a tree.
Rep #6-7 for at least an hour (how long it takes me to get around the block like this).

Before Johnny gets to the end of his leash, I always say, "don't pull", and sometimes, he will slow down (he still gets to the end of his leash, but he does it slower than a full-on run). He doesn't bolt after cats, squirrels, etc that are always around. He just lunges forward to GO. He does like to mark every mailbox and tree along the way (he was neutered as a puppy), and if he lunges toward one of these, I am a tree, and he will sit, and wait for me to get nearer to him, and for me to tell him to "check it out".
My dog is exhausted after a walk, and usually, by the time we are 3/4 through the walk, he is tired enough that he walks near me, and he gets C&T when he is walking close enough that I can reach him. He NEVER walks right by my side. I treat him with kibble (his meals), because if I use anything better, he will simply sit (as he always does when awaiting a treat), and stare at me, waiting for more treat. He will not budge, and I will be a tree for hours. When that happens, I call my kids to come around the block to meet us, which distracts Johnny long enough to get us moving toward the house for a minute, before he starts pulling badly again, or remembers that I have treats, and sits and stares. I've just stopped using the super yummy treats.

I have tried the front-clipping harness, that supposedly makes it harder for him to pull forward. Johnny was quite happy to just walk sideways, pulling me along just as hard. Other than that, I have not deviated in our walking routine. We use a 4ft flat leash and flat collar. I usually have the leash run across my backside, because I am not strong enough to keep from jerking forward when he lunges forward by just using my hands/arms.

All in all, he is a smart, inquisitive, loving, well-socialized dog. I know I MUST be doing something wrong with this leash training! I am not really intent on having him in a full heel; as long as he walks without pulling, and pays attention when I give a command (he's pretty good at that, he will "sit" and "wait" if I need to readjust the leash, or pause for a crosswalk, or anything).

I'm sorry this got to be so long, and I appreciate anyone reading this far, lol. I just wanted to give as much info as possible, so I could get some advice. I NEED to start making progress, because I am taking my dogs with me on a 2mo long 6000mi road/camping trip this summer. I'll be stopping every 2hrs for short walks, and every 4hrs for long walks. I don't think Johnny is getting enough exercise right now, although he doesn't show any negative behaviour. I really don't want my other dog, Walker (sweet, neurotic, brain-damaged rescued border collie that doesn't know his tail from his ear, but recalls and loose-leash walks perfectly) to miss out on appropriate exercise while on this trip because I have to be a tree for Johnny at every walk.

Picture of my boys, Johnny, and Walker :)
 

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The first thing that jumped out at me was the clarity and consistency of your cues, or perhaps lack thereof, for releasing and for LLW.

3. We go inside (Johnny sits anytime we go through any door, and waits for my "Okay" command), and I take the leash off the hook. Johnny immediately sits and waits for me to put the leash on him. He will continue to sit until I say "Let's go".
4. Johnny walks calmly with me to the front door, sits, and waits for me to open the door, walk through it, and say, "Okay".
5. Johnny walks out the door, and immediately bolts to the end of his leash. I am a tree.
There's some ambiguity there. Sounds to me as if he thinks you've released him with an "Okay", so it's not surprising that he then bolts to the end of his leash. Maybe try "Let's go" for the LLW cue, consistently and exclusively, since it seems to signify to him to walk calmly.


Two other points to mention:
1) I'd probably forego the whole "be a tree" bit, after two years of ingraining / not working, it's likely become an unwanted behaviour chain of > dog pulls, > handler stops, > dog comes back to heel (eventually), > dog gets rewarded, > dog gets released ... and the process is repeated, and repeated, and repeated.
2) You could try voluntary heeling. Even though you've stated that you're more interested in LLW rather than a competition-style heel, the two are very closely related, fundamentally speaking. A comp heel is more precise and requires constant eye contact whereas LLW usually does not and is less precise, but equally in either case your goal is to convey clearly to the dog *THIS* is where I want you to be. To begin, take your dog into your backyard off leash, engage him with some play, a toy, stationary attention etc, issue him the "let's go" cue and start to walk in a 25' counter-clockwise circle with your dog on the inside to reduce distractions. When he comes into a relatively acceptable position via his own freewill, simply click & treat. If not just keep walking until he clues in to your expectations and understands the game. Repeat ad nauseum while continuing to move in a circle. DON'T STOP to administer treats for the time being, you can add automatic sits / halts at a later time as you progress. For now the entire purpose is, again, to teach him that *THIS* is the spot that earns the rewards while we're moving. Don't forget a clear release after ie: two or three laps / 7 or 8 reinforcements, perhaps followed with some brief fun chasing the ball or whatever. Once the dog has a firm understanding of position, you can add the leash and gradually begin some clockwise circles, straight-line walking, about turns, auto sits etc. When he has mastered LLW in the back yard you can then take it to the streets.
 

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This is our routine:
1. We play fetch in the house. Try as I might, I can't get him to play fetch outside, so we play inside, until he is done.
2. We run around the backyard. I try to play fetch with him, but he shows absolutely no interest. So we run around, and he will run with me for about 15 minutes. When he starts losing interest, we go on a "treasure hunt". I start finding things, like a rock, or a new hole in the ground (crawfish holes, mostly, lol), or a new stick that has fallen, etc. He likes this exploring game, so we so this for another 15mins or so, until we run out of new things to check out. I kick a soccer ball around, and he'll chase it, and we'll play a kind of doggy soccer for a few minutes, before he gets bored, and lies down. I try playing other games with him, I try getting him to move around more, to check things out, and I try to switch up the toys, but I cannot get him to really exercise with me around the house for more than half hour before he gets bored & just lies down (totally understandable).
3. We go inside (Johnny sits anytime we go through any door, and waits for my "Okay" command), and I take the leash off the hook. Johnny immediately sits and waits for me to put the leash on him. He will continue to sit until I say "Let's go".
4. Johnny walks calmly with me to the front door, sits, and waits for me to open the door, walk through it, and say, "Okay".
5. Johnny walks out the door, and immediately bolts to the end of his leash. I am a tree.
6. Johnny looks back at me, and sits, at the end of his leash, for anywhere from 3-5mins. I am a tree. When he looks back at me, I say "By me", and I tap my thigh with a treat.
7. Johnny gets anxious, and starts pulling, pacing back and forth, for another 3-5mins. I am a tree.
8. Johnny eventually comes back to me and licks my hand. When he comes up to my side, I say "by me", & he gets a C&T, and I start to take a step forward.
9. Johnny bolts to the end of his leash. I am a tree.
Rep #6-7 for at least an hour (how long it takes me to get around the block like this).



You have to make it clear as black & white THE EXACT MOMENT the dog lunges, that lunging gets the opposite of what he wants. By the end of the 4 minute "be a tree" routine, your dog has completely forgotten about pulling. It's painfully obvious to me that your method is NOT clear to the dog. The dog can't read your mind and has no idea what LLW is. I can make it so clear to a dog that within one session a crazy puller is walking beside me. I'm not bragging, I'm just saying that it's totally possible that you don't need 18months to teach this.

Don't worry about all of those commands. The words don't TEACH, they are just cues to do what the dog has already learned, but you have to be able to TEACH first.

Words can't adequately describe how to teach this, so I will refer you to some of kikopup's youtube videos. I have a very high approval rating of kikopup, and I'm a very tough judge.


 

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Sorry but I had to laugh about the front clip harness....Caeda did the same thing. One thought about it though.....how long ago did you try it? I tried Caeda when she was quite young (about 6-7months), and then tried again recently (over a year old), she responded a bit better to it. Just a thought on that.

Ok, I'll be honest and upfront here, I do NOT have a good heel with Caeda, but recently our LLW has been improving vastly. She doesn't do so well on a really short leash but on a leash that is at least 4-5 feet, up to a really long flexi she does great. Its still a work in progress, but some of this stuff has helped:

Oh, and one thing we do is say "YES" to mark her behaviour, rather than C/T, I found the clicker too cumbersome, but that's just me, there's no reason the clicker wouldn't work. Anyway, if I type C/T, when I did it I said our marker word.

First (and only) real structured exercise I did with Caeda in the yard was to teach her to "give to the lead", and try to get rid of that pesky opposition reflex (pull in the opposite direction of the pressure) that all dogs seem to have. What I did was pull the leash in whatever direction, and as soon as she followed the leash C/T....use good treats for this one, at least in our case this seemed to be a pretty tough one to deal with. The goal is that the dog will learn to follow the pressure instead of pull against it. I haven't done enough of this yet, but I do hope to eventually teach a "back" command, so Caeda will back up when I pull straight back (or even better, if I say "back"). I've removed the clicker on walks, though I still intermittently give her treats when she gives to the leash, especially in situations she obviously doesn't want to, then I often let her get to what she wanted....which is usually something to sniff.

Second thing...we C/T for "checking in" with us, we worked on this in the house first with a cue, but also give treats (jackpot!) for checking in without a cue. This is really good because she has to come close to get the treat!

On "real world" walks we C/T when leash is not tight, every time at first and jackpot when we didn't have to give any kind of cue like "don't pull" or "Easy" or whatever. We did that for a few days and started intermittently treating her. We also asked for longer stretches of LLW, sometimes saying "good" after a few seconds, then waiting longer and C/T

Something else that has helped a little, though we haven't done it a lot yet, is changing direction suddenly...we're still giving a cue ("this way"), but hope to fade that out eventually. Since she knows now that a LLW is a good thing she seems to try to follow, though she's not the best at it yet, but it has gotten her more attentive to where WE are rather than what she wants to do.

Anyway, like I said, we're far from a perfect heel, but I'm pretty excited that in the space of a couple of weeks doing this stuff has gotten Caeda way better at LLW with us. It has worked with the flexi, long line and longer regular leashes (she still hates really short leashes). Make a point of always giving treats at the location you want your dog to heel....NOT right in front of you or you'll end up tripping over your dog if you want to keep moving (I know this from doing it wrong). Petpeeve's advice is excellent though, and the kikopup vids are really good. I just thought I'd share this because those techniques didn't improve things quite as much as the above stuff did. No matter which techniques you go with, pick one and stick with it for quite a while....we switched around for a bit and it only confused Caeda.
Sorry its so long! lol
 

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I agree with those who have said you're "being a tree" for too long. I also agree with those who have suggested training a heel. Even if you don't have Johnny walk at heel all the time, for some reason training the heel helped us with regular loose leash walking. I also would suggest that rather than just stopping and being a tree, you say "no pulling" and take a few steps backwards, then pause and be a tree for a few seconds, until Johnny stops pulling. You have to do this the INSTANT Johnny starts pulling. This is just what worked for us. I know a lot of people say to wait for the dog to come back to you, but for us, we would be waiting forever, and after a few seconds the teaching moment has passed. Taking a couple of steps backwards and waiting for Biscuit to stop pulling was enough for us. Consistency is key, even though working on this consistently is a real pain in the neck!

Also, I know you said the harness didn't stop Johnny from pulling, but I suggest using it anyway. It might be that the pressure on his neck from pulling on the collar is making him feel stressed and winding him up even more. Even if the harness doesn't itself stop the pulling, I think it still makes it easier to train loose leash walking.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for your advice. A few clarifications: I have been almost fanatic about kikopup vids, and I was TRYING to follow her method for LLW (capturing the correct behavior with a mark when the dog is in the right position has never been an option - he is NEVER in the right position). If I try to turn and walk the other way (he does understand "this way", he just follows me at the end of his leash), he will just bolt off into the direction I am walking, or he will sit, and not budge. Like when he had been fixated on a particular mailbox, and pulling me toward it. He WANTS that mailbox, and he will sit there for as long as it takes to get to it.

As far as the "Let's go" and "Okay" at the front door, I completely messed that up in my OP. I DO say "Let's go" when we go out the door, not "Okay". He DOES walk nicely through the door, onto the porch - he doesn't ever lunge out the door, even if there is another person waiting outside (I worked on that with him when I was socializing him as a puppy). I can close and lock the door, and get myself together. It's not until I take a step away from the door that he lunges (I'll go fix that in my OP - I definitely explained that poorly). If I stop, he will sit, wherever he is. But he lunges every single time he thinks I am starting to move. Also, I am sooo not strong enough to take a step backward when he pulls, lol. I'm lucky to stay planted where I am most of the time, but he sometimes jerks me forward a half step, at which point, I usually take him home. I know Johnny, and he picks up on things like that VERY quickly; if I were to continue a walk after he pulled me forward when I tried to stop, he would just keep yanking me.

Also, I do not use an actual clicker to C&T; I typed that to make it easier =S I say "Good", which is our mark word, and he recognizes it easily. When walking, however, he seems to think "Good" means "RUN RUN RUN OKAY RUN RUN RUN SPLEEEEEEEEEE!!". At no other time, in any other training, does he not understand what "Good" means, but on walks, he thinks of it as a release. I use "Okay" as a release, meaning "You can go do what you want now". "Let's go" means "Walk with me, please". He knows these commands SO WELL at home, and in the backyard. It's not until we get off of our property that he doesn't recognize them.

I would try to stop being a tree for as long, however, if I am a tree for 4 minutes, and he is still pulling and jerking, isn't that rewarding him for pulling? I try to go in the opposite direction, and it becomes a game of tug-o-war to him. I am strong enough to DRAG him in the direction I want him to go, but....no. Just no. lol I am only a tree until he backs up a bit and the leash goes slack; he does not always make it back to arm's-reach before he gets rewarded. He does know "Back up", and he will back up a step, and lunge forward as soon as he hears "Good", and/or I begin to move forward. When I use "Back up" at home, he will walk backwards until I stop him ("Stop"..."Stop means nothing to him on a walk, though), or he bumps into something. Still, the "Back up" seems to be the only way I can even make it to the road with him. I'm sorry I left that part out in my OP; I probably shouldn't have written it at 4am, lol.

I KNOW I am doing something wrong. Johnny is ridiculously smart, and eager to learn. It took me all of 5 minutes to teach him basic "sit" "stay" "down" type commands, and he has been 100% reliable with them for years, even when on camping trips, out of state, totally new people and places...I can only imagine he is really confused, or really under-exercised to be having this kind of trouble with LLW.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Oh, also, when he sits at the end of his leash, I have tried to say "By me", and tap my thigh with a treat, but he absolutely does not know I exist at that point. That is why I wait until he looks back at me to give him direction. It has only been about a month since he has actually started to notice that I am on a walk with him. I have caught him (and rewarded for it!) glancing back at me once in a while when we are walking now, which is encouraging :) He has never done that before, even as a puppy.

In both of those kikopup vids posted above, you can see the dogs are actually paying attention to her from the get-go. Even the little pulling chi in the 2nd video starts focusing right in on her once it is given a treat. I do exactly what she is doing in that 2nd vid with the chi. Tapping my leg with a treat, trying to give him direction; I try to walk him back and forth in the driveway, or at the end of it, but there is no "back and forth" because he is either sitting tight, or pulling tightly at the end of the leash. He completely ignores me. It takes him at least 3mins before he will even glance in my direction. He will sometimes come back to me for a treat, but he definitely doesn't "pause to eat it" - he inhales it as he is bolting back to the end of his leash, and it just cycles on. He knows "Catch", I can toss a treat to him when he glances back and notices me, and he will catch it, but he still won't move. That just feels like I'm rewarding him for sitting still, so I don't do that. Like I said, I HAVE tried better treats, I've tried dozens of types of treats (he has no low-value treats other than kibble - he is VERY food motivated, ANY food!). He either ignores them, or he fixates on the TREAT, and won't move (he'll do any stationary command I give him, though - sit, roll over, high five, etc). I end up treating him for tricks, and not getting any walking training done.

We walk the same route, the same direction, every time we walk. I don't understand how a dog that gets bored SO easily can still be SO flippin' enthralled with the same stupid mailboxes, lol! I'm not frustrated, yet, but very confused. Everything else has been so easy with him, even with well-meaning family members and neighbors giving him different commands and expectations. He responds very well to hand-signals (I train them before verbal cues), and he listens to complete strangers (such as the plumber) when they use a verbal cue, even if it's not exactly what Johnny is used to hearing. I know he doesn't actually understand our language, I also know he is SO SO good at reading people's body language. He picks up on things so quickly, I find it really difficult to understand why walking is so hard for him.
 

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In both of those kikopup vids posted above, you can see the dogs are actually paying attention to her from the get-go. Even the little pulling chi in the 2nd video starts focusing right in on her once it is given a treat. I do exactly what she is doing in that 2nd vid with the chi.
It's not that the dogs are necessarily better in her videos, it's that she's a good trainer with spot-on timing and so she gains the attention of her dogs much more quickly. Unfortunately, LLW is about as impossible to describe as trying to teach somebody piano over an internet forum. Maybe one day I will make a video of how I tame my friend's unruly puller. Within 5 minutes that dog was walking beside me, and within 1 minute of handing the leash back to her, the dog was pulling & lunging again.




He picks up on things so quickly, I find it really difficult to understand why walking is so hard for him.
It's not hard for him, it's hard for you to teach. If he learns other stuff quickly, he can learn LLW, it's a matter of you being clear.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
By the end of the 4 minute "be a tree" routine, your dog has completely forgotten about pulling.
How has he "forgotten" about pulling after 4 minutes when he pulls for 5 minutes or more? I don't understand. If I stand still, and he continues to jerk and pull on me for 5+ minutes, what am I supposed to do? Changing direction has no effect, he continues to pull in the direction he wants to go. Calling him to me, trying to lure him, or otherwise break his focus on the direction he wants to go have ZERO effect. He acts as if I am not even there...unless I try to turn direction, or walk backward, in which case, he just begins to pull harder in the direction he wants to go. The only way I have found to regain his attention is to just stand still until he gets bored. He always looks to me when he is bored, regardless of where we are.

I understand that timing is important. I do believe I am good at that, which is one of the reasons I have been so successful teaching him everything else, quickly, and painlessly. I trained LLW on my other dog within a week (he is pretty Velcro-y to begin with, though, and I know that is not typical), and have taught many of my friends' dogs basic commands, and LLW, and they are all still reliable, and well-mannered (now years later). I am not entirely writing off your opinion, but I am fairly confident that my timing is not the problem. Unfortunately, I do not have a way to video myself with Johnny to show you exactly what is going on.

Can you give me any suggestions I can use to get Johnny's attention when we are trying to walk, or on what I can try when he just pulls and lunges for 5-10-15 minutes at a time? That is what I am having problems with. Timing a click, or a mark word, does no good when he ignores me. As food-motivated as he is, when we get on the street, he is just GO-motivated, and only notices me when he has bored himself with sitting/waiting and pulling.
 

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I have an almost 3 yr old lab/golden that weighs 91 pounds. She is reactive and has had many classes. I have fallen so many times I have lost count although I use a no pull harness. I don't know if this will be helpful to you or not, but I will share.

I finally made the decision to hire a trainer/behavorist. Essentially what it came down to was that the trainer/behavorist said it is important that my dog be taught to heel. Trainer did not care if dog walked in heel position all the time. So trainer worked with us for several weeks on heeling in a quiet field without distractions. We used high quality food rewards (held at nose level in my closed fist at first), tug game rewards, and verbal praise. We're at the point that all I need to do is say heel and dog automatically positions herself at my left side most of the time and checks in with me frequently. However, we still walk where there are minimal distractions and are building toward walks with increasing distractions. We've been having wonderful walks, and we communicate better. We have a ways to go, but I have become more interesting to her.

Edited to add: I had also watched the videos and read every book I could find on the subject. It was working with a trainer 1:1 that helped me immensely.
 

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That post was huge, so I didn't read it all....

However, I used a gentle leader on a 7 year old yellow Lab that we adopted... she was BRUTAL on leash.... After 30 seconds of having a gentle leader on, she was walking pretty well. By the 2nd day, she was walking fine w/o the gentle leader.
 

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Here's my 2 cents.

1. Have you trained loose leash walking inside or in a 0 distraction environment? He is obviously really distracted outside and if you can't even get him to focus for a second then you need to start by practicing in a lower distraction environment. Master loose leash walking inside before you try it in the yard. Then master it in the yard before you try it on the street.

2. You said he is never is the correct position for you to click and treat. He must be in the correct spot for about 1 second before he bolts past you out the door. As you step out the door click treat as soon as you start moving your foot even if he hasn't moved at all yet. If you can capture him in that one moment and get his attention on you you stand a better chance of keeping his attention. Rapid fire click treating every step if you need to to get started. Or lure him into a heel with his highest value treat in your hand, rewarding every couple seconds to start and gradually reducing as he gets the idea.
 

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I also really think you should switch to an actual clicker. I know you said "good" is your marker word, and it's great that that has worked for you for other things, but it's obviously not working here. "Good" is a word that occurs in conversation all the time, and maybe it's easy for him to tune out or maybe he doesn't really understand what it means. By contrast, the clicker is a sound that you can associate ONLY with rewards for doing things right. The clicker is also much more accurate, timing-wise - our neurons work faster to push the clicker button than to formulate and say the marker word. There is a reason people like clickers so much!

I recommend buying a clicker, priming it (just click and treat 90-100 times so the dog knows what the clicker means), and then working on "voluntary attention" outside - click and treat when the dog pays attention to you, i.e looks at you. Get a clicker like this one () with a hole for a snap ring, and then attach it to your leash so you always have it. Use the clicker instead of your marker word.
 

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I get what you mean about your dog being completely focused on you if you have high value treats and will only do his own thing if you have kibble, my boy is pretty close to that as well. I'd suggest you take advantage of that and DO use high value treats. Use them to have Johnny walk in a heel with you.

Hold a treat in your closed left hand and get Johnny positioned to walk beside you and start walking. If he follows well for a few steps reach down to his head level and open your hand for him to take the treat, keep walking as you do this. Gradually increase the number of steps between treating. He'll be focused on following the treats only at first but once he starts doing so with consistency you move the treat from your left hand to your right. Still expecting him to walk in the same heel but he should start to focus more on you and following your movement than where the treat is.

As soon as he's focused on you you can start adding turns and stops to help encourage the attention on you, treat all the turns and stops he responds to. Essentially you aren't just teaching a heel but that it is rewarding to pay attention to YOU on walks. Most dogs can easily make the transition to simple LLW from a heel as they have learned to pay attention to you.
 

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How has he "forgotten" about pulling after 4 minutes when he pulls for 5 minutes or more? I don't understand.
If the dog is still pulling after 4 minutes, then it's clear "be a tree" isn't working, or at least has very minimal impact. The only lunge you need to concern yourself with is the very first one, otherwise you create a chain of lunge-lunge-lunge-return-lunge-lunge-lunge.



Can you give me any suggestions I can use to get Johnny's attention when we are trying to walk, or on what I can try when he just pulls and lunges for 5-10-15 minutes at a time? That is what I am having problems with. Timing a click, or a mark word, does no good when he ignores me. As food-motivated as he is, when we get on the street, he is just GO-motivated, and only notices me when he has bored himself with sitting/waiting and pulling.
I think gaining the dog's attention is another training issue for later. Your first goal is to deal with the first step of the lunge. I think it could be exponentially easier for you if you used a gentle leader.
 

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Thank you all! Great advice :) I do have a clicker; I've used it to train pretty much everything, and then replace it with "good" as I'm phasing it out. I haven't carried the clicker with me on walks, because it's hard for me to handle Johnny pulling on the leash, the treats, and the clicker all at the same time. Also, we have mastered LLW in the house, and the back yard. There are no trainers in my area (not within 3 hours of here) that I have been able to find.

I am going to try to bring the clicker with me on walks, capture that moment when he is by my side at the front door, and use higher value treats. It has been almost a year since I have tried the high value treats, and he has definitely calmed down a lot since then, so if it's okay to deviate from our normal (non-working) routine, I do think that might help. You all have definitely helped me; I really didn't know how long to "be consistent" before I could try something different., but I do know that what I'm doing is not working.
 

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My dog is really well trained in every way except walking. She can loose leash walk in class and around the block but not for an hour walk. I got the Gentle Leader head harness. It is literally a miracle. She walked by my side with a loose leash. For the first few days she was not as playful and didn't seem as happy on walks but my trainer said to stop projecting human emotions on the dog and use the tools that work. I have to say this thing is the only thing that works for my dog, it is like power steering for dogs. When I walk her I also click every time she looks at me to work on that dog/owner connection. Things are much better.


I didn't have any success following the kikopup instructions. I did have some success, on short walks, with the Silky leash technique:
 
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