Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to teach my Australian shepherd to pull me on ski's. Right now he's only done sleds and will only pull if people urge him on or he's pulling with a pack. He won't pull if you're behind him and tell him to go.

Me:"Hike, let's go, let's go, Hike."
Jet:*why should I?*
Me:"Because I WANT you to."
Jet: *So...why should I pull??*

So Jet's not a people pleaser in that making people happy makes him happy. He has to WANT to do it for himself, then nothing will stop him.

Things Jet likes:
People
Dogs
Food
Toys
Deer
If their in front of him he'll go, if their behind him he won't.

I first attempted to get Jet to pull with no one cajolling him from the side lines, just me in the back of the sled today. As expected he was like, *ummm why and where am I supposed to pull you? Right here is as nice a spot as any.* So I used a target of a frisbee with a treat in it and as long as he could see it he pulled. As soon as I set it out of site he just didn't try.
Running out of treats and trying not to have to get out of the sled to reset things I then just used the frisbee which he REALLY wanted to play with.
So I'd throw the frisbee, Jet would pull to get it, shake the prized frisbee around, I'd throw it again and we'd continue this for a while. Ending on a good note I took the frisbee and the sled and put them away, Jet still really wanted the frisbee which is why I stopped when I did. He only get's the frisbee when he pulls me and the sled making pulling a GREAT thing.

Some of my concerns though are that I may be stuck with a frisbee to my side, throwing it forward, taking it from Jet throwing it again, rinse and repeat forever.

I plan on phasing out the frisbee but does anyone have more ideas for making a dog want to pull forward and pulling in it's self being the reward?

I think I'm on the right track here but am open to more opinions and options.

Some other ideas I've thought of:
Having someone running in front with their own team of dogs.
Run with two dogs, I think though that I need to have a dog that really wants to pull and can run beside Jet and so Jet's in the front. That way he'll get used to leading instead of following maybe help build his confidence.
I want him to pull in a team but I also want him to pull solo, with me on my ski's, which I still have to find so if anyone has advic on good CX Ski's I'd appreciate the advice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
Boy did you pick the wrong breed to try this with!
Different breeds were bred to bring out certain instinct aspects of canines. Aussies have been bred to circle and push from behind. What you are asking your dog to do goes AGAINST his instinct, and that's why you are having so much trouble. Your ideas are trying to use his instinct to get the desired result, like the carrot dangling in front of the horse so to speak.
there isnt really a way to re hardwire his brain. If i were you i'd come up with a different activity to do together.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,131 Posts
Boy did you pick the wrong breed to try this with!
Different breeds were bred to bring out certain instinct aspects of canines. Aussies have been bred to circle and push from behind. What you are asking your dog to do goes AGAINST his instinct, and that's why you are having so much trouble. Your ideas are trying to use his instinct to get the desired result, like the carrot dangling in front of the horse so to speak.
there isnt really a way to re hardwire his brain. If i were you i'd come up with a different activity to do together.
Wow what great encouragement -_-, I happen to know of quite a few Australian Shepherds that are used as sled dogs, including my own Aussies. Aussies are the second most popular herding dog used for sledding, second to the Border Collie.

Her dog happens to do great and pulls hard in a team but just has trouble working solo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Your point on his instictual habits does light upon a factor to consider. However I know Australian Shepherds can pull. My Aussie CAN pull in a team and he can pull on his own, he's done it, he just isn't where he needs to be for a lead dog and doesn't have the confidence or understanding to pull on his own yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
916 Posts
What if you and Erin worked together? Like in the beginning hook Jet/Hawk or Jet/Keechera up like they are pulling together, but pulling both you and Erin. Then you can still help them along since you both will be skiing, eventually working to them being apart but beside each other, then slowly making Keechera/Hawk stay back further and further until Jet is pulling out in the lead all by him self?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
What if you and Erin worked together? Like in the beginning hook Jet/Hawk or Jet/Keechera up like they are pulling together, but pulling both you and Erin.
Just want to clarify your meaning, So our dogs would be on completley seperate lines but running side by side? like this, = :
= is the two seperate skiiers
: the two seperate dogs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
916 Posts
What if you and Erin worked together? Like in the beginning hook Jet/Hawk or Jet/Keechera up like they are pulling together, but pulling both you and Erin. QUOTE]

Just want to clarify your meaning, So our dogs would be on completley seperate lines but running side by side? like this, = :
= is the two seperate skiiers
: the two seperate dogs
Yeah sort of like but some how connect the lines at first or connect their collars so Jet HAS to follow the other dog and lean how to run 'up front'. Then disconnect them and have them run side by side, and slowly let jet start running in front of the other dog.

More like this....
=>:

then like this...
-*
-*

then like this...
-*
..-*

to this...
-*
...-*
Is he strong enough or does he have enough stamina to run alone? Maybe you could also use the same commands when you walk him and have him walk out in front of you (without pulling) and drag a tire or log or something when you are teaching him to pull after he knows the commands like the person suggested in the other post?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
He is strong enough to run alone but he doesn't have much stamina.
The first visual concerns me a little in that I may collide with Erin and vice versa.
I say it has merit to it and is sure worth a try.

We've been working on having him pull things while we walk beside, he's getting good at that. I think I'm definetley going to have to steal a dog to use and get myself some skii's!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
916 Posts
lol, I guess I wasn't thinking about you safety. Maybe it would work with out them being tied together, IDK? I'm not a musher and as fun as it sounds I don't think Pebs would get me very far. :p Good luck to you, hopefully with time he'll get better and better.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
617 Posts
If he doesn't have much stamina guessing it means you haven't been at this for very long.
Best and easiest way to train is to train with another dog. Either one that is trained to pull or another that will help encourage your dog.

I think my boarder collie is up to pulling solo now but wasn't before (I have not tried solo with her yet). My APBT will not pull unless the BC is there to guide him along.
Together they do great and that's what I would suggest to you for a while. If you can run another dog with yours. Give it time lots of time ... months of time then try solo again.
I use a Y-line with a neckline to keep them together.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
209 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
If he doesn't have much stamina guessing it means you haven't been at this for very long.
Best and easiest way to train is to train with another dog. Either one that is trained to pull or another that will help encourage your dog.

I think my boarder collie is up to pulling solo now but wasn't before (I have not tried solo with her yet). My APBT will not pull unless the BC is there to guide him along.
Together they do great and that's what I would suggest to you for a while. If you can run another dog with yours. Give it time lots of time ... months of time then try solo again.
I use a Y-line with a neckline to keep them together.
He and I are just starting with this. So time and patience are things I know we need.
I think I'll definetly work on the two dog team to boost each other.


*railNtrailcoWgirl : lol it is most important our dogs stay safe for sure. thanks for the concern. XD
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top