Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I thought I had already posted this, but it hasn't shown up, and I'm still figuring out how to navigate through the site. I apologize if this is a repost. I looked through the sticky threads, and I was left with these questions.

I just got a 3-year old from the pound, 65 lbs, obviously part German shepherd and maybe part Chow (black patches on her tongue). She is friendly, shy, and apparently completely untrained. I'm working on leash training her. I've been alternating walking with her on a very short leash, so she has to stay in heel position, and letting her move around more freely, but then stopping and being a tree for a count of five if she pulls, and giving her a treat when she walks next to me in heel position.

Question 1) Is there something I should be doing differently?

Question 2) If I put her in a harness, she pulls constantly; presumably because it's painless. If I put her in a collar, she pulls a little less, but she still pulls hard enough that she gags and chokes a little, and threw up once. (I have a collar that shortens up a little, just a few inches, if she pulls.) Is there a better option? I don't really want to use a check chain or anything like that, but I guess I could be persuaded if that's necessary.

Question 3) My two-and-a-half year old daughter likes going for walks with me and the dog, which slows us down. Is it going to confound leash training if we walk at half of a normal walking pace? The dog does a better job near the end of the walk, when she's tired, or, I suppose, when her neck is sore, so I'm afraid that if she doesn't get tired she won't do as well with leash training.

Thanks for any suggestions,
/s/ Rankin Johnson IV
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,423 Posts
You're doing the right thing with the short leash and keeping her in heel position. That's what you're trying to teach her...exactly where to walk...not out front and not 6' behind. The important part is reinforcing the heel position with treats and praise when the leash is slack and she's walking nicely at heel.
I find that turning around and walking back the way you came works better when the dog pulls. They soon learn that going out front/pulling means they suddenly end up walking behind you. Again, reinforce when she comes back into heel position.
If you're trying to train loose leash you should stay focused on that during your walks. It's hard to walk with with family and train the dog at the same time as the dogs attention needs to be on you....not your daughter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
411 Posts
I am working with Bayley on loose leash walking...heeling is fine especially in crowds but she does that pretty naturally. I don't care where she is as long as she's not pulling. So I do the tree thing. I used to listen to Brad Pattison but no more (I think the guy's on a power trip now) So I find this works best. She pulls I stop, I'll ask her to c'mon back, she does and she either gets a treat or praise. Then we continue, she pulls I stop. Her biggest test is the walk from the car to the dog park..she's getting alot better. We also did that on her flat collar yesterday..big challenge. I wasn't sure we would be ok but we were.

For walking with your daughter, teach the dog different paces, fast, slow, normal. That seems to take a bit more work. Another thing that I just read was the automatic sit. If you go to DogstarDaily.com, they have lots of info there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
I just bought a Gentle Leader collar for my dog and LOVE it. She's like a whole new dog on it. No more pulling, no more lunging after runners/bikers/baby strollers/other dogs/squirrels, etc. It was $20ish at Petsmart, which I balked at, but now see that it's worth it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
750 Posts
There is something i still don't get..

When you say ''give him a treat when he walks next to you''
How do you give him the treat? you stop and feed it? or you do it while walking?

That always confuses me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Nina walks on my right side, so I put a small treat in my right hand and put that hand down by her face so she can get it as we're walking, and I praise her as she's eating the treat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Nina walks on my right side, so I put a small treat in my right hand and put that hand down by her face so she can get it as we're walking, and I praise her as she's eating the treat.

that seems like a good way to me.

and btw id love to see some pictures of this dog, shepard chow.. my old dog was a chow, and yep, sounds about that same way she used to walk me, lol.. choking and fighting, lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
There is something i still don't get..

When you say ''give him a treat when he walks next to you''
How do you give him the treat? you stop and feed it? or you do it while walking?

That always confuses me.
My dog walks on my left.

I put a few (half dozen) treats in my left hand and lure her forward with me while praising and treating. I've begun wheening her from the treats now that she's started getting the hand of things. You might find that if you simply lower your left hand she'll touch it while looking for a treat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,240 Posts
There is something i still don't get..

When you say ''give him a treat when he walks next to you''
How do you give him the treat? you stop and feed it? or you do it while walking?

That always confuses me.
Bring treats that are long or a little tougher to chew - hold them in the hand on the side on which you want your dog to walk - hold your hand by your side and have your dog sniff the treat but don't let her eat it. Have her follow the treat while your hand is still by your side. Every 4 steps or so, if she is walking by your side, let her take bite. If you have a bunch of treats, let her have one. Then continue for another 4 steps or so.

If you have a small dog like mine, take a wooden spoon, coat it with peanut butter (the spoon part). Cut off a little corner of a baggie, put the spoon in the baggie with the end in the corner that is cut so that the peanut butter can ooze out little by little. You can use a tie to close the other end of the baggie. Now just hold the spoon down by your side and lure your dog that way. You don't want to lean sideways so your dog walks beside you; you want to make it as normal as you can (as normal as it can be with a spoon covered in peanut butter!).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,699 Posts
There is something i still don't get..

When you say ''give him a treat when he walks next to you''
How do you give him the treat? you stop and feed it? or you do it while walking?

That always confuses me.

You can also put peanut butter on a wooden spoon, holding it so the dog stays in position, letting him have a lick every so often. It's also helpful to train when the dog is hungry when using treats for training.

=Rankin;399540]
I just got a 3-year old from the pound, 65 lbs, obviously part German shepherd and maybe part Chow (black patches on her tongue). She is friendly, shy, and apparently completely untrained. I'm working on leash training her. I've been alternating walking with her on a very short leash, so she has to stay in heel position, and letting her move around more freely, but then stopping and being a tree for a count of five if she pulls, and giving her a treat when she walks next to me in heel position.

Question 1) Is there something I should be doing differently?
Not really, although I prefer to turn and walk in the opposite direction if the dog starts pulling, rather than stop and be a tree. Also, the heel position is not exactly fun for dogs (esp. when learning), so teaching loose-leash walking is something I start with, and begin at home, inside the house, without a leash. Then, take it outside in the fenced back yard, and then leash attached before going to the front yard, then down the street, etc. I save the heel position for brief sessions during the walk.

Question 2) If I put her in a harness, she pulls constantly; presumably because it's painless. If I put her in a collar, she pulls a little less, but she still pulls hard enough that she gags and chokes a little, and threw up once. (I have a collar that shortens up a little, just a few inches, if she pulls.) Is there a better option? I don't really want to use a check chain or anything like that, but I guess I could be persuaded if that's necessary.
Then forget the harness. Training should be FUN, not serious, so I make sure when I'm doing training that I really get into it. I have absolutely no dignity when it comes to training sessions with my dogs! I'm downright goofy, and they LOVE it. All eyes are on me, and what I'm going to do, or ask of them next. I walk forward fast, then move backward, zig zag, figure 8's, and so on. The dog has to really pay attention in order to keep up. I make it a game, and my dogs enjoy this so much, I can't fool them anymore (they're ready the second I change direction, or zig/zag, go backward, etc.)!

If I'm not feeling well, or am frustrated, tired, or otherwise not UP, I don't work on training, because MY feelings will affect the dog.


Question 3) My two-and-a-half year old daughter likes going for walks with me and the dog, which slows us down. Is it going to confound leash training if we walk at half of a normal walking pace? The dog does a better job near the end of the walk, when she's tired, or, I suppose, when her neck is sore, so I'm afraid that if she doesn't get tired she won't do as well with leash training.
My 3-yr. old grandson loved walking the dogs, too (and both were already trained to walk at heel off leash), which was problematic, because I have big dogs who like to move (Standard Poodles)! It helped to first play a fast game of fetch outside before going on the walk, as they were then more content to just mosey along.

When my dogs are first learning to walk on a loose leash, I used different collars and leads. For heel work and actual loose-leash walk practice, I used one collar for that only, and either a 4' leash, or a 6' leash. For just getting out and about, I used a different collar, and a 15' or 30' lead, so the dog could wander and sniff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the responses.
Username, I'll try to post pictures over the weekend, but she looks basically like a shepherd. Shepherd/Chow is a guess, but I've herd the chow guess from three different people, based on the dark patches on her tongue. I don't know if any other kinds of dogs have dark tongues.

Poodleholic, you suggest that I forget the harness. Does that mean I should use the collar, or should I use a head halter or something else? Your post suggests that you spend long periods of time training, and separate periods of time letting the dog wander on a leash. Is that true? I dimly have a sense that I need to be careful about the training all the time, and that letting her walk freely is going to hamper her training. I have limited time, and so I've been trying to train her on her regular walks. Is that a bad idea?

I don't care all that much about formal heel position; I just want her not to pull and to follow along and pay attention. Should I focus on not pulling and following and worry about heeling later, or forget it altogether?

Thanks again,
/s/ Rankin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Eventually, you will find that the leash will become obsolete while walking your dog, except where required by law. I don' even hold mine anymore. Either I flop it over my shoulder leaving a little slack on the snap end. He usually is about 3 inches off my left leg no matter whether i am creeping along or walking fast or backwards even. Sometimes he even carries it himself if I have something else in my hand at the time and he still knows where to be. Dog's just want to please you and one could assume that they just need something to do. Give them a job to do and they will never leave your side.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,699 Posts
Before I attempt training of any sort, I work on getting, and keeping my dog's attention. Without that, training is pretty difficult, especially outside with lots of distractions.

Poodleholic, you suggest that I forget the harness. Does that mean I should use the collar, or should I use a head halter or something else?
You stated that she pulls even more with the harness, so, I wouldn't reinforce the unwanted behavior (pulling) by using the harness. A head halter can be useful for pullers, BUT, it's important to introduce it gradually, so they don't paw at it, and be sure you understand how to use it, or you can injure your dog. A properly-fitted head halter will not rub on the nose. Be aware that the Gentle Leader is a better fit on breeds with longer muzzles, and the Halti on breeds with shorter muzzles. You may also find a Martingale collar useful, as they're easier to get to sit up high, behind the ears, where it's not going to create a gagging reflex if the dog starts to pull. I do an abrupt about face the second I note the dog is forging ahead.




Your post suggests that you spend long periods of time training, and separate periods of time letting the dog wander on a leash. Is that true?
Not necessarily! I work full time, live alone, own my own home, so there's LOTS of maintence work to do, inside and outside, including the yard work. I do have a TRAINING PLAN. It cuts down on wasted time. For dogs who are very high-energy, and do not know how to walk on a loose leash, I prefer to FIRST work with them inside the house, coaxing them to walk along with me, and rewarding them when they do. Then I take it outside within the fenced yard. This can be done in 5-min. sessions, and even getting creative - like using a wooden spoon with a dab of peanut butter on it, or, braunsweiger smeared on it, to keep the dog in the position you want him. Dogs like FUN, and making a game out've basic training is not only rewarding to them, it is to you, too. Be up-beat, pat your leg, and move quickly. Walks are really not adequate exercise for dogs, unless you're a runner, and running isn't safe with a dog who doesn't know how to walk properly on leash! It's often helpful to have a fast 5-10-min. game of fetch or frisbee PRIOR to going for a walk (not so much pent-up energy).

I use a 4' or 6' leash when I want the dog to heel, and then remove and snap on a 15' or even a 30' lead, so they can just wander and sniff and explore. The dogs quickly learn the difference, and just how far they can go to the end of that lead. It's also perfect for practicing recalls on the walk, because you can reel the dog in. Being in a heel position is really, really boring for the dog, especially with all those delightful distractions (squirells, other dogs, leaves blowing in the wind, pee-mail, etc.). My dogs have been with me for 2 - 7+ years, so they're very good on lead, however, it is STILL BORING for them to walk in the heel position for the entire walk! They LOVE it when I do fast forwards, then slow, abrupt right turns, zig zags, going backward, about-turns, and so on. Why? Because I make it a game and "rev" them up for it. My excitement level is quickly matched, and their eyes are glued to me - the game is on!


I dimly have a sense that I need to be careful about the training all the time, and that letting her walk freely is going to hamper her training. I have limited time, and so I've been trying to train her on her regular walks. Is that a bad idea?

Well, yes and no about training all the time, but, letting her walk freely is NOT going to hamper her training. Keep training sessions brief, and up-beat, while being persistent and consistent, and above all, patient. Know what you want, and how you're going to achieve it, so have a training plan, in which you will have the steps necessary to achieve that goal - it keeps you clear about your objective, and how to get there. I prefer written training plans. It keeps me on track, and gives me a more accurate reading of where each dog is at, and what needs work.

As for training on regular walks - really depends on the dog. I'd say it's pretty difficult for most, given all the distractions, but, it certainly can be done. During those walks, I do not require the heel position for the duration of the walk, but vary it by changing my pace, so they get some mosey-along time. I usually play some games that mentally stiumulate/challenge my dogs before we go out for a walk - inside or outside. If I want to do some new training - with my own or a foster dog(s), I make sure they're hungry, and haven't eaten yet when using food treats. That said, I use a toy they only get during training (like the pheasant w/real feathers).

Right now I'm working on precision tandem heeling with my two Standard Poodles, both on my one side (I train for both left and right). They're very good with one dog on my left, the other on my right, but not as much when side-to-side heeling, although great w/loose-leash walking while side-to-side. Since I will be training a new puppy next Summer (and because I don't have lots of time, either), I want to be able to include the adult dogs along with the new puppy on outings, and will need them to move in tandem on one side without further direction from me other than the original cue. It also looks really cool, and is something new to do! LOL


P.S. Another thing you might do is to tether your dog to you for periods of time while you go about your normal business. The dog will learn to focus on you and what you're doing, in addition to sitting or laying quietly at your feet.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top