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Too much excitement

May 5th, 2005, 10:36 AM
I've recently been working with Levi a lot lately to not pull on walks. The last two days I've taken him for walks without his halti, because he hasn't been pulling.

Anyway, a couple days a week, Levi's Border Terrier friend will come to the field across the street from me to play and when she barks, I can hear her from the house. When Levi hears her he gets really excited and REALLY whiny. He'll whine until I put his leash on to go over and play. The problem I'm having comes into play here. After I've put the leash on and we go outside, he pulls like he's a 500 lbs dog. I've tried telling him to "heel" or "this way" (meaning, don't pull), but he just keeps pulling and whining to get over there faster. I've also tried standing infront of him so he's watching me and he will. Then i'll say "heel" and turn around - as soon as I turn out to continue walking, he's pulling again. I've tried what I did to keep him from pulling, by going in the opposite direction and saying "this way".

I have no idea what to do now...seems like he'll just keep pulling to get over there, no matter what. Any suggestions? :)

May 5th, 2005, 10:52 AM
I have this sam problem with sam, not sure what to do, for now i just hold on tight and dont go anyplace till he calms down

ive had to wait up to 20 minutes for him to settle before ill bring him anywhere because hes just to hyper to want to walk with.

gradually hes settling i think mostly because hes tired of staying still when he could be playing.


May 5th, 2005, 11:58 AM
Imagine Levi as a 5 year old child...
"He'll whine until I put his leash on to go over and play." Read this as...He cries "take me out now!" and I say "yes, sir", dress him up for his outing and out we go."

"After I've put the leash on and we go outside, he pulls like he's a 500 lbs dog. I've tried telling him to "heel" or "this way" (meaning, don't pull), but he just keeps pulling and whining to get over there faster." Read this as...After I have dressed him for his play time, we go outside. He pulls me to the playground, no matter if I want to go slowly or not, screaming at me to go faster the whole way - I politely ask him not to pull me but he ignores me."

There is no way I would take a child out if he screamed at me to do so. He can just whine his little brains out until he gets over it. OR I will help him to understand how he must behave in order to be rewarded with an outing. If he were able to ask nicely, I would get him ready but then if he lost his manners as we went out of the door - we would go right back inside. "Can you manage yourself now? Lets try again." You may not make it past the front gate the first day, but, boy, are you both going to get a great opportunity to practice manners.

The Border Terrier visit is College level for Levi. You need to do more work with him in the house (house manners) and in the yard. Challenge him more and more - get his respect for your words and make sure he understands that the only way he gets anything is by paying attention to you. He may not get to visit the BT for days/weeks until he can manage himself better. Too bad - so sad. I will not reward him for bad manners.

The first drill I would practice is the 'Post drill'. This teaches him not to ever pull on the leash and to look to you when he wants something. I think I have outlined this drill before but I can do it again if you need me to.

May 5th, 2005, 12:11 PM
Thanks for the advice. I'm not sure I've read about 'Post drill' yet, but if you can direct me to the post where you explain it, I would appreciate that. :)

Thanks so much.

Daisy's Owner
May 5th, 2005, 02:15 PM
I would like a link to the "post drill" as well please.

The only time Daisy goes "CRAAAAAAAAZZZZYYYYY" pulling is when she goes to the day care. Her other pulling times I can normally correct her, but at the day care there's no way.

May 5th, 2005, 05:50 PM
Here goes...

Being a Post - The stay close and don’t pull drill.

This the first drill that we teach. It is about using pressure and release of pressure to get your dog to choose his behavior according to your wishes. In this case he is to stay close to you and not pull on the leash. This is the beginning of controlling your dog's boundaries and teaching him to submit to your pressure. This teaches your dog that he can go anywhere on the leash, whether it is two feet long or twenty feet long, but he cannot pull against it.
On leash this drill is about no pulling on the leash – no matter how badly the dog wants to get at the distraction. When this drill becomes an off leash instruction – it is about staying with in a boundary that you have set. Perhaps I don’t want my dog to go a certain distance away from me in the park or at a camp site. When he gets to a certain distance away from me I will say “Close” or “Stay close” to let him know what the boundary is.

Teaching your dog not to pull
Stand or kneel in one spot – you are a solid post in the ground. Your dog is on the leash (with a flat, wide collar). You need to catch him before he starts to pull and ask him to “stay close” in a firm tone as he nears the end of the leash. If he doesn’t respect your words then you start to pressure him with little irritating ‘dinks’ on the leash. These dinks are not hard enough to move your dog, but they are intense enough to stop him in his tracks. (see Pressure & Release chapter to understand the dinks). Every time he begins to reach the end of the leash start 'dinking' the leash to irritate him. You want him to think ‘wow, this is irritating when I pull against this leash, but if I just take one step towards mom then it stops and feels much better”. You are asking him to pay attention to you and gives him the chance to choose not to pull. When he looks at you, leans in to you or takes a step towards you, reward him with a "Good, close" in a whispery tone and stop ‘dinking’ the leash. This is the release of pressure and where the learning takes place.
This will go back and forth many times until he begins to understand that you just don't want him to pull. He should look at the distraction and then check in with you (eye contact) to see what you want him to do.

Working with distractions.
Do this exercise in four locations in your house until you both have it down really well. Then do it with increasingly tempting distractions.

First establish your boundary, and then toss a treat outside of your boundary as you say “close”. He should look to the treat and then to you – that’s a perfect ‘check in’. If he starts to pull or lunges at the treat then begin your pressures. If he doesn’t listen to the dinks you have some choices – you can stomp your foot, slap your hand on your leg or say “hey” in a firm tone. These are startles to get his attention so that you can help correct his lack of respect and guide him in a better direction. When he looks at you then praise him.

When he sits, licks his lips, yawns or lies down – these are calming signals that tell you he understands and will not argue anymore – he is gaining respect for your wishes. However if this is an impatient dog or a puppy then he might only hold it for a second and then go right back to challenging you. Be ready to start again.

Repeat this drill several times until he stops challenging.

Working outside – release of adrenalin
Begin by working just outside of your back door, when you are successful then move to the front yard, then down the block a few houses and then to the park. Always work toward success – try not to move beyond your dog’s abilities too quickly or he will fail and lose confidence. If you move successfully and quickly through the distraction phases then you will both do great.

Then start working on a longer line – to help you in get off leash. Set your boundaries further away from you and try to use the leash as a back up tool. Use your voice and body language more actively and then use the leash only to back it up if he is not listening. Soon you will notice your dog not wanting to leave your side – he will naturally just stick close to you.

I hope this makes sense - let me know if you have questions.

May 5th, 2005, 06:27 PM
I understand all of that and it was really helpful, thanks tenderfoot! You're an arm saver. Haha!

May 5th, 2005, 07:29 PM
Tenderfoot, thanks for that quick outline. I ordered your video today. What kind of body language is it that should be used along with the voice commands. I know to stand tall and confident to show you're the boss. What other body language do you use? I've also seen you mention a "soft look". Can you explain what that means?

May 5th, 2005, 07:42 PM
Body language can send mixed messages when you don't know what you are doing - so don't assume that all movement or gestures mean the same thing - i.e. bending over = dominance....not always the case.
Bending over can be an invitation to come or a threatening dominate gesture to depending on how it is done and the dog who is receiving it.
Standing tall can be commanding but also disengaging.
Facial expressions can have value aswell. When you smile - no teeth showing :) - you are inviting because your eyes change and your energy changes. When you smile - teeth showing :D - you can be interpreted as aggressive (baring teeth) or as submissive (submissive grin) or just happy! When you are praising your dog try to use a soft, friendly expression to match your voice. When you are correcting him try to look firm :mad: - it will show in your eyes and he will feel it. What makes the most difference is being clear about your intentions and the dog will be clear too.

The DVD will show you how to use your body language and voice to get the right response and convey the correct message. Let me know how you like it and if you have any questions.

May 5th, 2005, 07:54 PM
I smile (with teeth showing) to my dog all the time...I never thought about the teeth baring thing and how they'd precieve that. Guess I won't do that anymore...:D .... :)

May 5th, 2005, 08:00 PM
Don't over think it. If your dog knows you are happy it's just fine to smile with your teeth showing. It would be more important with a dog who doesn't know you and isn't clear on your intentions or is naturally defensive.
PLEASE keep smiling with everything you've got - your dog knows how you feel. :D :D :D :D

*loved your use of smilies - I just had to add some to my orginal post, thanks for the creative imput!