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need help with walking

August 30th, 2005, 11:27 PM
my dog and i went through basic obedience classes, but we still can't seem to have a civilized walk. walking with a loose leash she will take as much distance as she can, and heel is foreign to her.

in our class we were taught to stop walking when she pulls, and she has learnt to come back to my side when i stop, but then will go right back up front. i stop, she comes back, we walk, she leads, i stop, she comes back, over and over!

when we heel she pulls so hard on the leash i feel like i'm strangling her....

please help! any training tricks/suggestions appreciated!

August 31st, 2005, 12:09 AM
Don't worry about heel until you have a handle on the loose leash walking. Keep your dogs focus on you. What most people do is say lets go once and then they leave it to their dog to amuse themselves. This ends up with your dog pulling to check everything out. Carry a squeak toy or even just the squeaker with you, a few treats and verbal praise. Occasionally offer a treat, praise, squeak along your walk as long as there is no pulling. You can do the stop and call back or you can turn around, walk 4 steps back, turn back again in the direction you were originally walking loosen the leash and cue with lets go. If the pulling begins again repeat the steps. You may look like an idiot but it works. If you keep your dog focused you shouldn't have much pulling at all.

August 31st, 2005, 12:15 AM
Change direction when the dog starts to walk ahead of you--a sudden turn with the command "heel" every time the dog tries to take the lead. This is difficult at first, and you look like an idiot, so keep to the back yard at first too. It didn't take my very hyper, perpetually in motion MooShu too long to figure out that she was not going to be in charge of our walks.

August 31st, 2005, 12:32 AM
I am not a dog trainer and have not had that much experience with dogs but I find this seems to working.

Like StaceyB said

You can do the stop and call back or you can turn around, walk 4 steps back, turn back again in the direction you were originally walking loosen the leash and cue with lets go

The trainer also told us to flick the leash when your dog started to get away from you the idea being that he is uncomfortable being away from you. When he decides to come back to your side on his own (no pulling him in) then you offer praise, as soon as he starts getting away again then you repeat flicking the leash until he decides that it is most comfortable being close to you. Compared to using a prong collar which was effective I found this worked even better (for Joey and I) and no special collar is needed. The idea being that he comes back on his own. This is supposed to be the foundation for the rest of the training so we will see if it works.

Oh yes this looks silly as well I definatley get looks. :crazy:

August 31st, 2005, 12:33 AM
Yes thats it but I wouldn't use heel if you are loose leash walking. You want to be able to have two separate walking cues. Loose leash(extended leash w/o pulling), verbal cue lets go- heel(by your left side), verbal cue heel.
Oh ya, don't pull back on the leash or jerk him back unless you want him to pull.

August 31st, 2005, 01:25 AM
Actually we are doing loose leash walking but on a shorter leash right now. Right now we are not allowed to have a full leash, until the dog is used to being on a short loose leash right by your side like a heel.

August 31st, 2005, 01:34 AM
i've tried the turning around thing - even zig zagging in all directions, and she'll play that game while we're doing it, but as soon as we're back on track she's back up front!

i will try the squeak & treat thing...see how that goes! and maybe some backyard/park work...


August 31st, 2005, 08:19 AM
you've already gotten great advice, I just wanted to suggest a harness instead of a regular collar (if you're not already using a harness that is). I really like the Easy Walk harness, made by the same company who makes the Gentle Leader head harness. Maybe one of those will help while you train your dog not to pull, and you won't feel like you're strangling him.

August 31st, 2005, 07:37 PM
I tried it all, nothing worked with my puller. I finally tried the Gentle Leader and it has done wonders. We can now go for walks and I am no longer totally stressed out. The Halti didn't work as well as the Gentle Leader.

August 31st, 2005, 08:31 PM
I find that I have more control with a harness, not to mention it takes away all guilt when using the suggested method (changing directions when Molly starts pulling). By using a harness, I can go the direction I want without feeling that I am choking her.

August 31st, 2005, 08:59 PM
All the tool does is give you is control. It doesn't teach them not to pull. A dog has the most body strength in their chest, second is neck, and the least amount in the nose. I too like the gentle leader better than the halti. It has a lot less fabric on the face and sizes better. The design of the GL is almost identical to a bozel for horses.

August 31st, 2005, 09:17 PM
I've heard that too but that wasn't the case with my puller! He rarely pulled in his harness (it wasn't the anti-pull type) but was terrible with his collar!

The only trick that worked with Dodger was stopping and ignoring his pulling. After all leaders are calm, not anxious or frustrated. So when he realized I was going to calmly wait until he did what I wanted, he was brought down a notch in the grand scheme of things! It didn't happen overnight - keep at it and your dog will master it!

Moo-goo: I found the same thing too - Dodger could do all this great competitive obedience and agility stuff but couldn't do a simple everyday thing like go for a leisurely stroll!!! ;)