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Walking Moose and not the other way around

March 12th, 2006, 09:46 PM

I have been trying to train Moose how to walk on a leash the last couple of weeks. I have got him doing great around my house but as soon as I step out the door he is bolting around like a little pom yoyo. He gets really excited and just wants to go go go in any direction. He doesn't seem to pay attention to me even with treats. Help! :pawprint: Here's a picture of the moosers such a cute little stinker isn't he!

March 12th, 2006, 10:53 PM
The best advice I can give is DO NOT go with Moose when he's pulling. He doesn't get to decided when, where or how quickly he is going somewhere!
What qorks with my dog is stopping the instant I feel any tension on the leash. If he pulls, I stop [and ignore] and we get nowhere. If the pulling is severe, it might take you ages just to get out of the driveway but its worth it. Everytime you let your dog pull, he learns that its acceptable! My dog really learned to pull because I wasn't strict when it was convenient for me to be pulled. For example when I was in a rush and didn't have time to stop and ignore everytime he pulled, I basically trained him that it was okay to pull!

Lots of people also find that walking in the opposite direction as soon as your dog pulls works but my dog thought of that as a game so it didn't work for us! But it might work for you and Moose!

Good luck!

March 13th, 2006, 11:26 AM
Oh my! what a cutie. I think he needs to shipped to Colorado ASAP for some highly speicialized training. :p oh and it might take 15 years or so to get him good and even then he might be questionable and we should keep him even longer! :D

He is just so happy to be in the world he can't contain himself. We have 3 drills that we do - all of which teach him to have self control, not pull on the leash and not walk in front of you. I would recommend you start now in the house with the first drill. Let me know when you are ready for the next one (should be by tomorrow).

The 'Close' drill...

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.

March 14th, 2006, 08:01 PM
Oh my gosh thats quite a bit to work on thanks for the help. I will let you know how the first lesson goes tonight. :thumbs up

March 14th, 2006, 08:52 PM
Moose is doing pretty good now inside when I throw the treats. He is looking at me and walking by them until I tell him okay while he is on leash. He will walk beside me and follow me around the house if I say stay close too but he a goner if I throw a treat off leash so far : ) I thnk he will probably need to do this a few more times before we move on but I would be happy to see what the next drill is. :fingerscr

March 14th, 2006, 10:10 PM
Keep working on this - sometimes it takes more effort and practice for you both.
next.... The 2 step dance...
Heeling is a matter of the dog not leading the way - you are the leader. He should not be in front of you at all. When he takes 1 step past your toe line then you can turn into him and go the other can go quickly backwards 5-10 steps until he is by your side again and then progress forward with a loose leash, or you simply go in the opposite direction he wants to. It is not where he wants to go it is where you want to go - and for now you always want to go in the opposite direction he does. Then as soon as he figures it out you will continue to walk in one direction for longer and longer periods of time as long as he is being good.
There is a great drill we do called the 2-step dance, which we use a prerequisite to heeling. Have your dog on a loose leash beside you (in the house to start), and you are going to take 1, 2, or 3 (no more) steps away from him, giving him a cue with your leash and your words inviting him to join you. Then make an abrupt stop (you can even stomp your foot a bit), and see if he stops with you at your side or does he blow past you? If he stops with you then whisper - 'good job' and count to 10 slowly before you do it again. If he blows past you then IMMEDIATELY turn a 180 and go 1,2 or 3 steps in the opposite direction he wants to go - and start again. For awhile you might be darting all over the room as you attempt to get him to understand the rules of the game. But then a light will go off for him and he will stop and look up to you. PRAISE! *If he looks at you and creeps to sit in front of you that's okay so long as he is looking at you. The object of the game is to get him to care where you are going and to watch you and not cross your toe line. He is going to think "what is this crazy lady doing?" - changing directions every few seconds? Then he's going to realize that it is related to his actions. If his brain is everywhere else but on you then he gets to keep moving and moving and moving (the pressure) in a thousand different directions, but if he is paying attention and doing well then he gets to relax by your side (the release).

When you are successful in different rooms of your house then take it to the back yard and then the front yard and then down the driveway. Working until you are successful at different more challenging locations.
From there heeling should become a breeze.