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Dog walking Basics.

lewisw
July 4th, 2006, 01:58 PM
The more I read OLDER posts on the board the more I realize that Dani who is a golden/border collie mix has inherited instincts to run/herd .

I guess thats why when she plays with the other dogs in the dog run I see her playfuly chasing the other dogs and sometimes even sideswiping them playfuly .

My question is when I walk Dani on her extenda leash she likes to walk the complete 20ft ahead of me. Now I am cautious when I see or hear a car come from either directiopn I take up all the slack except mayb 4 ft so she can stay on the grass while the car passes us.

What is a good way to walk Dani ? If I keep her at a shorter distance say 5' even at a brisk pace as I am a fast walker she pulls me. However when she is on full extension she does not pull me. Maybe filling the tug makers her want to pull .

I know there are heel commands, sit , stay etc but what should I do when walking ?

I only had one dog before who was 15 years old when we lost him and a cockapoo who would NEVER leave my side walking but then again was not a social dog that intermixed with other dogs.

Best,
lewis

dogmelissa
July 4th, 2006, 04:55 PM
What is a good way to walk Dani ? If I keep her at a shorter distance say 5' even at a brisk pace as I am a fast walker she pulls me. However when she is on full extension she does not pull me. Maybe filling the tug makers her want to pull.

Dani needs to learn the command "No Pull" or "don't pull" or "walk nice"... whatever you want to call it. She has obviously already learned this for the full extension of the leash, but not for any length less than that.
You don't want her to heel (stay tight to your leg) but you don't want her to pull either.
I tried to find a website that talked about this, but I can't find one. This is a technique that I heard about on Stanley Coren's "Good Dog" TV show, and it's worked for every dog I've ever seen it used on (including my own and a Yorkie I tried it on). It'll maybe take awhile before she gets used to this, but when she does, you'll be able to walk her with the leash unlocked and she can go as she pleases.

First you have to pick a command, so pick it. Make it something you won't use for anything else (I use "don't pull" and will use it here). Then when you are walking, here's what to do: Lock the leash at the 4' or 5' mark where you want to keep her when there's a car (I need more info on this, too, later). Start walking. When she pulls, say "Dani, don't pull" and promptly turn around and walk the other way. Yes, you may only take one step in either direction, and your neighbours may think you're nuts. Pretty soon you'll be able to walk a few steps, then a few more. When you *are* going forward, and she's not pulling, say "good don't pull" (yes it sounds dumb) and give her a treat or click the clicker if you're clicker training. When she gets it at 5', then let her have a little more, until she gets it at any length, then you can leave it unlocked and once she reaches a "stop" in the leash (either the end or you locking it), she'll know not to pull.
What you're teaching her is that when she pulls, she doesn't get what she wants, but when she behaves nicely, she'll get rewarded by having more freedom on the leash. If she's got border collie in her, she'll get this one really quick. My (not nearly as smart) Maltese got this in less than an hour. He needs reminders sometimes, but mostly he's very good.
The other thing you can do is give her a command for when she's getting close to the end of the leash (if she's stopped to sniff something behind you). I use "hurry up" and if he does hit the end of the leash, I use "lets go" (that was the command in training class for starting a walk from a sit). Also throw out the "don't pull" when she's racing toward the end of the leash in front of you, and call out "good girl" when she doesn't. Expect a tug, cause she'll need to feel a bit of resistance to know where the limit is, but then she should just stay at that point, and not drag you further.

What I don't understand is why you pull her in when a car passes... please explain a little more. You're walking down the sidewalk? Is there grass between you and the road? Why do you pull her in everytime there's a car? Have you trained her not to go in the road without your permission? I have to get back into it, but my dog was originally trained to sit at every street corner and wait for me to say "let's go" before he'd cross the road (this was so I could check to see if it was clear of traffic), but I've forgotten about this as I walk him in a cul-de-sac now and rarely see cars. He also knows the word "stop!" when he tries to cut across the road beside us--after another dog or just sniffing something. He's pretty good about that one, cause it's usually accompanied by a jerk on the leash (panic response), but if your dog is really 20' in front of you, then that one is especially important.
The other option, other than pulling her in for a car, is to put her in a sit. If she's sitting, she can't dart out into traffic. And I'm assuming she already knows this, so just start throwing it in randomly on your walks, and then always when a car comes. She'll probably put the 2 things together and maybe even start sitting without you prompting her when she sees or hears a car in the future. You could use another command for this, like "car", but start with just calling out "sit". If I'm way off on your reasons for reeling her in, please correct me. If not, at the very least the "don't pull" technique will work for teaching her the limits.

I will try to find more info on this technique... if you haven't ever watched it, do try to find Stanley Coren's "Good Dog" show, it's worth watching. I never would have thought of this if I hadn't seen it on that show!! I haven't looked for all of them, but there might also be training tips in some or all of his books, or there might be one dedicated to training. I'm not sure.

HTH,
Melissa

dogmelissa
July 4th, 2006, 05:10 PM
New post started to put info about the "Good Dog" show.

It airs on Life Network in Canada, seems like once a week (Sundays). There are two time slots for it.
You can check their schedule and episode listing at Life Network; Good Dog. (http://www.lifenetwork.ca/ontv/titledetails.aspx?titleid=43424) At the bottom of the screen you can find the "all episode" list and then maybe target your watching (or recording) only for the ones that interest you. However, since the show is only half an hour, it can't hurt to just watch them all. You never know if you'll see something that isn't an issue at the time, but 6 months later, it is; maybe you'll remember it!

If you want to order copies of certain episodes (for example: Season 2, episode 7: Dog Aggressive Dog/Pulling Dog), you have to contact below (from Life Network site)

Good Dog (Hosted by Dr. Stanley Coren)
Soma TV
Tel. 604-925-9582
Email: deepak@somatv.com

Hope that Helps.
Melissa

lewisw
July 4th, 2006, 05:14 PM
Dani needs to learn the command "No Pull" or "don't pull" or "walk nice"... whatever you want to call it. She has obviously already learned this for the full extension of the leash, but not for any length less than that.
You don't want her to heel (stay tight to your leg) but you don't want her to pull either.
I tried to find a website that talked about this, but I can't find one. This is a technique that I heard about on Stanley Coren's "Good Dog" TV show, and it's worked for every dog I've ever seen it used on (including my own and a Yorkie I tried it on). It'll maybe take awhile before she gets used to this, but when she does, you'll be able to walk her with the leash unlocked and she can go as she pleases.

First you have to pick a command, so pick it. Make it something you won't use for anything else (I use "don't pull" and will use it here). Then when you are walking, here's what to do: Lock the leash at the 4' or 5' mark where you want to keep her when there's a car (I need more info on this, too, later). Start walking. When she pulls, say "Dani, don't pull" and promptly turn around and walk the other way. Yes, you may only take one step in either direction, and your neighbours may think you're nuts. Pretty soon you'll be able to walk a few steps, then a few more. When you *are* going forward, and she's not pulling, say "good don't pull" (yes it sounds dumb) and give her a treat or click the clicker if you're clicker training. When she gets it at 5', then let her have a little more, until she gets it at any length, then you can leave it unlocked and once she reaches a "stop" in the leash (either the end or you locking it), she'll know not to pull.
What you're teaching her is that when she pulls, she doesn't get what she wants, but when she behaves nicely, she'll get rewarded by having more freedom on the leash. If she's got border collie in her, she'll get this one really quick. My (not nearly as smart) Maltese got this in less than an hour. He needs reminders sometimes, but mostly he's very good.
The other thing you can do is give her a command for when she's getting close to the end of the leash (if she's stopped to sniff something behind you). I use "hurry up" and if he does hit the end of the leash, I use "lets go" (that was the command in training class for starting a walk from a sit). Also throw out the "don't pull" when she's racing toward the end of the leash in front of you, and call out "good girl" when she doesn't. Expect a tug, cause she'll need to feel a bit of resistance to know where the limit is, but then she should just stay at that point, and not drag you further.

What I don't understand is why you pull her in when a car passes... please explain a little more. You're walking down the sidewalk? Is there grass between you and the road? Why do you pull her in everytime there's a car? Have you trained her not to go in the road without your permission? I have to get back into it, but my dog was originally trained to sit at every street corner and wait for me to say "let's go" before he'd cross the road (this was so I could check to see if it was clear of traffic), but I've forgotten about this as I walk him in a cul-de-sac now and rarely see cars. He also knows the word "stop!" when he tries to cut across the road beside us--after another dog or just sniffing something. He's pretty good about that one, cause it's usually accompanied by a jerk on the leash (panic response), but if your dog is really 20' in front of you, then that one is especially important.
The other option, other than pulling her in for a car, is to put her in a sit. If she's sitting, she can't dart out into traffic. And I'm assuming she already knows this, so just start throwing it in randomly on your walks, and then always when a car comes. She'll probably put the 2 things together and maybe even start sitting without you prompting her when she sees or hears a car in the future. You could use another command for this, like "car", but start with just calling out "sit". If I'm way off on your reasons for reeling her in, please correct me. If not, at the very least the "don't pull" technique will work for teaching her the limits.

I will try to find more info on this technique... if you haven't ever watched it, do try to find Stanley Coren's "Good Dog" show, it's worth watching. I never would have thought of this if I hadn't seen it on that show!! I haven't looked for all of them, but there might also be training tips in some or all of his books, or there might be one dedicated to training. I'm not sure.

HTH,
Melissa
Melissa,
Thanks so much for such an in depth post. I will certainly look for Stanley Coren's "Good Dog" show.

As for the question why I pull her in it is my own fear she might dart onto the road .

Maybe this explains it better ....
(But I think it is my own fear she might run onto the street more then an actual fact but sometimes when we walk she likes to walk on the street.

----------------------------
house etc {O} <-tree
----------------------------
Me ---------- Dani
----------------------------
<----
----> road
----------------------------
House across the street
----------------------------

I pull her in casue I'm afraid if she pivoted onto the street she could get hit by a car.

Please excuse the lousy schematic :)
Lewis

dogmelissa
July 4th, 2006, 05:33 PM
As for the question why I pull her in it is my own fear she might dart onto the road .

Maybe this explains it better ....
(But I think it is my own fear she might run onto the street more then an actual fact but sometimes when we walk she likes to walk on the street.)

I pull her in casue I'm afraid if she pivoted onto the street she could get hit by a car.

Please excuse the lousy schematic :)
Lewis

Lewis,
It's a very good reason, but your dog probably thinks you're punishing her and doesn't understand why. I can imagine you two walking down a fairly busy street, and her getting to the end of her leash only to be reeled in for a car. I understand your fear, and I've just found another post of yours that says you've only had her a few months, so you're not sure how far you can trust her. You will be able to solve this problem with training. Make it more fun to walk on the sidewalk (play chase with her or walk in places where there's lots of trees, bushes, etc to sniff on the house-side), and teach her it's *not* ok to go on the street. Make her sit at street corners and wait for your ok to go. Teach her a command--stop-- the second any of her feet hit the road, and pull her off the road immediately. I've actually seen a dog that must have gotten out of the house sitting at a street corner looking back and forth waiting for cars to stop coming (or stop for him) before he crossed the road. Guide dogs have to learn how to safely cross the road; approach it the same way and teach her how (and when and where) to safely cross a road. This could save her life if she ever gets away from you, or your life if you're not paying attention one day.
You've got a smart dog on your hands, and she'll get bored if she's not learning a lot. Walks are a great time to train, because the nature of a walk is that it's fun, and dogs (and people) learn best when they're having fun!

Good luck!
Melissa

lewisw
July 4th, 2006, 05:56 PM
Melissa,
Okay tonights walk will NO longer allow Dani to walk on the road but she should be on the grass side . No sidewalks around where I live . So if she happens to walk on the road I say STOP and do I wait for her to stop or pull her back a little on the leash and when she does stop praise her ?

Boy do I have a lot to learn :)

All the best and thanks so much for your helpful posts your time is appreceated.

All the best,
Lewis

dogmelissa
July 4th, 2006, 07:16 PM
Lewis,

What I did (though to be fair, my dog is small!) was to sorta yell Stop!, like it was a horrible terrible thing that he stepped on the road, and at the same time, pull him back, or give a tug on the leash. My dog goes out in a harness on a retractable leash, so I know that it's not that easy, but you gotta keep your finger on the trigger so you can correct things like that. Given the choice between walking on the grass and walking on the road (where there's no sidewalk), my dog prefers the grass, too. When we're in a park or at the dog park, he rarely ventures off the path!

If possible, can you change your route so you *can* walk on a sidewalk or something? It's not very nice to your neighbours to wear a path in their grass, but if you walk on the road and make Dani walk on the grass, she won't understand what's going on, and your corrections will actually pull her onto the road. Do you have an alley that you can walk through to get to a sidewalk or pathway or can you cross a street to one or ...?

As far as training goes, you might want to concentrate on one thing at a time, and by the sounds of it, the pulling is the worst part, so I'd start with that. Once she gets the hang of that, you might not even have to worry about the traffic part.

I'm not an expert on the situation you're encountering, as there are sidewalks and pathways everywhere here. When there isn't, I cross the street or find a place to walk where there is a sidewalk. I'm not comfortable with *me* walking in the street, let alone with my dog! Someone else might have other advice on this.

Good luck tonight and let us know how it went! Don't forget to praise and treat (if Dani is food motivated) when she doesn't pull!!

Melissa

mafiaprincess
July 4th, 2006, 10:02 PM
I find flexi leashes help create pullers.. The leash is generally always taut. May be fine for a dog who already has good leash manners, but the dog is learning more than most that the leash has to be taut to get further out to sniff and such. Took me two months of teaching Cider to walk nicely to have her fairly nice on a 6ft leash. But she had been taught that pulling takes you from point a t opoint b faster. I think it would have bee na harder lesson to teach if she had had a flexi.

Puppyluv
July 4th, 2006, 10:49 PM
I agree with MP. The first thing I would do, is get a short leash for when you're walking, and use the extenda-leash only when you are in a park (eg.).

DRN
July 4th, 2006, 10:51 PM
Lewis,

I have a different opinion but feel free to ignore it. I encourage you to teach your dog (and from reading other posts, I think you have a younger dog) to heel at your left leg. I know your dog can do it but it takes determination and patience on your part. I suspect there are several who post here who could give you suggestions on how to teach a dog to heel, but here's what I do:

Keep your dog on your left side and walk with the street on your right side. (Your dog will be attracted to the sights and smells on the grass side anyway, so that reinforces where you want your dog to walk.) Keep the leash short and taut. Walk briskly and say "good dog" when your dog walks near your left leg. When he/she strays, pulls, or darts off - say "no - [short pause] - heel". Then return to "good dog" when he/she is back in position. If your dog is very resistent, stop, look your dog in the eyes, and say "heel". Your dog will resist eye contact because he/she will not want to submit. Make your dog look you in the eye when you give the heel command. The point is to require your dog to acknowledge you are the boss.

Your dog will quickly learn where you want him/her to walk if you do this consistently for 5-10 days and you will have more pleasant walks in the future. A dog that pulls on the leash gets worse as time goes on ... and also grows and gets stronger, too.

lewisw
July 5th, 2006, 05:31 AM
Lewis,

What I did (though to be fair, my dog is small!) was to sorta yell Stop!, like it was a horrible terrible thing that he stepped on the road, and at the same time, pull him back, or give a tug on the leash. My dog goes out in a harness on a retractable leash, so I know that it's not that easy, but you gotta keep your finger on the trigger so you can correct things like that. Given the choice between walking on the grass and walking on the road (where there's no sidewalk), my dog prefers the grass, too. When we're in a park or at the dog park, he rarely ventures off the path!

If possible, can you change your route so you *can* walk on a sidewalk or something? It's not very nice to your neighbours to wear a path in their grass, but if you walk on the road and make Dani walk on the grass, she won't understand what's going on, and your corrections will actually pull her onto the road. Do you have an alley that you can walk through to get to a sidewalk or pathway or can you cross a street to one or ...?

As far as training goes, you might want to concentrate on one thing at a time, and by the sounds of it, the pulling is the worst part, so I'd start with that. Once she gets the hang of that, you might not even have to worry about the traffic part.

I'm not an expert on the situation you're encountering, as there are sidewalks and pathways everywhere here. When there isn't, I cross the street or find a place to walk where there is a sidewalk. I'm not comfortable with *me* walking in the street, let alone with my dog! Someone else might have other advice on this.

Good luck tonight and let us know how it went! Don't forget to praise and treat (if Dani is food motivated) when she doesn't pull!!

Melissa

Melissa,
WOW Dani is SMART !!! I don;t have any sidewalks in my neighborhood BUT last night when I walked her I let her have about 5' of leash out and WHEN she pulled I just stopped . Waitted a few seconds and then started to walk again. I could SEE Dani looking behind to see where I was then I noticed slack in the leash. I continued to walk with slack and a few times when she pulled I just stopped. While walking with slack I kept telling her what a good girl she was.

I think she understands what I am trying to teach her as our walk was so easy last night. Just about to take her out for her 5:30am morning walk so I will keep at this as it appears to be what I needed to do :)

Thanks for all your help and advice all.
Lewis

Puppyluv
July 5th, 2006, 06:00 AM
I was thinking about this while I was walking Layla this morning, and I think that the first thing that has to be done, is the "heel" command has to be perfected. This means Dani is right by your side. (as per DRN's description). Only then should she be allowed to walk a distance from you (on a slack lead). With Lay, she walks on a slack lead and the minute she starts to pull, she is put into a full heel, and has to walk like that for about 5 min, then I let her go back to normal. Walking a distance ahead (and by distance, I mean 3-5 feet) is a privilege, and has to be earned.
Having Dani stop at all corners and sitting, whether there is a light, stop sign or nothing, will help in her not running ahead on to the street. When I walk layla between 2:00-4:30 am (about 4 times a week) , I let her walk a little off leash, when she comes to a corner, she will stop and sit even if I don't tell her, and I believe it's because of how firm I am with sitting at corners.

kaytris
July 5th, 2006, 08:04 AM
Please don't use the flexi beside the road (unless you lock it at a 5 foot length). I have heard way too many horror stories about dogs darting out into the road after a squirrel or something interesting on the other side of the road.

Flexi's should be used only in parks or areas that are (whatever the flexi length is) away from the road. Don't entrust your dog's safety to the speed of your reflexes.

As for pulling, the two methods I've used most successfully are

- be a tree - every time the dog pulls, you freeze. Wait until the leash slackens (even a tiny amount), mark it with a reward word or click, and proceed. Repeat every time the leash tightens.

-every time the dog pulls, reel it back in, get it to sit right by your side, then start walking again.

lewisw
July 5th, 2006, 08:20 AM
Please don't use the flexi beside the road (unless you lock it at a 5 foot length). I have heard way too many horror stories about dogs darting out into the road after a squirrel or something interesting on the other side of the road.

Flexi's should be used only in parks or areas that are (whatever the flexi length is) away from the road. Don't entrust your dog's safety to the speed of your reflexes.

As for pulling, the two methods I've used most successfully are

- be a tree - every time the dog pulls, you freeze. Wait until the leash slackens (even a tiny amount), mark it with a reward word or click, and proceed. Repeat every time the leash tightens.

-every time the dog pulls, reel it back in, get it to sit right by your side, then start walking again.

Thanks for the info I have a regular NON flex leash I use when I take Dani in my car so I can walk her with that leash instead.
Lewis

doggy lover
July 5th, 2006, 10:01 AM
Instead of using heel I tell Tucker beside me, I started this by using the leash done really short and saying the command and praise for when he did it. Now he even does it off leash if I tell him beside me, mind you sometimes he starts to wonder off if he sees\hears something else, so we are still working on it. This off leash training I do in my house or at the cottage. the leave it command is great for not chasing things like cars, birds, squrrels and so on, mind you, you better see it first and use the command before they do.

OntarioGreys
July 5th, 2006, 12:23 PM
I am going suggestion, now don't take me wrong, I am sure on your own you can teach all the basics you will need, but I think it worth it for every owner to go through at least one obedience class,and I don't mean the Petsmart class but one with a trainer that offers basic obedience, advanced, confirmation and agility classes. The classes are a bit more expensive but the quality of the training is considerably better, and it is not the dog that really is getting the training, but the owner, I had been teaching all my dogs myself for several years then I decide to take one of these classes, just the basic class, some of the things I learned that keeping the dog at heel and holding the leash in a certain way would be helpful to my dog eyesight to go later in life, the classes also included handsignals even when walking helpful for hearing loss,including training to keep the dog watching you at all times, while walking or work so they are watching for the handsignals, other training included dog changing it's pace this is it in turns left or right so that you are not tripping over or stepping on the toes of the dog when turnning left. another was a stand and hold the position until released, useful for when you need to go the the vet for an exam or if you need to examine your dog for injuries or for nail clippings then all the other basic stuff like heel, sit, lay wait, come, recalls and stay. Praise was very important including the time, and if you did not give enough or were too delayed in giving the trainer let you know it The first couple classes the dog was a little hestitant but afterward became excited when he knew it was time to go, I also found it to be a good bonding exercise with the dog and it helps to build trust in the owner, As I said the quality was good, and when I went out to the parks for walk I could instantly recognize other owners and dogs who went to the same trainer even from as distance just from seeing the dogs focus on the owner. And the skills you learn will be helpful for training future dogs yourself.

SnowDancer
July 5th, 2006, 12:37 PM
I agree with OntarioGreys - my 27 month old Eskimo is now taking some private - non-treat based training - from a top notch trainer who has trained many of his friends at this weekly socialization group. He did have 4 private lessons at PetSmart, plus what was supposed to be an advanced obedience class - he basically learned to sit for a cookie, go down for a cookie - forget the walking. Cost wise the private lessons in July 2004 at PetSmart cost $195 for 4 hourly classes - and this was a "special" price. In June 2006 I started paying $60 per hour - but this time classes are at our house - not in centre of store with a bazillion onlookers all commenting on how smart our dog was - no kidding. The smarter they are, the harder to train. I can honestly say that after an evaluation and 2 classes, the difference is remarkable. He may not be thrilled about it all, but I am.

lewisw
July 5th, 2006, 12:48 PM
I am going suggestion, now don't take me wrong, I am sure on your own you can teach all the basics you will need, but I think it worth it for every owner to go through at least one obedience class,and I don't mean the Petsmart class but one with a trainer that offers basic obedience, advanced, confirmation and agility classes. The classes are a bit more expensive but the quality of the training is considerably better, and it is not the dog that really is getting the training, but the owner, I had been teaching all my dogs myself for several years then I decide to take one of these classes, just the basic class, some of the things I learned that keeping the dog at heel and holding the leash in a certain way would be helpful to my dog eyesight to go later in life, the classes also included handsignals even when walking helpful for hearing loss,including training to keep the dog watching you at all times, while walking or work so they are watching for the handsignals, other training included dog changing it's pace this is it in turns left or right so that you are not tripping over or stepping on the toes of the dog when turnning left. another was a stand and hold the position until released, useful for when you need to go the the vet for an exam or if you need to examine your dog for injuries or for nail clippings then all the other basic stuff like heel, sit, lay wait, come, recalls and stay. Praise was very important including the time, and if you did not give enough or were too delayed in giving the trainer let you know it The first couple classes the dog was a little hestitant but afterward became excited when he knew it was time to go, I also found it to be a good bonding exercise with the dog and it helps to build trust in the owner, As I said the quality was good, and when I went out to the parks for walk I could instantly recognize other owners and dogs who went to the same trainer even from as distance just from seeing the dogs focus on the owner. And the skills you learn will be helpful for training future dogs yourself.

This is a GREAT suggestion . We are always learning and anyone who says they knows enough or too much is wrong IMO so if anyone on the board knows of someone in the west island who I can contact can you pm me ?

thanks again OG.
Lewis