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Unreasonable on leash?

March 13th, 2007, 06:32 PM
We have a rally trial in about a month. I don't care if we DQ, I'd like to get used to the environment and try. We know the signs, we just need to work some.

Is it unreasonable to try to teach a sniffy breed to calmly walk in somewhat of a heel while on leash most of the time, without having their face smushed into the sidewalk?

We have the command go sniff when I let her free in the park.. and I've used no sniff on lead when I'd like it to cease.. but is it unreasonable to even be trying to pull off? It's a problem in rally, and day to day walking. She seriously sometimes gets her ears stepped on she is so into sidewalk sniffing..

March 13th, 2007, 06:53 PM
It's not at all unreasonable, but you're going to have to work within the breeds instincts. Allowing your dog to sniff at certain times, on your terms, will help with the training. But expecting your dog to not sniff at all during a walk, will only frustrate your dog into fighting back and wanting to sniff more. Tug-of-war games are great for dogs who have a high prey drive, because it helps to release the frustration that comes with not being allowed to chase small animals. The same rules apply here.

You're off to a good start with "go sniff", but "no sniff" sounds a bit too close and might confuse your dog when you don't want him to sniff. I would find a universal word (even just "no") or "walk nicely" when sniffing is not allowed, and keep your "go sniff" for when it is. :)

March 14th, 2007, 12:23 AM
Or you could have a "look at me" command too... That works with Boo usually. :o

March 14th, 2007, 05:27 AM
I use "head up" with Bridie.

March 14th, 2007, 05:50 AM
We have a watch me command. It needs more training in the out of doors though. Training inside has always been great progress to even the backyard and we are in trouble. Her sniffing, looking, etc are all self rewarding.

Good call Spirit on them being too alike. Often I say no and get her nose off the sidewalk, but always say go sniff when I release her.

Mum, does head up sort of correct the problem for you obviously with time and training? Most times when I bring up that I'd rather a walk was a walk and not an uncontrolled pull sniff fest I've been told duh.. that's what dogs do. I try to let her off to romp as much as possible so she gets to do both though.

As soon as her head goes down to sniff, she pulls because she pays no attention, which is why loose leash walking has been years in the making.. No treat is strong enough to over come her want to sniff or zone to. Works for maybe 2 treats and then she doesn't care. Take the same treat to agility or such and I'd have full attention..

March 14th, 2007, 06:10 AM
I'm not really sure how to answer you MP because I have to use "head up" constantly now with Bridie as part of regular walking because of her recent fetish for sh-nacking. Prior to this development, I used head-up in a different way. I agree with you that doggies need free-to-be-me time on walks. As such, on our 1/2 to 1 hour walks (not our big treks), the first 1/2 of their walk was all theirs as long as they didn't wind me up in their leashes or try to make any mad leaps/ dashes, they could do what they want. The second 1/2 of their walk I used for training and was (still try to be with the others :o ) quite rigid about it.

March 14th, 2007, 07:46 AM
When we take our dogs for a walk, the walk is for them, so if they want to sniff or poke around, that's their time and their choice. Still have to train them to listen to us for part of the walk, so they've always been trained to know when we want them to pay attention and what's expected, but for the most part the walk is doing what they want.


March 14th, 2007, 08:08 AM
When I had this problem (and all else failed), my trainer actually suggested to put a dab of Vick's Vaporub on the dog's nose. it's very strong menthol, blocking out most other smells while the dab is on the nose, usually resulting in the dog not wanting to sniff around. My trainer said he's seen this technique used in shows, primarily on the hounds. I have not tried this method myself yet, so I can't say it works for sure, but it's supposed to. I'd opt for it as a LAST resort though - definatly try to accomplish it through training and body language first.

for me, when my dog wants to stop and sniff every 2 ft, I simply keep walking - fast and strong, and he gets the message... oh, we're not stopping here, ok. then I come to a point on our walk when I do stop, and then let him do his sniffing.

March 14th, 2007, 11:13 AM
I am glad my dog is not the only one who does this! He sniffs constantly on walks, which often leads to pulling. What I have been doing is allowing him to sniff the ground, but not walk out in front of me, that way, at least he is not pulling (usually). I have him walk by my side and tell him no if he starts to pass me and/or give a little snap on the leash. I have a feeling it would really help him pay more attention to me if I were to add some treats to this routine, but usually forget to bring them with. Good luck!

April 1st, 2007, 11:44 PM
Sigh... my dog is very sniffy as well. We call him the mushroom dog... He has a bit of a beard and I am going to get my groomer to clip him close around the muzzle, because after a walk, the beard is usually completely filthy.

However, he enjoys sniffing, so on his walks (unless we are in a hurry to get somewhere) I let him do his thing. He's a dog and smell is a primary way of him understanding and enjoying his world. But, if he pulls I just stop in my tracks and wait for him to turn and look at me, and we continue on a little more calmly. Unfortunately, about 30% of the time he will be so absorbed in the sniffing that he won't notice me stopped and will just keep pulling.

In these instances, an old trick from puppy school's "heeling 101" comes in handy and I introduce an even more yummy smell: peanut butter. I get a treat, call him to come, give him the treat and then we continue on for a while with me getting out a treat once in a while. It helps keep him heeled, attentive, and looking up (and frequently at me) because he is trying to figure out if there's another treat coming.

April 2nd, 2007, 12:07 AM
Cider never cared about the treat. We moved to sardine chunks at one point and I got ignored... sniffing and staring were more rewarding.

Since we are intensely working on heel before our Rally O trial.. If there's a leash.. It's a heel. If it's off feel free to sniff and mark your heart out.

After a load of work and finally loving my clicker after having and ignoring it for 2 years, apparently it isn't unreasonable, and hopefully in my remaining 2 weeks it'll only improve.

April 5th, 2007, 08:44 PM
You have cockers right. What Ive done with charlie is when I put the leash on him he knows two different ways. If its hooked to his collar he is free to do as he wants but when its time to work i loop the leash around his neck no collar and put it right behind his ears similar to how you do it in shows but with a stronger leash. Charlie doesn't wear collars very often though because it breaks his coat. It takes a bit but it works don't give them much slack to move their head down and reward them. Don't hang them though lol Charlie has done very well with that along with Lexi my non showing girl. Its kinda like therapy dogs they know its time to work with their vest on.