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What am I doing wrong??

May 31st, 2004, 09:28 PM
Ok, I'm at my wits end tonight!! I've been training Brick as best I know how, through info from you guys, on the net, books, etc. I really thought the training was going well, until the lady who is doing our obedience classes at the end of June made a comment that got me all worked up. She said "The problem with gentle leaders is that people think they are training their dog with them, but they really aren't doing anything at all"....I use a gentle leader on Brick because he is a STRONG dog, and in the process, I train him because he responds well to it. I thought I was training, but apparently I'm not! :(

(needless to say, after tonight I had a bit of a breakdown :eek: ... LOL - I'm ok now!)

So tonight I took him out with his buckle collar and his training leash, no was a bit of a nightmare. All the "heel" training and "sit" at the corners, etc. was a forgotten memory to him!! WTH??? So back home we went, into the back yard and tried it again, minus the distractions!! We practiced "heel" for about 15 min., with treats and praise and finished our session by playing some ball!! He did OK, not fantastic but ok. We do the "Brick...heel" then tug process, which is pretty much what I was told on here to do when we first got Brick.

I feel like I'm back at square one. Maybe I shouldn't have reacted to what this lady said, but ..... I did. Am I over reacting or is this really the problem??Can anyone shed some light on this for me?? :confused:

May 31st, 2004, 09:56 PM
Sit down,take a deep breath,then have a drink...... :D

You are not doing anything wrong.If a gentle leader works for both you and Brick,then keep using it.I have never used it.Now remember,my boys are 8 years old and I have had them since they were 12 weeks old...So I don't recall them being out back then.I used a choke chain on them.But that was when I was training them.And before I get jumped on,yes I knew how to use them.And they were never pullers.And they are used on the dogs on the K9-Unit...So don't worry,they never choke/choked...... :D

What method of collar is she suggesting when training?Are you able to use the gentle leader?

May 31st, 2004, 10:16 PM
Mona, you are right about choke collars, they aren't as bad as they might seem. The trick is to put them on right (form a triangle so it fits loosely aroung your dogs neck - in reality the dog should never be choked, if he is you're using it incorectly) They should however, come with instructions :) .

Catt, I think you're doing an excellent job, just being patient with the pup is 90% of the job, the rest comes easily - and you seem pretty patient. If I could make a recomendation though, I would suggest playing ball before going for a walk. Your dog will be more tired and less likely to pull on his lead. My dog has a buckle collar and he's great when walking, he's small now so I want to get him used to it before he gets big. Powerful dogs can still wear buckle collars, if the walk nicely with a loose leash, they will not be harder to walk with than a 10 pound dog!

Having a well manered dog is well worth it, if training him with a Gentle leader works, that's great. Think of it as like when people paper train their dogs then have to house train them. If you keep at it, he will eventually be good at walking with a loose leash when he has a buckle collar on, but at least now you have a back up method!
Good Luck!

(Sorry about the rambling...)

May 31st, 2004, 10:16 PM
She suggests a buckle collar only, says she can train a dog to heel with just a buckle collar! She never said that we wouldn't be using the gentle leader but she didn't exactly say we would..know what I mean??

I really feel like I need to keep using it, it makes the walks much more enjoyable for both of us. He is sooo strong, and he likes to pull to see and sniff everything around him! He responds well to it with me but Tim doesn't use it when he takes Brick out, and I'm worried about the inconsistency between him and I :confused: I don't know enough about choke collars to say whether I'd like them or not - I've heard many opinions, but have never personally used one. I wouldn't know where to start, but hopefully I won't have to!

Thanks Mona balona ((hugs)) - I was a tad stressed out earlier!! If I had any booze in my fridge it would be in my tummy by now!! LOL :D

I hope I'm not confusing the hell out of my dog.....I feel like such a horrible Mommy!! :(

PS. Thanks for the advice about ball BEFORE the walk mako.....I did read that somewhere too!! :D

Lucky Rescue
May 31st, 2004, 10:46 PM
Choke collars don't work on many dogs, and all they do is..well...choke the dog and can cause tracheal damage to stubborn pullers. I have a feeling that is what might happen with Brick.

I use a Martingale collar on my dog, and that, combined with training has really improved her pulling.

You could also use a prong collar - much less damaging and harsh than a choke and with it, the dog corrects itself.

I could never have trained my Chloe with a flat buckle collar. Many dogs can be trained this way, but I really think some cannot.

Just keep practicing and practicing. If you think you are losing your cool, quit, but always try and end the session on a positive note - have Brick do something he is really good at, so he can be successful and get praise.

If you tell him to do something which is a known command, give the command once only, give him 2 seconds to comply then help him do it. He must understand that he cannot ignore commands and that they are not optional.

May 31st, 2004, 11:06 PM
So much of this also depends on the breed.

We don't know what exactly Brick is mixed with so imagine if he's got some hound in him?

Case and point...well pointer hahah Honey (as Aggie can tell you) walking that girl w/o a GL is like living heck! She is small but stronger then some dogs 2x her size, like a little tractor I swear! That is why I got her the GL, I just could not walk her w/o one.

No matter how much training I did with her it didn't help when we were on walks. Being trained by a hunter I'm sure and having the natural pointer instincts to go for prey and run keeps them pulling.

This could be sort of the same thing you are experiencing with Brick.
He's a big boy and I'm sure he's quite strong. Don't walk him w/o the GL if you can't you will end up hurting yourself and maybe him.

I've been looking for appropriate harness to walk Sadie with because of her fears she backs out of collars easily. Until I find one I'm satisfied with I am using a choke, but don't necessarily like it much for her she being six mons old. But I use it for safety, or I couldn't walk her. BTW anyone has knowledge of a good brand of harness that can grow with a dog through adjustment and is also comfortable for them let me know ;)

Back to Brick. I saw a good training method used once that seemed to work with a lot of dogs. Do you have a lead about 10 feet long?

Go to a field (with Brick ofcourse lol)

Hold the lead at the centre of your chest with both hands. Begin to walk. When he starts to pull or go too far ahead of you immediately change directions, go the opposite way.

(DON'T use the GL for this exercise, just a regular buckle collar)

He will catch up and probably go ahead of you again, when he does immediately turn around and start going the opposite way again.

Don't give him any commands, call him or tug the leash..just turn on a dime and walk the other way.

Start making sharp turns to your left or right, or reverse after walking 30 feet or more ,change again.

After awhile he will begin to start watching 'you' and where you are going and will slowly begin to keep pace beside you. It's quite remarkable, seeing it happen with dogs with no training.

Maybe give that a try, see if it works. Something you will have to practice with a few times. After doing this for about 10mins stop and reward him but not until you are done :D You want him to start observing you and your actions and know 'hey I better keep beside her cause I don't know which direction she'll be going'


May 31st, 2004, 11:31 PM
Luba, I learned that too when I took training classes with Oskar (my Great Dane). Oskar was a real puller and he weighed 155 pounds, so nobody was able to walk him without the risk of being pulled along. (My grandma once decided to walk him when we were out of town - against our wishes - and it was icy out and she fell because he was such a puller - poor grandma...) Anyways, the technique you explained worked wonders with Oskar! So I figure if it could work with him, it could work with any dog! Plus it's fun for the dog - he doesn't feel as though he's doing training as much! :)

May 31st, 2004, 11:34 PM
Oskar + Grannie = ut oh!! Poor Gran!!

How long did it take you before you were successful with him doing this technique?

OH btw Catt it would be good if you used even a longer lead like 16 feet or 20 feet but whatever you got will do as long as it's 10 feet plus :D

June 1st, 2004, 12:25 AM
I had a 6 foot leather lead. We did the training technique during the two weeks we had training sessions with a professional trainer. After the two weeks Oskar knew the drill, but still had some work to do. I would say that he mastered it after 3 to 4 weeks (slow learner that dog :p ). After he did this well, when I walked him if he started going in front of me I would stop and look elsewhere. He then stopped too.

I realise that 60-70 pound dogs can be powerful and hard to control, but Oskar was 155 pounds of pure force. He was a strong bugger! After the experience I had with him, I think I can handle everything. I just find it so sad when I see someone being pulled around by their dog, boy that must be awful - I would feel silly and that would make me not want to walk the dog anymore. So whatever works can be used, just because someone says it doesn't, you're the one who knows your dog best. You would have a problem if you knew they were taking G.L. off the market, but they're not, so there's no rush!

June 1st, 2004, 08:32 AM
Thanks everyone!! I knew I could count on you to bring me back to my senses!!

I will try that technique tonight, and see how it goes. The only problem is I have a 6 foot lead, and a 16 foot flexi leash?!?!?!? I guess I could lock the flexi at the end and use that for now.....I want to get to a horse store and buy a lunge lead that someone suggested awhile back!! That has to wait until payday!!

Prior to this, when we were out walking with the GL, he would stop at corners if I stopped and would heel and not pull as much. If I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, he would stop, turn around, come back and go around me to my left side and sit beside me, without any commands at all. That totally shocked me, which is why I thought we were doing good!!

I have never wanted to be that person that has their dog take THEM for the walk, which is why I've been so diligent with the GL....last night that is how I felt - like a fool for letting my dog take me for a walk. When I got home I broke down and Tim thought I was crazy for getting so upset. I just felt like all our hard work with the GL was for nothing!

However, I will try Luba's technique and see how that goes, but I will continue to use the GL for "walks", I dont' want to hurt him and I don't want to rip my arms off!!! Thanks again everyone...I will keep you posted!! :D

June 1st, 2004, 09:57 AM
Luba,there is a real good harness called "No Pull"....A friend of mine used it on his Saluki,Summer....It's great...And it's not a heavy leather harness either..

There is another one called "Lupi and the Sporn".What a

Lucky Rescue
June 1st, 2004, 10:06 AM
Yes, Luba's "About Face" is a very good technique! You must turn very ABRUPTLY and forcefully and walk rapidly in the other direction. Then when the dog must follow you, all you are doing is walking away - not yelling, scolding or doing anything negative.

And don't use a Flexi-lead.

Luba, you could try a martingale collar on Sadie. These are made for greyhounds, whose necks are bigger than their heads and no dog can back out of it.

June 1st, 2004, 10:14 AM
What about a haltie? I have only used my friends on her own dog, but it does work wonders with her Golden retriever...You would think the thing was sled dog with his regulat nylon buckled collar, when the haltie goes on - completely different dog.
I personally found that the slip chain (choke chain) works great, but you have to be "forceful", now I don't mean pop your dogs head off, but it definately must be used correctly. If it's on the wrong way and the dog is pulling it will stay taught and they can choke; and it must never rest with the connection below their chin, this can cause throat damage when pulled....

June 1st, 2004, 06:12 PM
I was mentioning this technique at work today and someone said don't ever turn your back on your dog because then he will think you are submissive. Maybe I read Luba's directions wrong, :o So I just turn the other direction abruptly, but don't face my back to him? Can I still use the 6 foot lead I have?? I will take him out tonite after dinner to try this so hopefully I can get this clear in my head so I don't have to haul the computer to the field!! LOL

Thanks again gang!! :D

June 1st, 2004, 06:18 PM
Catt you turn right around 'you' do a 180 turn so you are walking the other way and do it fast turn and start walking! :D

Mona, tx I'll look for that to see if it would work on Sadie
and LR the Martingale collar I never seen it at my local pet store maybe I have to go to one of those big conglomorate ones ick! How do they work?
Is this what you use for Chloe?

June 1st, 2004, 06:20 PM
OOOkkkie Dookkkieee!! :D I will try that and get back to you!!! Wish me luck!!! :rolleyes:

June 1st, 2004, 06:21 PM
Of CURSE I mean course I wish you luck lol

June 1st, 2004, 09:12 PM
Luba,here is a Martingale.

Out PetValue sells them.But they are slightly different.When you look at the pic,look at the loop in the middle.With the ones at PetValue,that part is chain.

Sizzledog on the other site uses it for Ilsa her Dobe.It's the one that has the chain part.

June 1st, 2004, 09:13 PM
Ummmmmm,I guess it helps if I post the link....LMAO

June 2nd, 2004, 06:53 PM
They don't choke? Do they release easily as they look like they may hold the tension even after the dog releases tension.
I have to check one out!

Thanks very much ladies :D

Bill & Bob
June 2nd, 2004, 08:30 PM
Hey Catt, previously you mentioned that Brick and Bob were very similar. Here, yet again they prove you correct. I took Bob off the Halti about a month ago. Just been using the collar since then with a few returns to the halti. I've got a choke chain, but don't like to use it because, go figure...he chokes himself on it. I have never been trained how to use the thing properly.

I also find it depends on what's going on. Nighttime walks are great. No pulling. Morning walks can be hell. Other dogs=very excited Bob, very sore hands for Bill.

Like today for instance. I've been doing some construction work for the past week since going back to being a social worker just doesn't appeal to me anymore. Once layed off due to funding cuts, twice shy. In doing the construction work, I've pretty much removed a significant amount of the skin on my hands. Blisters galore. I find if I clench my teeth hard enough I won't feel as much pain. But when I'm walking Bob today, I can't explain how much pain I went through when he was pulling. It was like someone was scrubbing the blister spots with battery acid. And due to this little misadventure, dear sweet Bob will be going back to the halti for a while.

I know he hates the thing and rubs it on everything and everybody to get it off, but I just can't deal with him pulling right now.

Someone else told me that you never really get a well trained dog with a halti. But someone else said that every now and then in life you come across a situation where you need a tool to help you get by. If the Gentle Leader is your tool, and it helps you get by, what's the problem?

Anyhoo, I'm off to scrub some salt into the holes in my hands for entertainment. Boy, doing manual labour after being away from it for 15 years really bites!

Lucky Rescue
June 2nd, 2004, 09:37 PM
Luba, I can't find a pic of the martingale I have for Chloe. It's like the one in the pic, except it has chain instead of the smaller loop (if that makes sense!)

Yes, it tightens if she pulls, but most of it is flat collar so not damaging and it's mainly the sound of the "zip" of the chain that is helpful.

And as I said, no dog can back out of it.

Edited to say, I found a site that has exactly what I have:
Here (

June 2nd, 2004, 09:50 PM
That's the one LR.

Luba,the chain Martingale is the one they sell at PetValue...They come in many sizes...... :D

June 2nd, 2004, 10:39 PM
Hey I like that :D thanks again LR and Mona
The picture with the chain one is very explanatory

Now I get it!!! Gonna get it haha! I love you guys (ahhh)

Bill & Bob
June 5th, 2004, 01:17 PM
LR, that thing is awesome. A friend of mine has one on one of her dogs and it works great. Like you say, it doesn't hurt the pooch because most of it is flattened nylon strap around the dogs neck and it's the sound of the chain that gets their attention. Although my desire for yet more pet paraphenalia is waning, I have to do laundry today and the pet store is just down the street from the laundromat. I think I'm going to check out one of them for Bob.

June 5th, 2004, 05:49 PM
the about face, i like that, i have been doing it for years and never knew a name, it is so hard to describe to people, the name might help. we learnt the about face at dog school, i use it any time i dont think little miss charlie is paying atttention when we walk, if she is ignoring me and going off into her own world, i just turn fast and bolt the other way. it wakes her up real fast, dont have to do often anymore. and i find it really reminds her what we are doing, she is a big sniffer so if we dont watch it we will be sniffing one flower for an hour :p .
we use a choke chain, it is just what we used at dog school 8 yrs ago. i didnt know of any other at the time. i never have to use the choke action these days but charlie thinks i am joking if we try and walk without it. i really believe that it is the sound of the chain and the way it sits, she is used to it and it is her way of knowing wht we are doing. if i put a buckle chain on her wel off she goes and it is like i am a rag on the end of the lead, she will pull like a husky. if i use the chain she is her perfect self, (but apart from hubby no one else is allowed to walk her any way, for chain reasons and her safety i just odnt trust others to know what they are doing). i dont have a problem with the chain, but then some people will abuse any system, it just comes down to handler, but when i was younger this cow at dog school took my charlie for a walk with her dogs in the break of class, when charlie came back her little neck was bleeding, this woman had tried to rip hear head off or something with he chain, i nearly killed her (no one walked charlie ever again but us). so it depends, if i was given the choice again i dont know what i would use, maybe something less physical than chain, but then again it has been great in controling dog fights ect so i wouldnt know.
every system cannot work for every dog, if the gentle leader works for you then that is good, so the dog lady doesnt like it, but if you went to someone else their opinion may be different, i think it is what works best for you that counts. :D and if you can get a dog to walk in a straight line without tearing your arm off, well i think you have your solution :D :D

Bill & Bob
June 5th, 2004, 06:19 PM
I agree. Adaptation is a good thing. Take the best parts of the advice you get and formulate your own opinions and make a decision. Or, do what I do and keep on buying more toys for Bob to try out. At least I have a good box of stuff we've tried and had success with over time. I've got a halti I only use when absolutely necessary now, a thinner choke chain that the woman who processed the SPCA papers sold me that I subsequently decided was too thin and was simply strangling him, a buckle collar that became a pain in the butt to put on and take off all the time, a thicker choke chain that i use sometimes when I want to take Bob out for a good 'stick by me' walk.

And today.............I bought a Martingale collar for Bob! Thanks for the advice you guys! This thing is great. No choking from Bob! The thing makes the little zip noise with the chain when he pulls and it seems to calm him down right away. I would say it's almost as effective as the Halti, but he doesn't hate it and try and rub on everything he sees.

Anyhoo, they get a big thumbs up from Bob and I.

June 5th, 2004, 07:18 PM
Woo hoo great goin Bill :D WTG!

Catt girl whats up with Brick is it working yet?

I have a collar to return that's broken :( so Sadie has to wait until Monday to use is closed Sunday.

June 6th, 2004, 10:55 AM
We've done the "about face" thingy a couple times now, and to be honest, I'm really not sure I'm doing it right :o (and we only have a 6 foot lead which might be part of the problem)
First try:
We walk then when he starts to wander to the side to sniff or pee, I completely turn around and continue walking the other way. He stays where he is, so he ends up pulling me backwards...LOL I end up getting tangled in the leash....what a fiasco!!
Second try:
Went a bit better, still not paying attention 100%, but realized that I was going and well, he had better come along or else!!

Once I get my laundry in, I'm going to take him into the yard and try it again.

I do agree with you Mel and Bill....taking the advice and making it work for us. I was just in such a tizzy that I spazzed out and felt like a huge failure. I KNOW Brick is a good dog, and to be honest with you, I enjoy our walks where he is on the flexi....I just want him to be able to listen to commands and know them if we ever were to need them. One training place I called used a choke collar and another place used only the gentle leader, so really I guess it is a matter of preference. I'm going to keep at the About Face and will definately keep you guys posted!! Thanks!!! :D

I wonder if Brick would benefit from a Martingale?!?!?!?

June 6th, 2004, 11:02 AM
Catty girly
You can't do this when you're going on a walk.

You have to devote special time to just this training method in a field/park/school yard (w/o kids there)

You go to the area and begin the training there. I would get a longer lead it works much better IMHO Holding the lead to your chest both hands. NO hand signals or commands to him just walk in a straight line, pick a point to walk to.

When you get there do an about face turn quickly and walk back the other way, no commands to him.

Change directions every 50 feet or so, until he gets the idea he has to watch YOU and where you are going to.

If you don't have a long lead you may want to get one and until then maybe just use a rope for the exercise but put some leather gloves on so you don't burn yourself.

If he gets tangled in the rope just keep walking he'll figure out how to get out of it :D

Soon enough he'll be pacing right beside you. But it takes time and effort and something that has to be done as a training tool

YOU WILL get the hang of it!! :D I have great faith in you :D :D :D

June 6th, 2004, 11:08 AM
Oooh sorry...we do go to the playground field to practice this...I forgot to mention that!! I just went out to the shed to get our camping rope...I think I have a long enough piece now!! We will use that!!! Well, it seems from what you say Luba, that I am doing it right. We just need to do it more so he gets the hang of it. We only train for about 10-15 min. then we go for our walk around the neighbourhood. It's been a busy week so it hasn't been EVERY night which I wanted to do originally, but I will be more diligent this week!!! Thanks for you help and your faith Luba Booba!!! Brick appreciates it!!! LOL :D
Maybe I'll go to the park now, instead of doing laundry.....LOL (I'm a famous procrastinator!!) :rolleyes:

Will keep you posted!!! :D

Bill & Bob
June 6th, 2004, 07:43 PM
Well I think Brick might perform well with this Martingale thing. My friend and I walked Bob and their dog today and Bob was per usual, overly excited about being able to play. However, he didn't pull much at all and seemed to respect the new collar which was great.

Give it a shot. The woman at the store here said to try it and if the dog didn't respond to bring it back and they'd do an exchange or something. Can't hurt to try it out.

June 6th, 2004, 08:27 PM
Great stuff!

Keep up the good work CattWoman ;)

June 10th, 2004, 08:23 AM
Arghhh!!! Ok, I'm gonna go nuts!! LOL

At the beginning of our training, he lollygags around the field sniffing, so I'm hardly making 10 feet before I turn around. Then he finally clicks in, and starts performing. I'm getting about 50 feet, then turn around and he loses concentration! BAHHH!!! Then we start over and he gets it, then he wanders, then he gets it and I can see him looking at me waiting, and I'm all proud of him, then he wanders again sniffing and peeing. I know it will take time, so we will keep at it!!

Just wanted to update you on his progress (if you want to call it that!) He does perform better when he is tired, so that was a good tip Mako!! Anyways, slowly but surely we WILL get this!!!! :D

June 10th, 2004, 01:27 PM
I might have jumped in at a bad spot, are you trying to teach your dog to heal properly, so you can walk together instead of being walked?!?!?

IN our obidence class they taught us how to use a choke collar, and it should be used for swift and sharp correction on a 6ft, lead. When you're walking along and you find that the dog has begun to drift off abruptly turn the other direction giving a tug on the collar, but not enought to phsyically move the dog, enough to get it's attention back. You're in the middle of classes now or are you trying on your own? I mentioned this book before, but "Good Owners, Great Dogs" by Brian Killcommons (and some other lady) is an EXCELLENT guide for dogs. I used to live by it and would recommend it to everyone. It's fun to read too, and it's not just some idiot wanting to make a buck, he's a professional trainer and does behaviour assessments too.

Lucky Rescue
June 10th, 2004, 03:31 PM
I love my Martingale - more control than a flat buckle collar, but not damaging like a choke chain!

Catt - I'm not sure I'm understanding what you are trying to do? The "About face" is for dogs who forge ahead and pull. Anytime you take one step to follow your dog who is pulling, it means he won, and dogs will continue to do things that work.

If he pulls, you must ABRUPTLY turn and BRISKLY walk the other way so he he gets a jerk and must follow you. This will teach him to pay attention to you and that pulling has unpleasant results. But since he doesnt' see anything except you walking away, there is no harsh correction of any type.

My dog now stops walking immediately when I do and turns to look at me, and she was a world class puller. :eek:

I wouldn't suggest this for little puppies, but adult dogs who ignore known commands need a little tougher methods.

How is Brick doing in his obed.classes?

June 10th, 2004, 05:25 PM
I was trying what Luba suggested, trying to get Brick to watch me more and heal. And yes, sammie, I am trying to teach him to heal so I'm not the one being walked. :rolleyes: I am doing it on my own until we go to lessons which won't be until July now, as the instructor cancelled them cuz she had to go out of town :( I don't know enough about choke collars so I don't want to use that method if I don't have to. He has a gentle leader which I find works well, but I want him to be able to heal on a regular buckle collar. He does pull, and he also is just lollygagging along, sniffing, going here and there, and not healing..that is what I want to stop! And I'd like to keep my arms attached to my body!! :D Did that help any confusion?? Sorry!!! :o
Back to Brick. I saw a good training method used once that seemed to work with a lot of dogs. Do you have a lead about 10 feet long?

Go to a field (with Brick ofcourse lol)

Hold the lead at the centre of your chest with both hands. Begin to walk. When he starts to pull or go too far ahead of you immediately change directions, go the opposite way.

(DON'T use the GL for this exercise, just a regular buckle collar)

He will catch up and probably go ahead of you again, when he does immediately turn around and start going the opposite way again.

Don't give him any commands, call him or tug the leash..just turn on a dime and walk the other way.

Start making sharp turns to your left or right, or reverse after walking 30 feet or more ,change again.

After awhile he will begin to start watching 'you' and where you are going and will slowly begin to keep pace beside you. It's quite remarkable, seeing it happen with dogs with no training.

June 10th, 2004, 09:45 PM

I have read through your post and first would like to say that it is clear that you are a very good pet owner and are trying to do the best for your dog.

I too use a GL and have had great success with it. I have a Catahoula cross that was dragging me all over the place. I have started obedience class with him and the instructer actually recommended using a GL. It is a type of crutch and eventually I hope I will have trained my dog well enough that he we won't need it. Until then, we don't go anywhere without. I would like to enjoy my time with my dog and not constantly be fighting with him.

There is no rush when training your dog, so take your time and once your dog has everything down pat with the GL you can try the flat collar. You may always want to use the GL in "high stimulation" situations. The GL is very humane so I don't see any harm in using it.

There will always be those that tell you how to train your dog and that you are doing things "wrong". It is up to you to process all the info and decide what YOU feel is right. You are on the right track and seem very dedicated to training your dog. Keep up the great work I'm sure you will have great results

June 11th, 2004, 08:16 AM
Thanks CityLimits!! :D I agree, I too enjoy the walks with Brick and can only be enjoyed fully when he wears his GL. When we try walking without it, my hand is raw and sore and it just isn't fun! So if it's not fun for me, I'm almost certain its not fun for him. You're right, as is many on here who have told me the same thing - every trainer is different and has their own preference. So I have to take that info and make it work for me!! We are working on it slowly, I'm really not in any big hurry!! Thanks for the kind words and support!!! :D

Welcome to the board! We'd all love to see pics of your dog if you can post some!!! :D

Bill & Bob
June 13th, 2004, 08:20 PM
All I can say is that when I read your posts, it's like you said before, Bob and Brick appear to have been cut from the same wood. Bob does the exact same things that Brick does. I've been using this Martingale thing for a few weeks now and it's pretty good, but just today we were out and I thought I was going to pass out from pain. Just started back into construction and I've got blisters the size of potatoes on my hands. Bob pulled so hard today that he ripped one of them open and took the skin right off.

Anyhoo, we're going back to the Halti for a while.

And LR, I never thought about that, but when he lunges for trees and I end up following him, partially because if I don't I'll simply fall over, I'm actually teaching him that he can pull me when he wants too. No more of that. From now on I choose the trees he pees on, not him. He's just so strong though. Damn kid has legs like hydraulic presses.

June 14th, 2004, 08:06 AM
That reminds me of something that happened on our walk the other day. Brick peed on a tree, which was fine cuz we were on our "fun" walk. This lady was in her yard (the tree was outside her fence), and said in a thick accent, "I don't like that"...I'm like, "WHAT?". She said, "I don't like that every dog always has to use that tree", and nattered about killing it or something! I just laughed and said, "Dogs are dogs, they gotta pee somewhere - better here than in your house", and I walked away. She was mad, I could hear her bellyaching all the way down the block!! WTF is up with that?? Some people eh?? Now I'm going to make a point of walking by her house and I know Brick will pee on her tree!!! LOL (I'm evilllllll) :D

Silly non-pet owners!!! ;)

p.s. I'm looking into the Martingales, having a hard time finding them, although I haven't looked all that hard. My usual pet store doesn't sell them, so I will check out others in the city this week!!!

Lucky Rescue
June 14th, 2004, 02:03 PM
He's just so strong though. Damn kid has legs like hydraulic presses.

Bob can't be any stronger than my 77lb pit bull - a breed that excells in weightpull! Training can't be based on who is stronger, or I would always lose! :p

My dog is smart and willing and learned all her commands easily. Getting her to stop pulling was very difficult, and even now when she see something like a rabbit run by, she is so intent on it that she becomes "deaf", but even that is getting under control.

It's tedious and frustrating, but you must not take one step behind your dog when he pulls or you are teaching him that pulling gets him what he wants.

Does Bob know and understand commands? If so, and he just chooses to blow you off, you might want to try a prong collar on him, combined with the "No pull" methods.

June 14th, 2004, 02:28 PM
LMAO Catt thats funny! Shoulda asked her if you can let Brick use her toilet then!!

A dog's gotta pee and sniff when the go for walks lady, geeeeze it's what they do!!

Talk about hard time finding those collars I've been to three pet stores that DO NOT have them! So I know what you mean! I thought they would be easy to find but apparently not so! I'm not gonna buy them from one of those stores that sells puppies though *ugh* they wont' get my money honey!

Bill & Bob
June 15th, 2004, 06:48 PM
With Bob it's weird. I would say about 70% of the time he's pretty good. Every corner we come to, if I stop, he stops and usually sits down and watches me. I worked on that alot at the beginning. If I say "wait" at any point, he will stop on a dime. Doesn't have to be a corner either. "Heel" is one that he plays games with. I can be walking down the street and if he's in a pulling mood I can say "heel" 20 times in one block while correcting with the collar, choke chain, halti, and all the other toys and things that are in the closet or as I like to call it the "pet toy graveyard". It doesn't stop him from pulling again. That's the frustrating part.
If he sees a skateboarder, he wants them so bad. Squirrels, same thing. Cats he can handle. He's still interested, but doesn't pull like a madman.

Anyhoo, I think he'll slowly mature and mellow a bit. Don't get me wrong, like I said 70% of the time he doesn't pull at all. Not a bit. But if his buddies are with us on a walk, squirrel, etc. I'm in for a rough ride.

June 16th, 2004, 08:17 AM
I hear ya there!! Brick is the same...about 70% he is awesome and listens really well! His fetish is kids playing street hockey!! LOL I really worked with him at the beginning about the corner thing too, so now he knows, when we get to a corner or I stop, he stops and sits (most of the time). He will even circle around and sit on my left side if I stop in the middle of the block!

We are really working on heel but its a toughy!! He heels when I have the lead tight not loose which I know is NOT how its supposed to be. As soon as I give some slack to the lead, he thinks thats his cue to wander ahead of me - not necessarily pulling but just sniffing and lollygagging for the most part! So we keep working on it, eventually he'll get it (I hope) :D

He's happiest at the offleash park where he can run around and sniff and play ball!! Unfortunately, we can't always go, especially now, the river is soooo high, its very dangerous!!! He does really like his walks too however! We'll keep working on it! I've had NO luck finding a Martingale store!! :(

Bill & Bob
June 16th, 2004, 10:44 AM
That's so strange. Have any of the staff at the store been helpful in referring you elsewhere? I would think they would if they don't sell the product themselves and consider themselves responsible pet store operators. It's a tool for dogs and they don't have it. I hope you are able to at least find a knockoff if not the actual Martingale brand.

June 16th, 2004, 10:50 AM
I got one neighbourhood pet shop that said he'll try to order one in for me. I'd rather give him the money then get it from a puppy mill associated pet store (those ones I just wanna egg their windows lmao)

June 16th, 2004, 12:33 PM
Den-Den has to read all the calling cards too. After the first few trees though, he runs out of ammunition. But he still goes thru the motions as we continue on our walk. He favors certain trees and totally ignores the rest. :D

Lucky Rescue
June 16th, 2004, 01:52 PM
You're lucky, glasslass! My male dog NEVER EVER ran out of ammo. It used to amaze me!

Every corner we come to, if I stop, he stops and usually sits down and watches me.

Bill, I think Bob knows that obedience is optional, if he only "usually" obeys.;)

As for the heeling - if he knows and understands what it means but chooses to ignore you, you are going to have to come down a little harder on him. My dog was like that too, but now she knows she must heel when told to, and do it right - no sniffing, lagging, or forging.

If he ignore you, stop dead in your tracks very abruptly so that he gets a correction. Make him sit, then start out again with your left foot first, and the one word command "HEEL". If he does, then continue. If not, repeat until he knows you aren't going anywhere until he obeys.

If he is permitted to drag you along and go where HE wants to, while you follow saying "Heel, heel, heel", there is not reason for him to obey.

Don't know if you told us or not, but has Bob been to obedience school? GSDs are so smart and trainable, I think this would really benefit both of you.:)

June 16th, 2004, 02:39 PM
What about the slack in the leash?? Should there be lots or very little?? When we are heeling, I feel like its always tight, and I'm pretty sure thats not where it should be....right?? As soon as I give him some slack, he trots off to the side or ahead. :confused:

Lucky Rescue
June 16th, 2004, 06:17 PM
The leash should definitely be slack when the dog is in a "heel". If he wanders off when you loosen the lead, he doesn't understand the command and is not heeling.

I feel this is an important command (at least for my dog and me if there are other dogs around) and practice all the time. Fast, slow, sudden stops, in circles and crossing every street.

Heel may not be important to you, as long as your dog is not pulling on a loose lead.

June 17th, 2004, 05:07 PM
He doesn't always pull, and I don't mind when we are walking in the neighbourhood if he goes up and sniffs and such, but I do want him to know how to heel in case we ever need it.

We've been working on it on our walks and when he breaks the heel, I stop dead in my tracks, he stops, looks at me, then sits down. I start out again with my left foot and saying "heel" (I didn't know that trick!) and it seems to be working!!! We had a very successful walk yesterday until we got poured was horrible!! LOL We were about 15 blocks from home in a downpour..ugh!! :eek:

I'm trying to loosen the slack a bit each time so that he knows that when he is in "heel" mode, that he needs to pay attention, not just feeling the leash. I guess that will take some time too!! But, I'm feeling better about the whole thing, and am not so stressed out about it!! Thank you again everyone for your suggestions and're DA BEST!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D

Bill & Bob
June 27th, 2004, 12:54 PM
Hey folks. Had forgotten about this thread. You're absolutely right LR. He does choose when to heel and when not to. Thankfully, although his little hydraulic piston legs are very strong, my formerly "office arms" are now up to code in terms of construction type strength and I just won't allow him to drag me around. However, I do understand that a strength test is not the issue here. He has to understand from verbal commands that it's not ok to pull when he wants to.
Sometimes I make him do the 'long mile' walks, where we just crawl down the street at a brutally slow pace. Barely make it through a block in two minutes or so. At first he couldn't figure out what the heck was going on and why we were dragging our butts like this, but now he complies and doesn't pull when we're doing this.

And LR, you hit the nail right on the head. I'm such a brutal procrastinator, I've put off going to obedience school for far too long. I've now had Bob for over six months. I was waiting for someone on here to mention it or ask about it. I need a good firm kick in the butt to get me going in that direction. My friend who I used to kitty sit for has even offered to pay for the obedience class the local school board offers, which I've heard decent things about. So, I have no reason not to do the class other than my own laziness. It's about one hour a week for 8 weeks in a group setting. I've even looked them up about a dozen times and then it goes to my 'I'll get to that really soon, honest.' pile of things to do.
The thing about obedience school from what I understand is that at the end of the day, the owner will learn more than the dog ever will in the class. The idea being to give you the skills you need to continue the training on your own.
I'm a loaf. I need to check this out and get on it soon. NO, NOT SOON THIS WEEK! See that? My brain is a tricky demon to live with. Always trying to figure out an angle on things. Damn brain.

Lucky Rescue
June 27th, 2004, 01:37 PM
Bill, Bob is showing just how smart he is. He knows he doesn't have to obey if he doesn't feel like it. :p

The idea being to give you the skills you need to continue the training on your own

Exactly! Many people feel that once the course is over, the dog should be permanently trained. But training is an ongoing process, and as they say "If you don't use it, you lose it!"

I went to school because I didn't know how to train my dog, and I learned a great deal.

Besides, obedience class is fun! It'll make you feel better when you see how many people have dogs who behave worse than yours. :D

As you know GSD's are very smart and highly trainable, and you will feel very proud at the end of the course when you and Bob graduate with high marks and get a diploma!!

Now get moving! Stop thinking about it and just call...(how's that?)