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 Need new leash/walking strategy

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riggaberto
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Male Join date : 2013-04-28
Location : Seattle area

PostSubject: Need new leash/walking strategy   Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:48 pm

So I need to rethink my walking strategy. Taking Chuck on walks is a big part of the time I spend with him & obviously it's important to satiate his energy.

It's not getting to an acceptable place though, and I get tremendously frustrated, and as we all know he senses that too and it's just downhill from there. I want to enjoy my time with him and visa versa.

Problem: Constant pulling ahead and lagging behind. Mixed bag listening to leave it on walks due to walking on a road where he's on the grass with leaves and ditches and all sorts of fun.

Strategies attempted to date: Heel when he pushes or pulls and collar pops when he doesn't listen.

Heel command - works fairly well, listens probably 65% of the time but is very short lived. He'll walk next to me until he gets the treat and move back to whatever he's interested in. He'll heel for maybe 30 seconds if I dont give him a treat and give up after that. I taught him by holding a treat out of his reach while he walks next to me, then progressing to not holding it. Sometimes I still have to hold it if he doesn't listen, and sometimes again that doesn't even work.

Collar pops - No effect, doesn't care, stops for a second, then goes on about his business. I dont want to do it any more or any harder, it has no impact.

I have also tried stopping the walk entirely for a moment and continuing to no avail.

Would love to hear what peoples successful strategies have been. I did do a search but I suck at searching, happy to accept links to other threads!

Cheers friends.
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Kye
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Male Join date : 2013-09-24
Location : Guelph, ON

PostSubject: Re: Need new leash/walking strategy   Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:02 am

Im in the exact same boat,  my trainer suggested the following for loose leash training but you take 10 mins to walk 10 ft. He suggested using a gentle leader (head harness) for walking when you need to get somewhere (Kye hates it and tryies to get it off, doesnt really stop the pulling we just get frustrated with each other).
Loose leash method (repeat each 5 x, can be used with clicker training)
Start with Click, treat then
Name, Click, treat
Name, wait for Eye contact, Click, treat
Name, Eye contact, click, step, treat
increase number of steps gradually.

If the puppy has trouble, go back to the last thing he/she did well and do it lots before progressing again. This is really tedious, I know, and I don't know if its a good stratagy for our pulling breed, but thats what our trainer taught us. Hopefully someone will have a success story to share.

A simpler method is to just stop as soon as they pull and wait for eye contact to continue, but it seems Kye just thinks "Once he starts moving it's time to pull him again, muahahaha Twisted Evil "

I need help with this too, its hard to exercise him, because walking if he pulls is just reinforcing it, and there's only so much fetch he can play inside/in the yard (eventually it turns into "OK I'll chase it but you have to come pick it up").
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SamanthaLee
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Female Join date : 2013-10-09
Location : Murfreesboro, TN

PostSubject: Re: Need new leash/walking strategy   Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:42 am

I'd have to agree with both of you on the new walking strategy. Peyton is great for about five minutes outside. After that, if she sees a person walking or a leaf blowing in the wind it is a tug of war match that turns into a howling battle.

She sits perfectly at the door to wait to go outside while I put the leash on her so no complaints there. Someone suggested that I get her a harness rather than a collar due to her pulling so much...

I love her adventurous side but I want her to benefit as much as possible from the walks.

Hopefully someone has some pointers on getting our puppies more focused while doing one of their favorite things!!!
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Rigbyjek
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Join date : 2012-12-18

PostSubject: Re: Need new leash/walking strategy   Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:46 pm

I don't know how old your puppies are, (I'm assuming their puppies because all of the pictures look like they're pretty young.) But here is what I've tried and what works for us- I taught my dog to pull when he's in a harness that clips to his back.. it's what he was bred to do and asking him not to pull is like asking a fish not to swim. Then I taught him when you're on a collar or his easy walk harness- we don't pull. It's easy and makes it completely black and white for him. To get him to that point- (he was over a yr when I let him start pulling me on rollerblades and running next to my bike etc.) I exercised him first before trying to walk him next to me. This way he was already tired (somewhat) before we began walking. Smile Another key training tool for us was his back pack. I put water bottles in it and it really gave him a job to do... plus, it made him a lot more tired a lot quicker. And finally, I walk him everyday for about an hour- I randomly change directions on him- this way he never knows where I am going and has to pay more attention, I usually call his name when I do this and kind of skip to make it fun. He picked it up really quickly, of course I walk him with three other dogs so he had them to follow too Smile But hang in there! It gets easier with time!
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dahowlers
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Female Join date : 2012-01-30
Location : Wisconsin

PostSubject: Re: Need new leash/walking strategy   Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:41 pm

Another great form of exercise before a walk is a flirt pole. Snoopy didn't care much for it at first but he eventually figured it out and now it's a great outlet for him, plus he can exercise his chase drive safely and we can practice self control. I haven't been working on Snoopy's loose leash walking skills lately so I don't walk him on a flat collar, I use a harness. If I'm not 100% certain I can keep his attention so he won't pull then I won't use his flat collar because that's one mark against me and twenty marks for the bad behavior.
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TheBadGuppy
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Female Join date : 2013-06-20
Location : Toronto, Ontario

PostSubject: Re: Need new leash/walking strategy   Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:58 pm

Hello! We were REALLY frustrated with Gus's leash walking for the first couple months that we had him. And though we worked on it a lot with him at the beginning, it wasn't until just a couple weeks ago that we started to do loose leash walking BOOTCAMP with him! Everyday, we practice. Doesn't matter if it's 15mins or 1.5hrs. And the improvement is astounding! He has a sensitive stomach so a lot of treats gives him a bellyache. So we usually do this during mealtime in the morning and evening, and use his kibble as reward. This is what we do, and mind you, we are still working on this, and slowly expanding his walking territory.

- we use an Easy Walk harness for him. At first, it made a huge difference. Nowadays, i'm not so sure.
- we start in an area where he is familiar with. So it's the park where he has his potty breaks or the harbourfront where we live and go to very often with him.
- i make him sit. Then say, "let's go" when i start walking. If he pulls me, i'll stop, lure him back to my left side with a treat, make him sit, click, treat. Another thing i like to do if he pulls me (if there is enough space), is turn around and walk the other way. As he's turning to catch up with me, i have a treat on my left side, and once he starts walking loose beside me, click, treat. At the beginning, i was literally walking in circles for a good 10-15mins!
- For awhile, when i stopped and made him come back to my left side to sit, he would scream and howl and just be a brat.
- Once he started getting better at walking by my side, i would click and treat whenever he looked up at me.
- He also knows that ah-ah means bad. So if he walks ahead of me, even with the leash loose, i will ah-ah him, and if he slows down or turns to look at me, i click and treat. Basically, if he responds to my ah-ah, i won't stop.

He used to just take the treat, and then pull right away! It was almost like the anticipation of the treat was what made him walk nicely! Our trainer suggested to KEEP treating him. I'm guessing that at the beginning, it's hard for them to understand that paying attention gets them rewarded. But once they learn that, it makes a really big difference. We are still working on this in familiar areas. And in unfamiliar areas, it is a little harder to keep his attention, and he will still give the occasional protest, but it is much better than when we first started.

What we do isn't really any different from what it sounds like everyone else is doing. But we do this maybe once or twice a day with him. And always after he has done his business. It always takes him a block or two to get warmed up and used to the pace, but once he's got that, we don't have to correct him as much. We started this about 2.5 weeks ago. I think it also helps to never ever ever get lazy and just let him pull because you want to get somewhere. That's the hardest for me because i'm always late for something Razz Sorry if this post seemed all over the place! Good luck! Keep at it! Don't give up! That first walk that you can have together where you're not being dragged down the street is SO rewarding for both of you!
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riggaberto
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Male Join date : 2013-04-28
Location : Seattle area

PostSubject: Re: Need new leash/walking strategy   Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:03 pm

Great post Maggie, thank you. Similar in idea to what I'm already doing but adding the "ah ahs" that I already do for other things to the mix and lots and lots of treats to help bridge that gap of understanding with him both seem really helpful.
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seanbrunett
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Male Join date : 2013-05-13
Location : Reston, VA

PostSubject: Re: Need new leash/walking strategy   Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:28 pm

Kai was (and sometimes still) is bad at pulling. We recently bought her a front-leading harness and it has improved her pulling dramatically. She still tries to pull if she sees another dog or an animal, but she no longer pulls so much to choke herself, rather, that harness twists her around. It has also given us much more control over her and it's a really easy harness to put on and take off. If interested, here is a link to the website:

http://www.walkyourdogwithlove.com/

As far as commands, she is still in the process of learning. She's sometimes decent at heel, but it's something we have to work on a lot.
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TheBadGuppy
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Female Join date : 2013-06-20
Location : Toronto, Ontario

PostSubject: Re: Need new leash/walking strategy   Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:00 pm

Thanks Rob! Smile

Sean,that is the same harness as the Easy Walk harness. It's pretty great!

We went to the dog park on the weekend, and the walk from the car to the park was a nightmare! UNTIL i took out my treats! He would literally take a LEAP forward when i started walking forward. Turning the other direction wasn't really helping either. But once the treats come out, he's suddenly more focused on me haha. Not a lot! But enough for him to be focused enough to hear my correction.
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riggaberto
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Male Join date : 2013-04-28
Location : Seattle area

PostSubject: Re: Need new leash/walking strategy   Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:20 pm

I thought I would resurrect this thread to share what I ended up doing -

To break the habit, I ended up using a regular (non pronged) choke chain at the suggestion of my breeder. I had an aversion to using chains before fully understanding how they're supposed to be used correctly (hard, quick yank for an immediate, clear correction, followed by heel and treat).

It worked extremely well, I was surprised how quickly things improved and how little I actually had to correct him - and the number of corrections decreased quickly as well.

I ended up getting a front-attaching harness called the wonder walker - fantastic. The first time he tried it he barely pulled at all. Sometimes I will carry the chain in my pocket with me while using the harness in case he starts testing boundaries again, but for the most part, things are pretty awesome.

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