ARGH! Leash Manners!

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by maxfox426, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. maxfox426

    maxfox426 My dog tickles my soul

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    Okay, this is more of a rant about training... grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    I took Morgan out on his morning walk like usual today, and he was an absolute terror!

    He has been doing so well for weeks now. Yesterday was the best behaved walk he's ever had! He was focused on me and working to keep a loose leash as we went around the neighborhood.

    Today, though, was a completely different story.

    He was yanking and pulling on his lead. He was trying to sprint laps around me. He was trying to chew his leash. He was trying to pick up and eat EVERYTHING laying on the sidewalk that would fit in his mouth. He wouldn't listen to a word I said. None of the training techniques we've been using on walks were working today. He just thought it was all one big joke, or game, or SOMETHING! It took us over half an hour just to get around the block. On a normal day we could have covered half the neighborhood in that amount of time!

    *pant pant pant*

    Ugh, I know you're only five months old, Morgan, but do you really have to test the limits THAT much???

    Okay, I'm done. ;) Hopefully tomorrow he will be behaved again, but if this keeps happening I'm going to need some help!
     
  2. FWIW, I just never allow these sorts of behaviors to continue with puppies. I do not allow a tight leash. Ever. Yes, there is more than a little technique to that, but it's very important. It takes two to pull and make a tight leash. SOmetimes you have to work harder than others.

    What I tend to see with people is that the TIMING is off. They end up letting the puppy get spinning out of control before they move to do something to either get the pup's attention or redirect it.

    Are you going to take a training class with Morgan? I bet that might help you both gain some skills. :D
     
  3. noludoru

    noludoru Bored Now.

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  4. I just don't let it happen, Nolu. If a pup gets out to where he is about to have a tight leash, I gently but firmly pull the puppy back to my side and then immediately dump slack in the leash and offer a food reward.

    It is important to IMMEDIATELY give back the slack in the leash, even if the puppy moves out ahead instantly and you just have to do it over.

    So many people don't even realize they hold their dog on a tight leash almost all of the time. They unwittingly teach the puppy to lean on the collar and pull on the leash. Once a puppy has learned to lean on the collar it is much harder to teach them not to pull. The person who is holding the leash so that the dog can lean on the collar is at least 50% of the equation.

    :)
     
  5. maxfox426

    maxfox426 My dog tickles my soul

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    This is EXACTLY what I've been doing! That is why it took over 30 minutes to walk around the block today, because we had to stop and restart. He would pull ahead on the leash, I would stop, quickly put him back in position, slacken the leash, treat him, and we start walking again. Rinse and repeat.

    He's been responding to this training very well for the past several weeks. Yesterday, he was even correcting himself if he got too far ahead. He's start to get ahead of me, and before the leash would fully tighten he would ease off and back into position with the loose leash.

    That is why this morning is so baffling to me! I've watched training videos, I've listened to everyone's advice on leash training here (except for the one time I was told to NEVER use food rewards), and he was doing great until this morning.

    We are not in a training class yet, but I am planning on enrolling him soon. I have a certificate for a training class discount through the humane society where I adopted him. I have been waiting for 1) Morgan to reach the right age bracket and 2) the end of the performance series I've been playing in (evening rehearsals conflict with training class, so once that's done I'm clear to go!).
     
  6. hey, we all have days where we can't pay attention as well, or forget previous lessons.

    I bet tomorrow is much better. ;)
     
  7. maxfox426

    maxfox426 My dog tickles my soul

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    I sure hope it's better tomorrow, because this morning was ANNOYING! :p

    It is entirely possible that I was the one that was off today, but I swear that I've been using the exact techniques that you described!
     
  8. oh, I was referring to the puppy re: having an off, inattentive day. :D

    Puppies are just puppies. They have good days, bad days, awful days, and days where sometimes we want to pinch their little heads right off their bodies. LOL

    Keep smiling, one day you will look back on those puppy days wistfully with misty eyes.
     
  9. maxfox426

    maxfox426 My dog tickles my soul

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    Oh my, I know what you mean about puppies and off days! :lol-sign:

    Thanks for the support, Redyre. I'll be sure to ask again if this morning's unruly behavior persists, but I'm hoping that it really is just one of those 5-month-old days for Morgan. :D
     
  10. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    I feel your pain but it does get better! Puppies do that. Good one day, brats the next. Silly little tykes. If they weren't so cute I don't know how we would tolerate it.

    :p
     
  11. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Hopefully you won't have this problem again! But if you do - whenever I start a walk and my dog is SO bad, so much worse than the previous day, I've found that the best thing to do is turn around and go back home as fast as possible. Your dog should not be rewarded (by continuing to stay outside and walk around the neighborhood, that's very rewarding for dogs!) for that behavior, and it's not good for YOUR mental health! The longer you continue the walk, the more frustrated you will get, and it's just not worth it.

    That doesn't mean, of course, that if a dog has always been bad on leash that owner should just never try to work with him! But in this case, since you say it's so much worse than it has been, maybe it's a good time to take a day off.
     
  12. noludoru

    noludoru Bored Now.

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    Ohhh... now THAT makes sense. Thanks for explaining that, Red. :) I love how you always concisely explain things for people.
     
  13. Pandemonium

    Pandemonium Member

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    We refer to these kinds of days as "walking the yo-yo". Bernie's beagle nose tends to lead him backwards on the leash! You walk 3 steps together, he walks 2 steps back, he's now behind you, give a pull on the leash he's one step ahead, walk 2 steps, found a pinecone/dirt/cigarette butt/smell.. he's 5 steps behind again.

    On these kind of yo-yo days, we generally turn around and go play in the yard til he wears off some steam. I like to end the day with at least some satisfactory skills practiced. Once in a while, it's me that's learned something!

    Other times, he's perffffffffffect on the leash. In fact I don't think we've had a leash "drag me to the park/driveway/tree" kind of walk. His concentration varies, as does mine! Mind you I've had comments that I tend to power trip over the dog.. no I don't, I want a well behaved happy dog, that listens more often than the hubby!

    Sorry you've had a bad day of it with Morgan, and even though it won't be your last, you'll soon forget about today, and have lovely loose leash walks again!:)
     
  14. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    I haven't read the entire thread but if I have to bring a dog/pup back to me when they forge ahead, I don't give them a reward. I reward them when they stay beside me or give me some improvement.
    And I absolutely agree that it takes two to pull, pulling is a learned behaviour on both parties, imo. People hang onto their dogs/pups and they both get desenistized to the pressure or pulling.
     
  15. maxfox426

    maxfox426 My dog tickles my soul

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    Update

    I just wanted to give everybody an update on Morgan's leash training.

    You all were right, and two days ago just seems to have been a "puppy day". Lol! I took your advice and yesterday morning we took a day off from walking, and played ball in the yard instead. Today we tried a short walk again, and he was [almost] perfect again! A tiny little bit of yo-yo-ing, and we had to stop 2-3 times to regroup... but for the most part he was correcting himself to keep his leash loose.

    And just so we are all on the same page: "loose leash" for Morgan means he is walking by my side, the connection where his leash clips to his collar is below his chin, and the leash itself hangs in a small 'U' in front of his chest while I'm holding the other end. :)

    Thank you all for your advice and encouragement! It really helped a lot!!
     

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