Leash time is NOT play time!

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by skittledoo, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. skittledoo

    skittledoo Crazy naked dog lady

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    Ahhh Joey... you crazy pup you...

    Ok... I knew what I was getting into with getting an Ibizan Hound. They are STUBBORN! I knew I was going to be dealing with a stubborn dog, especially considering he's a young male.

    I need to teach him that leash time is not play time. When you're walking him he loves to grab the leash to try and play tug. He'll grab stuff along the way (sticks, fallen branches, rocks, etc) to play with and hit me with while we're walking. He walks on leash (which I'm praising him a ton for when he isn't trying to be a tard) but all of a sudden he'll start bouncing around me and it's everything I can do to get him to get his focus off play and back on walking.

    The above is when I'm walking him alone. Now add in Cricket. I've mostly been walking them alone so I can get a better feel for him and get an idea what kind of stuff we need to work on. This morning I had to walk him with Cricket because I was kind of rushing to get to work on time. The entire walk he kept trying to play with Cricket and grab at her leash. He's a big goofball and I know he's just trying to have fun, but OMG it made for a terrible walk. I was constantly trying to get his focus back on walking, but let's face it, walking on the leash just isn't quite as fun as pouncing on the dog next to you.

    He knows sit, lie down, stay, wait, leave it etc.... but will only do it when he wants to and not necessarily always when you want him to... unless of course you have a BIG reward for him and even then it still seems to be when he feels like it. So he's definitely going to take some work and I'm not sure how much structure and training he had in his previous homes.

    I introduced the clicker to him the other day. I'm not sure if anyone has ever used a clicker with him and he seemed interested in it, but he was more interested in trying to take the clicker out of my hand then that shredded chicken I was trying to give him. oh boy...

    On the subject of teaching him not to be a nutter butter when he is on leash... what are some tips, tricks and ideas you think I should try with him? I'm trying him out with different types of food rewards to see what he likes, doesn't like much, etc. He seems to be pretty darn toy motivated, but I don't want to amp him up too much with a toy especially when I'm trying to teach him that when he is on leash and we are walking that it's not play time.

    He is getting lots of play time in (at work, dog park and home) and he does seem to have a pretty good off switch as well and it content to chill out and gnaw a bone. I've been working on some mental exercises with him mainly doing some basic sits, downs, stays, leave it, drop it as well as trying to teach him how to play some games (find the hidden toy is a fav).

    But he has to learn to walk on a leash properly without bouncing around like he has ants in his pants because it's just pure annoying when he pounces on Cricket in play onleash or grabs his leash suddenly and starts play growling and tugging.
     
  2. StephyMei1112

    StephyMei1112 Blackout

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    Ugh - we went through the same thing just this past spring. Kat walked fine for a little while then right outta the blue...mouthing, lunging, bodyslamming, and going berserk.

    I'd suggest redirecting to a toy/chewie if you can - if the toy doesn't work try jogging/picking up the pace to get his mind focused back onto the walk rather than spazzing out. Make the walk as interesting as possible - lots of change of paces, sits and stays at different junctures, practice things etc; it's fun for everyone and a much more productive activity than the alternative to say the least ;)

    Try this while walking with just him first and see how it goes. Best of luck and keep updating!
     
  3. Hillside

    Hillside Original Twin

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    You do have access to large enclosed areas right? I would start trying to teach him to walk nicely with you off leash and see if you can transition the leash in there. For a quick fix, would dousing the leash with bitter apple help?
     
  4. Tazwell

    Tazwell New Member

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    I guess what I would try first is finding an awesome food reward that he likes, and then getting a chain leash temporarily (usually found at the dollar store). As soon as he becomes bouncy, give a correction such as freezing in place and ignoring him, or shortening up on the leash and requiring a sit. Either way, wait for 5 seconds of calm, and calmly continue the walk, clicking and treating after only a step or two of good walking. And then again after a few more steps, and then again and again and again.

    That's what I would try, based on the information given :) you could also bring a small toy along to reward him after some good walking with a little bit of the play that he's looking for-- a redirection of sorts.
     
  5. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    When he starts going for the leash you can take his collar and drop the leash making it no fun, take collar right under his chin so he can't mouth you instead. As soon as he's calm start walking again. A harness might make this easier, he will have a harder time getting the leash if it's on his back and you can reach down and hold the back of his harness instead of his collar which will be less confrontational. BUT for trying to play with Cricket a no pull harness might be better, it's much easier to keep a dog away from the other dog if you are pulling back on their chest, turning them away from the other dog. When Tucker tries to play with Phoebe I just stop, hold him as far away as I can and wait until he stops struggling to get her. But it's probably easier given his size, but the harness prevents him from making any progress.

    If he's not too quick you can also try moving the leash with him...so he grabs it and you go along with his mouth, preventing the leash from ever getting tight, so he never gets the reward of tugging. I did this with a shelter dog once and it worked great because he just held on and pulled hard, not frantic like, but it didn't work with Tucker because of his small size and because he was having zoomies and leaping into the air to grab as high as he could. If I moved my hand toward him he'd just grab so he was a cm below my hand, or he'd just get my hand.


    You could also try making something like running a reward for walking nicely. So walk a few steps, run a few paces, walk a little, run a little, etc. If at any point he grabs the leash freeze and wait. Because running is what he wants, you being still is punishing. This might be something you practice at home first so he learns it before you use it on walks. Keep the running VERY short each time, maybe three paces, at first because that's when he'll have trouble resisting the leash.

    Might I also suggest playing with him and then allowing a cool down period before the walk. I find with Tucker walks just rev him up a lot, they don't actually tire him at all. I walk and then play with him because he is a hellion after his walks (cat chasing mostly), but if he were causing issues on the walk I'd play then walk.
     
  6. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    My thought is don't fight it! Engage him, play with him, use it as a reinforcer for super fast respoonses to cues. Make it a time to work and have fun! It's clear he wants to engage, so help him do it in a way you do like, by working with him!
     
  7. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I totally agree! I read about his problem it thinking "aww he sounds so cute" :) An aspect to successful positive training is learning what rewards your dog wants, what games your dog wants to play. If he likes playing with stuff out and about more than he likes shredded chicken, then you can use that in training. Teach it as an impulse control game, if he can walk a couple steps he gets the leash to tug on or a stick to play with. Then a couple more and a couple more. Stop focusing so much on the taking a walk aspect for now and take him out to work with him instead. Especially since he's getting plenty of exercise otherwise. Take him one on one for sure and probably for quite some time, he needs and deserves one on one time now. There is plenty of time for him to learn whatever behaviors you want to teach him, focus on having a great relationship with him now and everything else will come much easier.

    And stop labeling him "stubborn", there doesn't seem to be anything stubborn about his playful behavior :)

    Have you ever read the When Pigs Fly Book? That would be a good one for sure.
     
  8. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    ^^ big agreement. I totally regret not allowing Arnold to engage and play like that and having to research him how to play 6 years later.
     
  9. smeagle

    smeagle New Member

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    I'm going to go against the grain and say that I like to teach dogs when to switch on/ when it is time to play and when it is time to have manners. I don't want a dog that can't walk down the street nicely on leash. I'd be going back to basic loose leash walking training to teach him what behaviour you want to see when you are out walking on the street. Teaching leash manners doesn't mean he can't learn to play with you or that it will ruin his desire to play with you.
     
  10. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I don't think anyone suggested not teaching him to walk...just that she could also use his love of this game he made up on walks for training and relationship building. I even suggested how she could do that and work on lww.
     
  11. smeagle

    smeagle New Member

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    I know, but what I meant was that I wouldn't confuse the two. When I train loose leash walking I like the dog to learn it's a time to be calm and chilled out, and I personally wouldn't reward a dog for tugging and chewing on the leash when we're walking. Not saying one way is right or wrong, just different perspectives.
     
  12. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    I think that especially when we're still trying to figure a dog out, it's really important to engage in their games. Clearly they like it, so include yourself and you have a much more valuable reinforcer to use!
     
  13. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    I was reading the advice as... use the tugging as such AS the reward, not to reward it? But now I'm confused, was I totally misunderstanding it?
     
  14. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    You understood it as I meant it.
     
  15. smeagle

    smeagle New Member

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    I'm not saying don't engage with them, any time we are interacting with our dogs we are training them and building our relationship, teaching them to walk nicely on the leash, to have good manners and be calm when it's appropriate is still building a good relationship :) I like to start as I mean to go on because I think teaching the rules and what I expect behaviour wise from the get go is fairer on the dog.

    Maybe it's just the type of dogs I handle but if I let the young Mal I handle learn that she can initiate a game of tug whenever she wanted I'd get beaten up every time we walked down the street! There is a time for playing drive games (when I say so) and outside of those times I want to be walking a dog that is nicely mannered, calm and well behaved. But that's just how I train it. :)
     
  16. smeagle

    smeagle New Member

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    Either way I wouldn't confuse walking (when I want a calm and well mannered dog) with drive work (when I want a dog highly aroused). I don't want my dog anticipating or expecting a prey drive reward on a walk, otherwise she wouldn't be calm and chilled out, she'd be on edge waiting to bite something. I also wouldn't want my dog to think she can tug on my nice leather leashes! LOL :)
     
  17. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    I dig it. I just like to have as many rewards/motivators in my back pocket as possible. Especially since we started scootering, since most rewards are pretty impractical if not impossible in the middle of a run.

    FWIW, I started randomly reward a string of multiple really solid "on by"s when scootering by releasing them back to check out the most recent thing they just successfully went by (usually a squirrel up a tree). I don't think it confused them, on the contrary holy cow did I notice a huge improvement in their response to that command after I started doing it. YMMV, obviously. And obviously they're not chewing on my stuff for that.
     
  18. PWCorgi

    PWCorgi Priscilla Winifred Corgi

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    Yaaaaaaaay Premack!!

    (At least I'm pretty sure that's Premack...right? :cool:)
     
  19. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Honestly I have no effing idea. For whatever reason, almost all training terminology falls out of my head immediately after I grasp its meaning.
     
  20. smeagle

    smeagle New Member

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    Oh, totally agree with you about having rewards on hand that you dog finds super valuable. I don't mean I wouldn't develop value for lots of different rewards in different contexts, I just see teaching loose leash walking as going hand in hand with teaching the dog to be calm and chilled. Some people may not be interested in approaching it that way and that's cool too. One thing I find is that getting super obedience and focus under distraction easily when we're out on a walk/busy places, and teaching the dog to be calm and well mannered outside of when they are training and responding to commands are two different things. How are they behaving when I'm not actively training them? Manners outside of training is something I've come to really value.
     

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