She's good accept...

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Samio, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. Samio

    Samio Novice Husky Tamer

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    I just got a 2 1/2 month Siberian Husky and she's been doing great. She's already house trained, most of the time she listens to my sit! and stay! commands, she doesn't bark or cry when I leave her in her room, and she doesn't chew and bite everything (except once when she chewed a power cord in half).

    But there is one little problem. She gets crazy when I walk her on her leash. She always wants to go her own way. Sometimes she'll be good for about 20 minutes, then she'll just start pulling crazily on the leash, sometimes forward, sometimes backward, whatever direction interests her. No matter how much I command her to stop she keeps at it. Then after a bunch of failed attempts to make me give in and run with her, she begans crying and barking, making it look like I'm trying to tame some wild bull. Somedays in the morning she'll be good, but at night, she always does this.

    Earlier tonight my cousin needed to go to the supermarket so I took the opportunity to walk the Husky. While my cousin was in the super market, I was sitting over at the side with her. She would stop for about 15 seconds, look around, then just start screaming and pulling on her leash.

    I'm thinking of trying a prong collar. I've heard it's far more humane than the choke collar and less prone to hurting the dog. Will this be effect to teach her to obey the leash? It's getting too out of hand.
     
  2. Gempress

    Gempress Walks into Mordor

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    First a clarification: a choke collar, when used properly, does not choke the dog. Prong collars are usually considered more more humane because they do not tighten across the trachea: they pinch the skin. As further warning, neither of these collars should be used without a good understanding of how they work. Using these collars properly takes a bit practice and knowledge. I would get a good book or find a reputable trainer to get some instructions on their use.

    BUT I don't recommend using any type of corrective collar for a pup this young. All training should be positive, so she'll come to love her training. Instead, use a treat. Use a treat to get her to follow you, and reward her with the tidbits when she does. She'll get the idea.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2005
  3. CreatureTeacher

    CreatureTeacher New Member

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    I'm with Gempress. It's too easy for people to run out and get a collar to solve all their problems. Unfortunately, no collar is going to solve the problem. And the reason she doesn't stop pulling when you give your command is that she doesn't speak English; she doesn't know what your command means until you teach her! She begins to bark at you and cry because she's frustrated--she doesn't understand what you want, why you're pulling on her, or why you're getting angry. Your puppy is at the perfect age to learn how to walk nicely on a leash.

    It's going to be very important for you to remember that you got a husky. She is bred to pull. Pulling is in her blood. You can teach her otherwise, but you have to be patient. She is just a baby, and she has hundreds of years of breeding working against her.

    Here’s my favorite method to teach polite on-lead behavior: Make sure you have plenty of time and a long leash. Set yourself a short trip goal, around the block is a good distance. Before you clip the leash on the dog, put it around your waist and put the clippy end through the loop and pull it tight. That should secure the leash around your waist and then you can clip it on your Sibe's collar. Make sure the leash is long enough that, when it's wrapped around your waist and clipped to her, it will have a little slack in it if she is standing right beside you. You will most likely need a longer leash for this, but you can find good, inexpensive leads of many sizes at feed stores. It’s critical that, when your Sibe’s walking exactly where you want her to walk, the leash will be slack.

    The reason for the leash around the waist is this: when a dog pulls on a leash you're holding in your hand, she has a TON of slack to work with before you even become conscious of the pulling; she's got the whole leash and your whole arm to work with, which makes it harder for you to communicate to her how close you want her to be. With the leash around your waist, you notice immediately when your puppy is pulling, and she has less slack to work with.

    Now you're set up to go for a very educational--if goofy-looking--walk. The rules are simple: if you feel the slack go out of the leash (meaning your pup is pulling), you stop. Make like a tree. You don't budge an inch until she turns around and comes back to you. The moment she gives you the lead again, start moving. I suspect that once she understands the rules, the screaming fits will stop. But if she starts hollering bloody murder, pull a little cheese or some other yummy treat out and encourage her to give you some slack. If she was older, I’d say to just let her throw her fit. But a dog this young just doesn’t yet understand her world, and you want to keep the negative associations to a minimum if she’s ever going to enjoy walks on-lead.

    There are a few reasons dogs pull on the lead. First, up until about 150 years ago, dogs were beasts of burden. If you've ever watched a dog sled team, you know that pressure on a lead is not something that bothers a dog, particularly those dogs like yours who are bred to do it! They're bred to have strong necks and shoulders and to pull on a load (in this case, YOU!). Second, mammals have an instinct called the opposition reflex, which is simply that they will apply force to anything that's applying force to them. You can test this by walking up to someone and pushing on their shoulder; long before you knock them off balance, they'll push back just to stay on their feet. So your pulling backward on the lead makes her pull back. Third, from your pup’s standpoint, choking herself is a small price to pay to sniff this bush...oh, and that tree...oh, and that person.... She gets a reward when she pulls, namely the chance to explore.

    This practice takes away your pup’s reward. When she pulls, she gets nowhere. When the leash is loose, she gets to explore. As long as she's walking nicely, then she gets what she wants and you get what you want.

    At first, you won't feel like you're getting anywhere. One step, stop. One step, stop. But by the time you're halfway around the block, her mental wheels will be turning. I've had a one-block walk take an hour with a particularly persistent dog, but it WORKS!! You just have to be patient. Bring along some yummy treats and pop one to your dog occasionally when she's walking the way you want him to. She'll get it!
     
  4. Samio

    Samio Novice Husky Tamer

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    Thank you both soo much. I'm going to take both of your advice and hold off the training collar. CreatureTeacher, right now it's time for her morning walk so I'll try that and tell you how it works out. Thanks again!
     
  5. yuckaduck

    yuckaduck Guest

    My neighbour has a husky that pulls and pulls like crazy on the leash. I lent her my no pull harness for a couple of weeks and then she stopped using it. No pulling yet, she may need to use it on occassion as a refresher but it seems to have worked well. I did the same thing with my shepherds, and now I walk them in a heel no problem at all.
     
  6. MyDogsLoveMe

    MyDogsLoveMe My pets love me they do

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    Samio I also have a siberian, you need to remember what these dogs were bred for to pull. Izzy after about 10 mins she realizes who is the boss and listens, but 2 1/2 months is still a baby. Give the pup some time, teach the pup correctly and it will work wonders for you.
     
  7. Samio

    Samio Novice Husky Tamer

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    Ok MyDogsLoveMe. I understand she's still young (plus she has an instinct to pull) but I definitly don't want to ignore it becuase it'll be a problem when she gets older. I'll just correct her here and there and try to make her understand I want her to heel. Hopefully she'll understand better when she's a little older.

    Yuckaduck, how does the no-pull harness work? Maybe that would be a good solution if she continues this behavior when she's older.

    My neighbor across the street has two huge german shepherds and he let's his older one off the leash when he walks him. The dog walks perfectly in the heel position without even being on a leash! God how I envy him. Next time I'll see him I'll ask him how he did it.
     
  8. MyDogsLoveMe

    MyDogsLoveMe My pets love me they do

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  9. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

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    What Creature Teacher described is what I do too. I do a little preliminary "setting the stage" before I take a pup out too much on a walk away from home. (Of course, you want to socialize so you take 'em out anyhow, but the walks can be a little trying at first until they understand, at least in part) I'll do this for a couple of weeks or until he gets onto it.

    With my latest pup, when he was very young, when I first got him at 9 weeks, I got him wanting to come along with me without the leash at first. I had the most phenomenal treats you can imagine. (lol) I took my puppy out in my yard or even just in the house when he was a tad hungry...before meal time and I just made it like a game when he would trot or walk alongside me, patting my thigh and making squeeky, happy noises and saying, "let's go" (my command for coming along near me, not a heel) in a super playful way. When he would take just a few steps somewhere near me and was paying attention, I'd pop him a treat. I'd do it often, every 4 or 5 steps as long as he came along. I'd make lots and lots of turns to keep him interested and kind of pivot around on my foot in a silly, playful way and he got really into it...lots of encouragement and coaxing. I'd hold a treat up by my face and say, "watch." And then his eyes would follow and he'd get the treat. No leash at all at first. Just, more or less a game.

    Then meanwhile, I got him use to dragging the leash around in the house under supervision, of course, so he couldn't get strangled. I didn't care if he played with or bit the leash. I don't care still. It's good that they like their leash and you can fix all that later.

    Then I put the leash on and walked around in the yard doing the same stuff I did before without the leash. I did not pull or cause any tension in the leash. If the pup would go in a way that caused tension, I'd just stop and turn gently so he wouldn't get his neck hurt and encourage him some more and give a treat when he came alongside me.

    We practiced in low distraction areas at first....my yard...before going to the more "novel" places. He got rewarded frequently for walking somewhere in my vicinity without pulling and if he did pull, we stoped and/or made turns which kept him on his toes and paying attention.

    It's a learning process and it takes some time. And no choke collar or prong on a puppy. That is not exactly pleasant and you want the dog to really get a good first impression of collars, leashes, going for walks and most of all, for training. If you still need something when he's a bigger, stronger pup, like 6 months, and if he's still pulling, I would rather see the use of a prong (correctly) than a choke collar.

    CT is so right on. You will have your work cut out to fight the breeding traits in your dog. It's good that you're starting at a very young age. Keep at it and I think you can do it. He probably requires very short, but frequent practice sessions to keep his interest on you because he's going to tend to want to go in a straight line and be very interested to see what's up around the next bend.
     
  10. gaddylovesdogs

    gaddylovesdogs no touchy

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    I do what CT does. I also reward with a treat whenever the dog is walking nicely. If there's a nice loop in the leash, I say "Good!! Good job!!" in my happy voice. If the dog pulls, I stop and say in a low, unhappy voice, "NO pulling!" once there's slack in the leash, I start walking again. I also taught my dog to walk loose leash on command by saying "loose leash!" anytime there was a beautiful loop in the leash and then a few seconds later, rewarding with a treat.
     
  11. poodlesmom

    poodlesmom New Member

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    Samio, I do want to give you a bit of caution tho as you said you were going to ask your neighbor how he accomplished being able to walk his german shepherd off lead.

    Sibes are well known for being runners and with their stamina it is something you should definitely be aware of. Most Sibe owners will tell you that they don't ever recommend having your dog off-lead unless they are in a well secured fenced area. They are escape artists as well and known to go over or dig under conventionally installed fences.

    One thing that might help with the walks is to let your pup burn off some of the excess energy by running around in a fenced in area first. Sibes do require alot of exercise as well as mental stimulation.

    Training sessions at this age should be short, 10-15 minutes and always end them on a good note. For example if your pup has a good response to a sit command, end the session with that with loads of praise afterwards.
     
  12. meganw94

    meganw94 New Member

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    hey you guys
     
  13. Samio

    Samio Novice Husky Tamer

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    Thank you all for your amazing replies. Yea PoodlesMom, I've been told tons of times not to trust my sibe off leash. I was just wondering if maybe my neighbors technique for teaching his dog to heel off leash will work with mines on lease, lol.

    Well now during his morning walks he's doing great (besides the occasional walking forward and pulling a bit) but at night is where the problem is still present. As long as I'm walking at night he does fine, but as soon as I stop (to wait for my food in front of the pizza shop for example) he begins screaming and pulling. My guess is that maybe he's afraid of the night and feels comfortable while we're walking (maybe hoping we're going home). He's definitly showing improvement though.
     
  14. poodlesmom

    poodlesmom New Member

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    He is still a baby and I am sure he will continually improve plus you said you just got him so he still is getting used to everything. I am sure your neighbor will tell you it took him months of on-lead training to get to being off-lead. As well trained as my 2 are I still wouldn't put them in a situation where they would be in danger off-lead such as in areas where there is traffic, etc. It only takes a quick second for something disasterous to happen and I always try to err on the side of caution, especially where my furpals are concerned.:)

    If you think he might be afraid of nighttime try having some fun play sessions outside when it is dark to get him more used to it. As he sees you not being concerned about it being dark he will learn he has nothing to be concerned about.
     
  15. CreatureTeacher

    CreatureTeacher New Member

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    Have you tried carrying a glow-stick? :D

    Okay, I know this is going to sound ridiculous, but when my dobe was a baby and on her own at night, she would scream and howl and make just a pill of herself. Inspiration struck me one night and I gave over my nephew's old "Glow Worm", which was just a squishy stuffed toy with a dim light inside. We'd turn it on at bed time and never heard a peep out of her. I think it was the combination night-light-effect and something-to-snuggle-with-effect. But something with a little light on you can help your guy recognize you at night, which may reduce his anxiety.

    And just like PoodlesMom said, if you make a positive association with nighttime in his mind, he's much more likely to enjoy it. Have relaxed play sessions at night (on-lead, of course), and be sure to bring him back inside before he gets frightened or uncomfortable. Show him that it's just not that big a deal!

    It might take some time, because I'd be willing to bet that his eyes aren't fully developed. He may actually not see well in the dark, which can be disorienting. But that may improve as he gets older and better able to use those muscles.
     

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