Still not getting loose lead walking

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by krisykris, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. krisykris

    krisykris New Member

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    I have read books upon books and also watched videos teaching how to do this and I'm still absolutely clueless on it.

    It seems like none of my methods are working.

    My dogs wear harnesses, I put them on a 4 foot lead and shorten it until they are by my side with a bit of slack to the leash. If they start to pull ahead of me, I give a tug and continue this.

    It isn't working. Two get it most of the time and two bark at everything in sight, pull like crazy and are just generally unresponsive to anything I try to do.

    I think my yorkie is possibly the worst because when she sees people she'll let out high pitched screams and lunge at the end of her leash. I say "no" and continue as she's still shrieking and spinning around. It's like my voice is completely lost on her. In the house, she's great -- she listens and understands leave it and she sits for treats, toys, ect.

    I am at the point where I think I need to hire someone to help me with this. I really don't want another summer of walks where I have to do them in shifts w/two dogs at a time because all 4 overwhelm me and don't listen to me when distractions come along.

    I guess what I'm asking is how do I go about finding a good trainer that can help me with this problems?

    I really want to get started right away and not end up w/the wrong kind of person.

    What questions should I ask?

    Thanks guys..
     
  2. Sch3Dana

    Sch3Dana Workin' Dog

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    I think you are talking about two different things- not pulling and walking calmly past distractions.

    Not pulling can be accomplished through correction (the tugs you are giving) or by teaching the dog that all pulling results in a complete stop to the walk. I prefer to start with the gentle, patient technique. Every time to dog pulls past a certain point, you come to an abrupt halt and wait for the dog to back off the leash before you move forward again. This takes a couple of days to sink in, but once they get it, they really get it. Then later I will add a jerk on the leash as I come to a stop. I have had really good success with this method on dogs that are pulling just because they want to go faster. They learn pulling makes them go slower and they stop it. Of course, it only works if you really make yourself stop completely every time they pull.

    Your second problem is dogs that go nuts when they see other dogs (or whatever). This problem needs to be approached very differently. I would teach the dogs a down stay and down them every time you see the distractions. First you need a down stay around the house and yard where the distractions are minimal, then you can go out into the world, with one dog at a time to work on distractions. After a period of weeks or months, the dogs should start to think about downing when they see other dogs. Now they are in a clear state of mind and you can try to continue walking and feeding treats as you go by other dogs. If they look away from the treats, you tell them down and make them do it. With no treats. Most dogs decide to follow the treats and eat them after a bit of this.

    All of this will take you some time with each individual dog and then you will have to slowly add dogs to the group til you can have all four out at once. It's a job, but once you get it done, it will be really easy to maintain with the occasional treat or correction. And your walks will be so much more fun.

    Good luck finding someone to help you with this. I would look for a trainer who is using lots of reward in the beginning, but is experienced adding correction once the teaching phase is done. Without correction, many dogs will never completely stop pulling or lunging at other dogs. It depends on how much they enjoy this behavior and how much they care about your praise and treats. Better to start with a trainer who know how and when to add some correction so that you get a result with all four dogs and not just the really hungry ones :)
     
  3. Sch3Dana

    Sch3Dana Workin' Dog

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    Oh, yeah. Where do you live? I may know a good trainer in your area.
     
  4. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    I wouldn't use the leash pops, the dog simply sees that as her needing to pull harder on the leash most dogs brace for the tug and then just get to keep going. The dog wants to walk faster than you, so she needs to learn that it will not work. When she pulls (the leash goes tight at all) you stop and wait. Now some dogs will look to you and walk to you, if yours does then as soon as she walks towards you so the leash is slacked you can go again, and stop when she pulls again, repeat. Some dogs when you stop will simply stay at the end of the leash leaving it tight (different from bouncing and lunging in which case I would wait it out until she relaxes then see which she does) and just stand or sit and stare. For these dogs instead of waiting as soon as she lets the leash go tight you turn around and walk the other way. You'll end up going in a circle for a while but eventually she'll catch on that in order for the walk to go on correctly she must not o to far ahead of you.
     
  5. krisykris

    krisykris New Member

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    Thank you guys so much for the suggestions! I work very hard with them, but I will fully admit that getting 4 dogs all 2 years and under was not very smart on my part.

    But they are here, I love them and I guess I just have to work harder and be more patient.

    I think I'm expecting too much, too soon.

    I live in western NY -- south of Buffalo, Ny :)
     
  6. Herschel

    Herschel New Member

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    It's odd that you started another thread about this. Your thread from over a year ago has all of the information that you need! :)

    http://www.chazhound.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41603

    (I don't think anyone in that thread suggested "tugging" back on the leash. By the way, do you ever walk your dogs on retractable leashes? If so, stop.)
     
  7. Sch3Dana

    Sch3Dana Workin' Dog

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    Hi again,

    I have a friend in the Canadian side who is a very good dog trainer.

    Good luck getting the four little rascals under control :lol-sign:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2008
  8. krisykris

    krisykris New Member

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    The reason I was asking again was to get a fresh prospective and to inquire on what to ask possible trainers to find the best one.

    I suppose not everyone "gets" things right away and for some reason this is the one area I haven't gotten down. This is why I'm looking into hiring someone to physically help me step by step, since we HAVE been working on it for a year without any results.

    No I do not walk my dogs w/retractable leashes. I use a 4 or 6 foot lead.
     
  9. krisykris

    krisykris New Member

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    Thank you very much! We are working hard on it and I hope to be able to report some improvement soon! :)
     
  10. SisMorphine

    SisMorphine Your Mom

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    I have a bunch of friends up near Rochester and higher. I'll ask if they recommend any trainers.
     
  11. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I don't know who else has used this method on Chaz, but no one's suggested it and it's really great, as long as your dog enjoys walks.

    Keep the leash so that he can stand next to you with a slack leash, but if he goes too far ahead or lags behind, the leash will get tight.
    start walking. as soon as the leash gets tight, stop walking. He will look at you like "why'd ya stop?". Ignore him. He will come back to your side. As soon as the leash is loose, start walking.

    When he starts to get too far ahead, give a verbal correction such as "ah ah" or "hey". Don't jerk the leash at all. It's time consuming for a little while, but he'll probably catch on fast, if he enjoys walkies.

    As far as distractions, you'll need to work on focus/attention on you. i'd do a search on that.
     
  12. bruss01

    bruss01 New Member

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    I had a dog who was just so enthusiastic she would gleefully hang herself senseless at the end of the leash, just frantic to get a few more steps further. This was a dog who was generally very compliant in other ways.

    What finally worked? HALTI. This was the miracle that taught my dog to heel. She HATED it! EVERY SECOND! Tried to get it off, but we stuck with it and she learned to walk without pulling forward, because doing so forced her head to pull sideways and she couldn't see what she was so eager to get to. It literally changed our lives. After a few weeks of praising her for heeling so well with it we were able to dispense with it. It's been years now but I believe she had one relapse period and we put it back on her, and she got the message pretty quick. Shortly after that I was able to walk her off leash and continued to do so for many years after until her passing this year.

    I would suggest that you would have to walk/work with one dog at a time in order to be effective at training, unless you have experience with training multiple dogs at one go... If one is behaving and the other is not, they get confused about who is being corrected, making training very difficult because you cannot address bad behaviors as they occur without also discouraging good behaviors - you get what I mean.
     

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