Loose Lead walking

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Mattie
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Mattie » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:49 am

Christie wrote: Where do you get the trail/tracking Harnesses for dogs at?
Any harness will do, I prefer the strap to go down either side of the neck and not round the chest.
[url=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/PIXIE.jpg][img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/th_PIXIE.jpg[/img][/url]

Christie
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Trail Harness

Post by Christie » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:36 am

I like that better then the regular harness Betsy Wears :D

pnhughes
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by pnhughes » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:02 pm

Great thread, and lots of helpful information. I have some questions, with some background on our dog.

Jade is a whippet/border collie cross and is a rescue dog who was neglected, and probably physically abused. We've had her for just over a month now, and she's not our first dog, but she is the only pet in the house at present. We have two young children, 7 and 3, and Jade is good with them, but understandably prefers to be away from them when they are screaming like banshees. (I prefer to be away from them then as well, to be honest.)

Jade loves to run, and has a VERY strong tracking/prey drive. Seeing a rabbit on a walk or a run means a great deal of pulling to get home.

We run with Jade every morning, and she does reasonably well staying loose leash/close of necessity, as we don't slow or stop on these runs, unless she needs to eliminate, which she will signal with no nonsense. :) She's not always behind us when running, but I think we could get her there with a little bit of work. We also take her out for another 45-min walk in the evening.

She's new (to us) and her "come" isn't strong yet, and combined with her loving to follow her nose, we're reluctant to let her off leash for fear she'll get lost or hurt. As such, she gets exercise daily, but little chance to play. To give her a little bit more "fun" on walks we've taken to using a flexi-leash, but she is constantly at the limit of the lead and pulls frequently. The use of the flexi is hurting her leash discipline overall and we're considering dropping it.

I want to train her for loose-leash walking, but I'm confused about whether or not this is done 100% of the time when out and about. If so, when does your dog ever get to find a spot to eliminate, or get to have any fun following its nose and tracking? If not, how do you signal clearly to the dog when it's okay to roam, and when it's time to come back into position?

I am wondering if it is possible/practical to use signals for two walking modes - the default mode would be walking loose lead, but upon a signal the dog could roam/track/whatever a little more freely. That way, it's still up to the one holding the leash when this behaviour is allowed to happen. I just don't know if such a thing could be successful without undoing the progress/discipline of the loose leash walking.

Make sense?

-Paddy

Buddy'smyboy
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Buddy'smyboy » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:51 pm

mattie, I have a question(s). I'm working on Buddy's LLW (had to stop for a while due to foot injuries) and I'm becoming a little confused. For a basis, Buddy has not pulled in a long while, typically he'll just come to the end of the leash and the small tug that comes with it will be enough to make him move closer to me. So in that sense, he kinda already does LLW, however, he doesn't walk slightly behind me to the side like the "official" LLW seems to be. So, I'm trying to get him there. So far I have worked on it for 48 minutes total today (multiple sessions). One of the problems now is that he starts by my side with his head at my side but then his stride's good and long and he goes in front so I have to turn. I think I might have been sending him some confusion since his head was slightly in front of my hip, but now after reading I see where it should be. But should I walk slowly so then he has to focus on me and slow his fast legs down? That would make sense to me because then he'd have to focus on my pace and match it or else we'll just keep turning and end up no where.

And also, would the following method (in story form :mrgreen: ) work for teaching when he can and can't go ahead of me? :

I have two leashes; a short red one, and a longer blue one. I attach the short red one to Buddy's harness. "Close!" (or some equivalent) I say and off we go with him at my side, his head at my hip. As we're walking along we come to a small clearing with flowers and interesting smells. Hmmm, thinks I, this would be a good place for him to sniff. The longer blue leash, which is in my pocket, I then take out, hook to his harness, unhook the red leash, and say "Freetime!" (or some equivalent). Buddy happily goes past my heel and in front of me to sniff a bush. We go around the little clearing and he gets to walk where he pleases- in front, behind, to the side of me, etc.- enjoying himself. I glance at my watch and realize it's getting late. I call Buddy to me and hook the red leash to his harness and unhook the blue one. "Close!" (or some equivalent) I say and again we go off with him slightly behind my hip beside me.

The End

Just in case it wasn't clear in my "story", I use a red leash to say "stay close to me at my side" and a longer blue leash to say "you can walk wherever you want as long as you don't pull". Now, I can see where this wouldn't work if you had multiple dogs, but since I have only one I think this would work since like it has been mentioned dogs can tell the difference between leashes. Alternatively, if one did have multiple dogs, they could teach this with each individual dogs and the word (close or freetime) would come to mean stay close or go wherever you want. Maybe a third different leash could mean we're all going for a walk for those with multiple dogs. I'm unsure how exactly you would train this, though. I know Buddy's not close to that point yet :lol:

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vicki
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by vicki » Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:30 pm

My Retriever/Chow mix has come on tons since using this method, we're about 90% there.

However, we always have to do 2 or 3 direction changes at the start of the walk to get her into a nice loose lead position, even when she's being walked 3 times a day.We've been working on this for months and her 'nice' heel position is just behind me and to the left but we always have to go through this initial resistance in order to get the nice positioning.

She sits for the lead and sits whilst the door is opened etc but once she gers onto the drive she's ready to go and ready to pull if only I'd let her! What can I do to stop her trying her luck? I have done 5 minutes heel work in the kitchen before now before taking her out but it made no difference.

I'd like to start her on different routes round the neighbourhood but don't dare until I've got her walking her normal boring route perfectly all of the time! Any ideas?

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Noobs
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Noobs » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:32 pm

How long have you been doing the method? I had to build up slowly and it took months and months for us to get to where I felt confident enough to walk Murphy anywhere (except streets that are too busy as he is fearful/reactive).

Do you give your dog the first few minutes of the walk to just do his thing - sniffing, marking, exploring, etc.? Or do you try to get him to heel from the start? I feel like as long as he's not pulling, if it takes a few minutes to get him to the position you like, it's not that serious.

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vicki
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by vicki » Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:43 am

Hi Noobs, we've been doing this for months. Anything less than making her heel from the start she takes as an invitation to take off. The only reason i get a good llw out of her is because I accept nothing less! She had spent a year in a shelter before we bought her though and was an older dog when we started training.

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Mattie
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Mattie » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:15 am

vicki wrote:My Retriever/Chow mix has come on tons since using this method, we're about 90% there.

However, we always have to do 2 or 3 direction changes at the start of the walk to get her into a nice loose lead position, even when she's being walked 3 times a day.We've been working on this for months and her 'nice' heel position is just behind me and to the left but we always have to go through this initial resistance in order to get the nice positioning.

She sits for the lead and sits whilst the door is opened etc but once she gers onto the drive she's ready to go and ready to pull if only I'd let her! What can I do to stop her trying her luck? I have done 5 minutes heel work in the kitchen before now before taking her out but it made no difference.

I'd like to start her on different routes round the neighbourhood but don't dare until I've got her walking her normal boring route perfectly all of the time! Any ideas?
You don't say how old she is.

Going for walks is really exciting to a dog, of course she is excited when she first goes out and has to be reminded to walk on a loose lead, that is normal, I still have this from my dogs. I do go on different walks, nothing to stop you either, but as soon as she looks like she is getting in front of you, turn as you do when training. Once she has caught up you can continue your walk by turning again, this acts as another reminder.

You will also need to use your voice, I say, "This way", it comes in handy when my dogs are off lead as well and I am going in a different direction than my dogs.>
[url=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/PIXIE.jpg][img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v312/Nethertumbleweed/th_PIXIE.jpg[/img][/url]

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Noobs
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Noobs » Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:39 am

vicki wrote:Hi Noobs, we've been doing this for months. Anything less than making her heel from the start she takes as an invitation to take off. The only reason i get a good llw out of her is because I accept nothing less! She had spent a year in a shelter before we bought her though and was an older dog when we started training.
I think you're asking too much. If you give her a few minutes to get her jollies out THEN do some training THEN walk with LLW that might work out.

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vicki
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by vicki » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:42 pm

Mattie wrote:
vicki wrote:My Retriever/Chow mix has come on tons since using this method, we're about 90% there.

However, we always have to do 2 or 3 direction changes at the start of the walk to get her into a nice loose lead position, even when she's being walked 3 times a day.We've been working on this for months and her 'nice' heel position is just behind me and to the left but we always have to go through this initial resistance in order to get the nice positioning.

She sits for the lead and sits whilst the door is opened etc but once she gers onto the drive she's ready to go and ready to pull if only I'd let her! What can I do to stop her trying her luck? I have done 5 minutes heel work in the kitchen before now before taking her out but it made no difference.

I'd like to start her on different routes round the neighbourhood but don't dare until I've got her walking her normal boring route perfectly all of the time! Any ideas?
You don't say how old she is.

Going for walks is really exciting to a dog, of course she is excited when she first goes out and has to be reminded to walk on a loose lead, that is normal, I still have this from my dogs. I do go on different walks, nothing to stop you either, but as soon as she looks like she is getting in front of you, turn as you do when training. Once she has caught up you can continue your walk by turning again, this acts as another reminder.

You will also need to use your voice, I say, "This way", it comes in handy when my dogs are off lead as well and I am going in a different direction than my dogs.>
She's 7 years old but she's clever and she's come on TONS since living with us. When we first got her i could only walk her if my husband came too to hold on to me and she still managed to drag me over once or twice! When i think back to how she was, I remember just how far we've come! Maybe that's why I dream of perfection and still want to work with her but then again like noobs says, maybe I'm expecting too much. She walks with a loose leash now and once upon a time that would have been enough.

She does like to push her luck though and does need a couple of reminders per walk because she slowly speeds up unless we turn. I guess I'm worried that unless it's 100% clear to her where I want her to walk then she might push forward leaving me always having to spin several times per walk and her always needing constant reminders. Do you think just asking for a loose leash is too vague for a dog that might try and push the boundaries?

I have changed the rules these past few months I admit and she might be trying it on a little in order to see whether I'll give in and let her go back to how things were. She hasn't pulled for a long time but until recently I allowed her to walk at the end of the lead. It's only these past few months that I've asked for a heel. My other dog walks perfectly and I'd love ultimately to be able to walk both dogs and a push chair together. At the monent because each dog walks at a different speed they're walked individually and of course 3 walks per dog per day = most of my day is taken up by walking in all weathers!!

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vicki
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by vicki » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:44 pm

Noobs wrote:
vicki wrote:Hi Noobs, we've been doing this for months. Anything less than making her heel from the start she takes as an invitation to take off. The only reason i get a good llw out of her is because I accept nothing less! She had spent a year in a shelter before we bought her though and was an older dog when we started training.
I think you're asking too much. If you give her a few minutes to get her jollies out THEN do some training THEN walk with LLW that might work out.
You're probably right, like most dogs the longer she's out the better behaved and more attentive she is!

etbouchard
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by etbouchard » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:45 pm

I would love to be able to do this technique with my puppy, I'm just not sure how to go about it. Electra is a year old, 150 lb, English Mastiff. I have been walking her on a leash since we got her as a little puppy. We started with just the collar and then switched to the harness, but she still continues to pull and now at 150 lbs, I'm scared to walk with her because if she decides to take off, I'm down on the ground flat on my face. Any advice as to how to keep her from pulling so that we can both enjoy our walks?

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vicki
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by vicki » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:47 am

I just want to check; if I change direction my dog makes eye contact with me as we turn and then keeps eye contact as we walk in the other direction so she's watching me rather than where we're going. She then slowly inches forwards during this direction change (whilst watching me!) until she gets the cue that she's moved forward too far and we're going to have to change direction again! Then once we've done the direction change she's back to heeling again for a while and is once again focused on the road ahead and sniffs etc. Is this a normal reaction to this kind of training? Is my dog too aware of what I'm doing and if so is she going to stop playing the heel game one day?!

Buddy'smyboy
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by Buddy'smyboy » Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:24 am

I'm confused about the term "close". So, does "close" mean:

A.) Dog can walk anywhere on the leash as long as they don't pull and the leash isn't tense.

B.) Dog walks at my side with his head not going past my hip.

C.) Other?

Also, my boy Buddy seems to walk beside me and then his head will slowly go a little in front of my leg although he is not walking fast and keeping close to me; should I turn at this point?

And sometimes he will stay beside me, but then he'll start drifting away off to the side but not going in front of me. Is that still close or does he have to physically be close to my leg for it to be close?

When we're at a stop and we start he also starts walking before me so he ends up in front of me (ei, we're stopped. I start and he's two steps ahead of me). I just turn around and head the other way but how do I keep him by my side when we start?

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vicki
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Re: Loose Lead walking

Post by vicki » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:54 pm

Buddy'smyboy wrote:I'm confused about the term "close". So, does "close" mean:

A.) Dog can walk anywhere on the leash as long as they don't pull and the leash isn't tense.

B.) Dog walks at my side with his head not going past my hip.

C.) Other?

Also, my boy Buddy seems to walk beside me and then his head will slowly go a little in front of my leg although he is not walking fast and keeping close to me; should I turn at this point?

And sometimes he will stay beside me, but then he'll start drifting away off to the side but not going in front of me. Is that still close or does he have to physically be close to my leg for it to be close?

When we're at a stop and we start he also starts walking before me so he ends up in front of me (ei, we're stopped. I start and he's two steps ahead of me). I just turn around and head the other way but how do I keep him by my side when we start?
For me close is just that... close to my body! So I would go with B as the nearest description to what the term 'close' means to me.

Are you teaching loose leash or heeling?

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